S3 E1: Featuring Michael Dosik
If there’s a silver lining to be laid off six times is I got to go do something new every single time, and I learned that I can go off and have that confidence to step into an environment that I have very low confidence yet and I haven’t built any reputation, I haven’t built any real experience, I haven’t built any connections with folks and be successful, right? I think that’s actually powerful, that arrow I have in my quiver that I can jump into an organization I know nothing about and make an impact. I’ve proved myself being able to do that several times now.
Tracie:All right. Hello everyone and welcome back to Traceability Podcast. I am your host, Tracie Edwards. Today I am so excited to say that my guest is Michael Dosik. Mike is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon with a degree in mathematics and he began his career as a software engineer and he slowly eased into management over the next several years. He then received VA in 2001 from Santa Clara University. He's been at all size companies since then with increasing levels of responsibility, and until recently was one of my line leaders and mentors. So excited to have you here today, Mike. Thank you so much for joining me. We've been talking about this for a little while and I'm glad we were able to make it happen.
Michael Dosik:Glad to be here, Tracie.
Tracie:One of the things that prompted this conversation was some of the things that are going on in the tech industry right now having to do with the economy and such. Mike is a bit of an expert in this. He has been laid off six times in his career and he's also had to do some of that laying off, and so he's got a great perspective as we talk about those challenges today. So thank you.
Michael Dosik:Yeah, that's a rather ignoble accomplishment, but it is what it is.
Tracie:All right. So I understand that you got your career start as a software engineer and what was that like for you?
Michael Dosik:Well, it's a slightly different time, so I graduated at the end of the '80s in '89. The internet was there, but the worldwide web wasn't there yet. So I started my career at a company called Stratus Computer that made mini computers and I was in the operating systems team. We had email, NFTP, but that was about it for kind of communication. So the web hadn't started yet. So you're working much more independently, but a lot less collaboration across... I mean, you worked with your teams, but there weren't these sources of knowledge you can go to off and ask questions. So much different environment then. Then in the '90s as the internet started to come about, I actually took a couple jobs that were a little more relevant to that. I worked at one company was actually a cyber cafe that we developed a software for to run. Yeah, the internet was here, but it wasn't in your home yet. So you went to the cyber cafes where you can get high speed internet and play various different games and do various different things on the internet. Then at some point, I ended up at a company called LoudCloud, which was Marc Andreessen's company and Ben Horowitz's after they did Netscape and that was probably the first real cloud company. They called themselves LoudCloud. We didn't know what the cloud was at the time, but the idea was there where we could actually... You didn't host your own infrastructure. You kind of outsourced that to someone else and they took care of the infrastructure for you. We learned how to do a lot of things at scale because you didn't want to do one thing on one computer, then sort of the same thing on the next computer. We had thousands of computers running that we needed to be very consistent about how we approached them. I got to be in the market as a internet was birthed, or at least a worldwide web was and that was a very exciting time to be in the space.
Tracie:It was. I kind of got my start in tech right around Y2k. It was a very exciting time with Netscape browser and Google wasn't really a thing yet and there was a lot going on. Very rapid change happening.
Michael Dosik:AltaVista was the cool search engine at the time.
Tracie:Yes, yes it was. I forgot about AltaVista. At what point did you decide, "Hey, management sounds like it might be something I'm interested in"?
Michael Dosik:I enjoyed software engineering a lot. I really enjoyed solving problems. Actually, when I was at this cyber cafe, it was called Cyber Smith, I wrote a lot of code. I actually still have it. I printed it all out when I left and I still have it. You can't do that anymore. I realized I wanted to have more of an influence on a company, and so that was kind of where I started looking at management as kind of the next thing to go off and do. It's not for everybody. It's not always the best path, but it's when I started to go down and it was very interesting for me. The challenges are a lot different. You can't stare at a computer and keep trying things to fix an organization or to be a better manager. You can't debug people. They're very resilient to that. So it's a totally different problem set to be in and I really enjoyed it, right? That's what got me into the management flow of things, I would say having maybe a wider influence on an organization, but also a totally different challenge than just slinging code until it worked.
