How to be a Good Meshian

Random Observation/Comment #623: Do no harm. Do good. Be good. Seek excellence.

I’m coming up on my one year anniversary at ConsenSys and I’ve certainly learned, changed, and grown quite a bit. Not only have I embraced the remote first lifestyle, but I’ve also become an advocate for self-organizing habitats driven by passion. They may not be the most profit-seeking strategies in the short term, but they feel the most friendly, open, and agile. Through this year, I’ve unlearned some ingrained politics and opted towards oversharing and radical transparency.

Note: These views do not represent those of ConsenSys nor are these formalized policies within the company.

Leave your ego at the door

As a Meshian, you’ll soon realize that you’re surrounded by brilliant people with all walks of life. Their drive and passion has led them to this entrepreneurial ecosystem of self-motivated overachievers aiming to change the world. Of course, you’re also at the table with your own list of accomplishments. This is not explicitly a place to prove yourself or your seniority. Leave the ego at the door, and be present with an open mind.

Navigating the Mesh

There’s a lot happening and no shortage of interesting projects or random channels to join on slack. While you may not be assigned a formal mentor or coach, you’re free to ask questions and set up coffee chats with anyone. We have a newbie channel that passes no judgement. Some people may be harder to get on calendar times than others, but there’s no hierarchical barrier.

The easiest way to get a glimpse of all projects and activities is to attend the biweekly spokes and triweekly regional highlights. Everything is recorded (plus we do a cool Zoom dance party at the end).

Leverage Your Tools like Sobol

Update your information accurately in Sobol to show allocations and involvement. Also use this tool to find your tribe of X role in Y industry based out of Z location.

Build your own Brand

We did this exercise for TED conferences to write a “talk to me about… <top 3 subjects>” name badge.

From the professional side, you could include: trusted compute, token economics design, decentralized identity models, smart legal contracts, security audits, interoperability, corda, platform comparisons, etc.

From the personal side, you could discuss: travel, food, cooking, sports, family, space exploration, scuba diving, hiking, etc.

At any point in time, this part of your brand is your go-to small talk topics. Learn your colleagues’ top 3 and mention it when you join calls 7 minutes early (as suggested from my earlier post for a remote-first company).

Brand also goes deeper than just topics and interests. Your brand is also the trust you’ve earned through delivering and building relationships. It goes into your ideals, values, and character. Represent your brand with your actions and intentions.

Radical Accountability

If you’re working on something with a self-imposed deadline then stick to the schedule. Do the high quality work you’d be proud of. If there’s a delay, then give people a healthy heads up on slippage (especially if you’re a dependency for a larger project).

Being radically accountable also means not taking a position of blaming someone else for a failure. Taking ownership of a project (and the company) and being invested in its success is being part of the team (not just an individual) that delivers. One team. One dream. If the company looks bad, everyone looks bad. If a blockchain project fails, there’s reputations risk for the industry. Be diligent.

Participate / Show up

There are mesh-wide activities and regional events. There’s a home page of calendar events (Mesh Dashboard) and a newsletter (Mesh Digest) every week for your meshy highlights. Everyone should have been added to the shared mesh-wide calendars. Obviously client meetings take priority, but it’s good to show support (especially if it’s team building and a physical location to talk about non-blockchainy things).

Since Meshians are blockchain-literate and crypto-passionate folks, we are also likely the target demographic of our dapps and products. As we build the Web3 world, we need to eat our own dogfood and help provide feedback. I’m a big proponent of being an alpha or beta tester. MeshHub FTW!

Respect People’s Time

Show up to meetings on time and try to only invite people when they’re necessary. Any meetings with more than 5 people for longer than an hour needs to be reassessed. Meeting fatigue is real. My calendar often sucks, and I’m not afraid to push back on my attendance if a teammate with similar skills is already covering. Be okay with not needing to know everything happening at all times (you will never be able to catch up and also do real work at the same time).

Prioritize and Time Manage

Prioritize your interests and practice time management and productivity tips. No one is here to helicopter parent you, so make sure you’re focusing on what’s important to the team’s and company’s visions. Remember not to take on too many priority 1 tasks or else you’ll get burnt out.

Never stop learning and Share your Research

There’s a lot of reading that relates to current events in your particular industry/field overlapping with blockchain. If you see something interesting, share it with your team or tribe. I often send things to other Solution Architects just because they’d probably be interested in the topic for when they pitch in front of clients.

Help others where you can

Helping others is not your full time job, but I’d allocate time to helping people connect dots or talk through designs. If I know I can give the answer or accelerate the person finding the answer within 2 minutes, then I opt-in to helping. Usually it’s just looking up some slides or sharing insight based on previous experience.

Show Gratitude

We have a gratitude channel and mechanisms to show appreciation for work. It’s important to say thank you and recognize those who’ve helped you.

Ask for help if you need it

This is one of the hardest things, but you’re not expected to know everything. A smart Meshian is a resourceful one. We are rich in resources. Ask questions.

Self care is important

It’s hard to turn off work when mobile-first experiences bleed into an always-on work-life blend. Infinite vacation days have shown to lead to fewer vacations taken. I actually like the bank policies of mandatory block leave (5 days straight without doing work or checking email). It’s healthy to unplug and prioritize what’s important in life.

Make Friends

It’s said that you can only maintain 100 connections at a time. Not all of them are as close as family, but these 100 at least wish you a happy birthday. Hopefully the people in the Mesh you interact with most will fall into this group based on trust, duration, and proximity.

Overall, being a Meshian is a social contract and agreement to be good. It’s the same common sense values that make a good citizen and friend. You’re a friend of the Mesh. You’re family in the Mesh.

~See Lemons Mesh Together

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