My one-year-anniversary-of-leaving-Microsoft post (link) blew up quite a bit more than I expected. It was a reflection – and while it called out some all-too-true stories of bad management and shitty leadership, a few things I called out in the post just didn’t shout out enough over the stories. I received a lot of comments – public and private, of people sharing their own similar stories. I was sad to see those – I was sympathetic to the sender, but I also didn’t want people to feel like things were so bad for me that I had to quit.
I left Teams on good terms (which probably aren’t such good terms after that post), but those stories are important to tell for those who may need encouragement to do something about their own tales of workplace toxicity. Teams, by no means, isn’t the only Microsoft organization with leadership and management issues. It’s not even the only organization with a culture that drives negative behavior. Some people thrive “playing the game” – but I had just had enough.
I followed my own advice – Never go from a job – always go to a job. I felt good about Unity from the moment I decided to work there, and it’s been a dream job for me. In a way, my experience on Teams was the kick in the ass I needed in order to leave familiarity and comfort behind, and put myself in a much better situation to grow and learn. It was a risk, of course, but I got lucky and found a product to work on with people that I respect, like, and admire.
In The Advantage, Pat Lencioni lays out strong information supporting the fact that organizational health is strongly correlated to product quality (regardless of the product). Quality – along with a strong and clear vision are important to me, and a healthy culture centered on those things allows me to do my best work.
My one year anniversary at Unity was just a few days ago (Jan 30), and I’m looking forward to what happens between now and anniversary number two.