Tracie:Very interesting. As you say, you can't debug people and there are so many different personalities and so many different reasons for why people are in a particular role. So speaking of those who maybe are not as interested in moving into management, what are some things that they can do as an individual contributor to sort of still keep them excited and motivated and happy to come to work every day?
Michael Dosik:Be passionate about what you do. Obviously an environment has to be there for you to be passionate. It's hard to come to work and be excited in a toxic environment, and please, so you can avoid those. sometimes you can't and you kind of got to kind of bear with it for a bit, but be passionate about what you do. Be involved. Coding is in the end, it's still a human activity, right? No matter what ChatGTP says, coding is still a human activity and developing software is still a human activity and it's really important to keep that in mind. Even as an individual contributor, you're still interacting with lots of different people, from other engineers to the product folks, to people who may be doing the program management to the business lines. So to be involved there, be part of the business. You don't have to be a leader to do that, or I shouldn't say you don't have to be in management to do that. You can be a leader without being in management.
Tracie:How then when we sort of we don't really want to be in management, we realize that maybe our path is limited where we are currently, what are some things that you might recommend to folks who maybe aren't feeling as passionate as they used to and are sort of wondering where they go next?
Michael Dosik:The age old question is what's next for me. Used a couple words, I wouldn't call limited is a great way to phrase it. Again, it's kind of going back to what you like to do, what are you passionate about, and finding that passion in what you do. If your career feels dead-end, for some reason, it isn't because, oh, I should have chosen management instead of staying in my engineering role or vice versa. I really think it's about finding a passion in what you do, finding how it contributes to the goal, right? Hopefully what you want to do in life aligns a bit with what the company's trying to achieve and you get some passion out of that. But sometimes it's always right to take a break, right? If you're feeling stuck in the mud, take some time off and think about it for a little bit, think about what you want to do, think about what brings you joy. It doesn't have to be all from work, right? There's other things in life besides coming to work. Yes, it's a big part of your life and hopefully you find a job that fulfills you in that part of your life, but there's other ways to fulfill yourself as well and that's important not to lose sight of.
Tracie:One of the things that I appreciate about you is that you do have those other passions. We talk about music and we talk about good health and all of that kind of thing, which I know are things that are of interest of yours in addition to work.
Michael Dosik:Yeah. As a leader I think it's important to go off and show those things, right? The work life isn't your whole life, right? So when I would talk about things, usually in our team meetings, we had a weekly team meeting, it was a conscious effort to show a bit more outside of work and that people shouldn't feel that they come to work and that's all I see of those people, right? They're humans, they have things outside of work. So that's important for me to show that as a leader that that's okay. I wasn't going into all the drama of my life or whatever that might be, but I was happy to share I ran a race or I went to that kind of thing just to show a little bit more of my side, the humanness of me and so other people would feel comfortable doing that as well.
Tracie:Well, I certainly appreciated it and I know the team did as well. So as we think about building teams other than, okay, the purpose of the team is X, so I need people who are sort of versed in X, are there other things you're looking for when you're building teams?
Michael Dosik:Absolutely. I need a person to do X is usually teachable. So that's actually the easy part, to find the person that can do that. But find the person that's excited by what they do and brings that passion to the work, I use that a lot. They're collaborative. They've kind of got a growth mindset in the sense that they're constantly trying to learn new things as well and they're willing to make mistakes, right? So I look for people that have this it's more than just I can do this thing that we need you to go off and do, it's how are they going to fit in the team, how are they going to make the team better because they're an addition to it. The worst thing to do is bring on someone that impacts the team negatively, because now I've not only I made a bad choice about one person, I made a bad choice that impacts six or seven people. So I'm very, very concerned about the fit of the person, how they fit into the team. I think a lot of that fit comes from, hey, is this person willing to go off and get outside their comfort zone, they'll work on something that they're maybe not comfortable with and they're willing to go off. My big thing is they're willing to run into the fire, right? If there's a problem, they're not running in the opposite direction, they're going to jump in and help, even if they're not even experts or they don't even know what's going on. They're innately curious about the problem and they want to go help.
