Reflecting on '7 Lessons Learned During 2,500 Days Outside Equal Experts'

Posted by Rhyd Lewis on April 26, 2024 · 3 mins read

Last night, I had the opportunity to present a talk on an idea - well, ideas - that I’ve been mulling over for a while. I’ve been reflecting on the challenges and opportunities I encountered between 2017 and 2023 when I wasn’t working for Equal Experts. During this time, I worked for and with a number of companies, and based on my experiences, I identified 7 lessons that I think are relevant and valuable to me today. The talk — “7 Lessons Learned During 2,500 Days Outside Equal Experts” — seemed to be well-received by the attendees at the Equal Experts Network Thursday event.

Presenting at the Equal Experts office in Farringdon. Hands in pockets, tut tut Presenting at the Equal Experts office in Farringdon. Hands in pockets, tut tut

Here’s a synopsis of the each lesson:

  1. Lessons Learned Need a Pinch of Salt
    Why you should approach advice given and lessons learned with a healthy dose of skepticism (because what works for 1 person may not work for another). Context is king so validate the relevance to your own circumstances.

  2. Mediocre Leadership is the Norm
    Examples of poor & good leadership and how exceptional leaders are a rare old beast.

  3. Culture Is Paramount (Until It’s Not)
    Why it’s important to be mindful that company values and culture are not always sacrosanct (in some cases, they may be compromised when faced with competing priorities or external pressure).

  4. Managing People Isn’t as Easy as It Might Seem
    Stating the obvious perhaps but some stories about my own experiences as a manager and the complexity and challenges I faced.

  5. Problems Aren’t Always as Big as They Appear
    A story about the advice I received from an old boss that still resonates today. Bit of a cheat to include this in the talk given the title but rules are there to be broken…

  6. Escape Your Comfort Zone
    Stories and examples about leaning in and taking on challenges outside of my comfort zone.

  7. Life > Work
    How it’s important — no matter how annoyed or frustrated work can be at times — to remember that life is more important. Keeping this perspective in mind has helped me deal with challenging situations and maintain a sense of balance.

I enjoyed taking the time to think about all of this. Trying to articulate them in a meaningful way took longer than I expected. I appreciated the thoughtful questions afterwards and a couple of these have made me adjust my thinking on some of the points I mentioned.