Tracie:What's been going on in last, I don't know, has been going on six months or so now in the tech industry? There's been a lot of volatility, a lot of companies doing layoffs. As someone who has sort of been on both sides of that, what are some things that we can do to maybe be a little more prepared in spite of some of the uncertainty going on right now?
Michael Dosik:Yeah, it's definitely a blood bath out there for sure in tech and it's probably going to get worse before it gets better. But the industry, it's a cyclical industry, which is a comfort in the sense that it probably will come back. There's no guarantee of anything, but that's been the pattern for the last 20 years or so is that we go through these periods of expansion and contraction that are pretty significant. So what can you do to prepare yourself for that? There's always on a tactical side kind of be up to date with your industry, keep yourself current. But I think a lot of it, maintain your network, right? Make sure people you work with, you've made a connection with them, that's important. You never know when you want to go off and reach out to someone, and they say, "Oh yeah, that person. Love working with that person. He or she was great." Having that impression on people certainly can't hurt and probably help a lot. But I also think the big thing is to be resilient, right? It's awful being laid off. We started off with I've been laid off six times. It has been terrible every single time. Maybe you get a little more used to it, but it's still a shot to your self-esteem. So I think there's a bit of learning how to be resilient and that's something you can actually teach yourself is that, "Hey, I've been to adversity. I've always come out the other side." Having that kind of experience in your past helps a lot. The first time I was laid off from actually it was LoudCloud back in 2000, I was devastated. I just started a family, just bought a house and I was like, "Oh my God." Fortunately my wife was still working, so we had some income, but it was half of what we had. It took me a while to kind of mentally get over that and just start hitting the streets, calling all my connections. I eventually landed a job at eBay, but I used a connection of mine from LoudCloud that knew the head of VP at eBay. There was no way I wasn't going to get that job unless he made that phone call. There was so many resumes out there at the time that I got mine to the top. It turned out he was a senior vice president of engineering at eBay and he probably told someone, "Go hire this guy," and that was probably it. That's kind of the power of connections and so it's important to maintain those.
Tracie:Interesting. LinkedIn was not a thing in 2001. So maintaining connections was a little different than it is now. We've got I think some great resources, but there's always just sort of that humanness, maintaining those connections at that relationship kind of level and not just, "Hey, you haven't heard from me in 10 years and I think we need to do a little better at keeping in contact with folks."
Michael Dosik:So yeah, LinkedIn's just a tool, right? One of my favorite quotes is that you can't buy a telescope and say you're doing astronomy. So LinkedIn's a tool to help you be connected with people, but it doesn't make you connected with people. So you have to hit that connection. You have to take that extra step, stay in contact, just checking with people, go have coffee, go have dinner, go have breakfast, right? Whatever you can do. It keeps you busy, it keeps you in mind thinking that you're moving forward. So it helps you mentally as well. But it also helps build those connections for people that you may leverage some time somewhere down the road.
Tracie:True. I think not just externally, but internally, we need to kind of know people within our company. You would not have gone to eBay if you kind of hadn't networked internally at LoudCloud, right?
Michael Dosik:That's absolutely right. So even though I was laid off, it wasn't because I was a bad person, I was bad at what I was doing. It was an unfortunate state of the economy. So I built up a lot of goodwill at LoudCloud that I was able to go leverage to go get my next job.
Tracie:We think something may be coming, but we're not sure. What conversations should we be having with our managers and leaders? It's something that I'm sort of keen on is making sure that I'm having regular conversations with my managers and leaders about where I'm hoping to go and the things that I'm hoping to do in the organization. Do you have any recommendations there?
Michael Dosik:Yeah, that's really important. For all you folks listening, Tracie was great at that. She would reach out to me every once in a while and say, "Hey Mike, I want to catch up on some stuff," and we would have a great conversation. So it's really important for the leaders and managers in your team to know what Tracie wants or what you want to go off and do, and not be the point where you're going to go put them in a corner saying, "If you don't give me this role, I'm going to be really upset." But Tracie was very good at saying, "Hey, I'm really interested in doing more of X. How can I help?" and being seen as someone who can assist a leader and helping them achieve their goals. I know Tracie came to me a couple times and we were able to move you around a bit and got you some more different set of responsibilities and you got to meet with me every Friday and listen to my OCD about how to write up a few incidents, but I think it was a great move for you. It certainly helped me and that was perfect, right? So you were able to say, "I want to do more of this." I said, "Good. I need someone to do more of that." That's where we went and it was very helpful for me and hopefully was very rewarding for you.
Tracie:Well, I can say it definitely has been. It got me excited about something and you talk about being passionate about what you do. Sometimes we're feeling a little, I've been doing this a long time and I'm kind of not feeling it right now. I think being able to express that and say I want to help and how can I help is super important.
Michael Dosik:Yeah, it's a good point, right? Sometimes you get in a rut just because you've been there for so long, not that you don't like it, not that it's bad, you've just been doing it for a while and you need to shake it up a little bit. Yeah, we had a great opportunity for you to help out with a bunch of different things and you've jumped right in, which was fantastic.
Tracie:So I had been at a company for about, it wasn't quite 19 years, it was a long-term job and I just really was not as enthused about it as I had been, and realizing that some sort of change needed to happen and change can be scary, especially the first change. You talk about your first experience moving on from LoudCloud and how that was quite scary for you. When we move out of our comfort zone, it can definitely be quite scary, but one of the things that I learned was, hey, you survived the first change, so you'll probably survive the next one.
Tracie:And it'll get a little easier.
Michael Dosik:I totally agree. If there's a silver lining to be laid off six times is I got to go do something new every single time, and I learned that I can go off and have that confidence to step into an environment that I have very low confidence yet and I haven't built any reputation, I haven't built any real experience, I haven't built any connections with folks and be successful, right? I think that's actually powerful, that arrow I have in my quiver that I can jump into an organization I know nothing about and make an impact. I've proved myself being able to do that several times now.
Tracie:Well, and one thing we've talked about is your last role. There were a couple of things in the role that when you got there weren't initially in your skillset probably, right? You'd done the infrastructure, but there was also sort of this telephony side of things. It was a little bit new. So I think as we look for jobs that we might be a fit for, I don't know that we always need to have all the dots on the Is and all the crosses on the Ts, right?
Michael Dosik:You don't. Again, when I hire people, I'm looking for more of the ability. I'm trying to use a sports metaphors, throw the football to where that person's going to be, right? So you want to be able to find people that can grow and expand their capabilities, or willing to go off and grow and expand their capabilities, get uncomfortable a bit and learn something, not be an expert in something and still try to be able to contribute to it. So yeah, that's actually very exciting. So to get back to your question, having that confidence in yourself that you can go off and maybe take something on that's adjacent to what you're doing or slightly different, that's really important.
Tracie:I think also realizing that not every job is going to be perfect and that's going to be okay.
Michael Dosik:Exactly. Look, when I started managing the telephony team, I was very upfront with the manager. I was like, "I have no idea what we're doing here." So being self-aware that you might not know something and being comfortable with the fact that you don't know something actually puts people at ease, right? I was able to set the expectation that, hey, I am going to be leaning on you folks for a little bit here until I can help you guys out more and learn some more. I think that put the manager at ease. I wasn't going to be coming out of the right field with these weird things. If I did, it was more out of just trying to learn. I was very conscious of when I would make a suggestion, especially when I'm saying, "I probably don't know what I'm talking about, but what about this?" Right? In the end, they're all systems anyways, whether it's a telephony system or data center infrastructure or corporate IT. In the end they're all systems and eventually you get good at understanding how systems work and the logic behind them. But I was very upfront with like, "I don't know what I'm talking about, but how about this?" That kind of puts people at ease. It gets my agenda across, then we can start having a conversation about it. Usually I was wrong, but I got to learn something.
Tracie:But you learned along the way, so.
Tracie:So there's been really dramatic changes in the world the last few years with the pandemic and with remote work and people not being in offices and that kind of thing. So as a manager and leader, what are some of the things that have been different about leadership since then for you? Are the concerns the same just in a different atmosphere?
Michael Dosik:When I first started this job, it was in the middle of the pandemic, so I had a bunch of people that I was meeting for the first time on Zoom, basically the panel. So that was an interesting challenge for sure. I knew to be an effective leader, I had to make connections with people. You can still do it over Zoom, it's just harder, right? You have to be a lot more proactive. You can't just be passive-aggressive. You can't rely on the hallway conversation. You have to be more deliberate and more intentional. But I was very intentional about meeting as many people as I could on one-on-ones on Zoom just to start making connection. I think that was very helpful. I tried again to kind of set the stage in my initial all-hands of kind of just saying who I am, how I try to manage, just to get people to get to know me. So be explicit about showing a bit of my humanity over Zoom because people aren't going to pick it up any other way, right? So I had to go off and talk about some of my interests and some of the stuff I do outside of work and who I was as a person. So that was important to do. So you have to be explicit, right? The signals aren't there that you normally pick up through 70,000 years of evolution, right? You have to be explicit about it and say oh, at least more explicit about it when you do it over Zoom or some other form of communication.
Tracie:Well, and don't think it was this way before the pandemic, but I joined the company about six months before the pandemic, so I can't be totally sure. But during the pandemic time, we started to have people all over the country, right? We have East Coast. We have Midwest. we've got Intermountain West. We've got the West Coast. So how you manage that as a leader when people are so dispersed now and you're not having those get togethers in the hallway and time is a challenge, right? Because 5:00 on the East Coast, but you've still got to half a day to go on the West Coast, right?
Michael Dosik:Yeah. Time zones are the biggest challenge for remote work for sure. If someone's in LA and California and someone's in San Francisco and California, they're going to make it work pretty well, most likely, right? You've got the same working hours. But as part of when they start expanding time zones, there's a couple different classes, the time zone differentials, I would say. If you're three or four time zones away, then it's about optimizing time zones you overlap in. So we had some folks on the East Coast and we made sure that kind of our team meetings happened during those overlapping hours. But our work could still be highly coupled. We start going 9, 10, 11, 12 hour time zones and the work has to start becoming decoupled and has to be a lot more independent. So if you've got a team offshore in India that's 12 hours away, that team's got to be able to work independently. So you need a whole different management structure there. You need a strong leader out there. You need work that's very self-contained, that doesn't require a lot of interaction across the different teams. So that gets harder. That kind of work gets less collaborative as the time zone stretch, but it to be different type of work and you'd have to recognize that.
Tracie:So another thing that I think has really kind of come up in the last few years is sort of the concept of Zoom fatigue and productivity. What are some learnings you have around both of those things?
Michael Dosik:I never suffered too much from Zoom fatigue as other people did. Maybe I'm just wired weird. I always look forward to talking to people at times. I think you've got to manage your fatigue, whatever cause to that fatigue and they give yourself some [inaudible]. Coders get into a flow and when they get out of that flow, they should just kind of step away, reset themselves and get back into the flow. Zoom is, I can see, especially if you're a developer or some sort of engineer where you're already on your computer a lot and also now you've got to be on Zoom, you've lost your flow of what you're doing and now you've got to do a complete break and be on Zoom and interact with people. I think that's really hard. You don't get the benefit of getting up and doing something else, like walking, at least walk to the meeting that you can do in person. You're just sitting right there still where you were before doing something completely different. I suspect that's where a lot of the Zoom fatigue comes from. If you're already on your computer a lot and all of a sudden you have to do Zoom, you're just piling onto an already exhausted mental state without something new, without something refreshing. My advice there is be conscious of what's going on, be cognizant of it and try to make some sort of breaks in the routine. The remote culture also gives you a lot more flexibility. Go for a walk, go for a jog, just get up, do something different. Be cognizant to take advantage of those activities as well.
Tracie:Something I know that I have done, and I think we've talked about this too, is that when I see white space in my calendar, I will block it out.
Michael Dosik:Yeah, before I take it. That's a good idea.
Tracie:Yeah. Maybe I'll go read a book or maybe I'll go play with a cat, or as you say, go for a walk or do something to kind of get the break in the day. I know that's something that's been helpful for me.
Michael Dosik:Yeah, there's a ton of scientific theory around how long you can work, how long you should work. I believe it's all very personalized, but I believe there's some fact there that it's good to go off and reset yourself, take a break. I'm very curious about this scientific theory that you should take naps in the afternoon. That sounds amazingly appealing. I hope we can find a way to put 20 minute naps at 2:00 because that should be on everyone's calendar.
Tracie:I'd definitely be interested in that as well. I don't think you can be in a career as long as I have and not love the idea that there might be naps during the day.
Tracie:There's a lot of conversation about productivity right now and remote work, and I haven't personally had this concern because I feel like our team has been super productive, but I know that a lot of companies are kind of struggling with are they working when they say they're working and are they being productive and all of that kind of thing. Or do you have concerns there?
Michael Dosik:I have some very strong opinions on that actually. Basically the bottom line, if you can't trust your employee to be productive remotely, you've got the wrong person. That person is just either not right, it's not a good fit, whether that was a remote worker or an in-person worker. If this person feels like they can only work if they're being watched, you've probably got the wrong person and that person's probably in the wrong job. So that's kind of the baseline. I think there's a tendency for CEOs and executives, obviously they're measured by how much output your company has, step back a little bit, they get caught up in the output and kind of forget about the outcomes, right? They're measured on the outcomes of the company and that's really what's important. I've always been enamored with the person that gets stuff done in six hours and take the rest of the day off, right? Those people are my heroes, right? I don't need someone to be putting in a 12 hour and punching the clock and saying, "Look at all the work I got done." I'd rather someone said, "I work six hours, look at all the work I got done. By the way, I spent the rest of the day with my family." Those are the people that impress me a lot. Unfortunately, those people make executives very nervous because they're looking at their bottom line, how much money does my company make per employee is a big metric, right? So I think they get nervous, but they need to focus... My advice to the CEOs, it's more to the CEOs and executives, be focused on the outcome. Don't worry about how they get there. It's more about the outcome than the output.
Tracie:It's easy to lose sight of outcomes when we've got a lot of tactical things in front of us.
Michael Dosik:Yeah. CEOs are notorious for wanting people in the office so they can see all the people, all their investments are busy working. Maybe it's an insecurity that comes with the job.
Tracie:Well, I've also noticed that, at least at the executive team level, that their personalities are just sort of wired for action.
Michael Dosik:Very good. Yeah, it's a good observation. A lot of them are extroverts, right? They want to have that buzz around them, that makes them feel good. It's interesting. I wonder if there's a correlation between the introvertness or the extrovertness of a CEO and his or her willingness to let remote work happen.
Tracie:That would be a really interesting study to do actually. So I'll have to keep that in my bag of I guess study questions.
Michael Dosik:There you go.
Tracie:Another thing that we have talked about, especially as it comes to health, and you have had some health challenges over the years. So I think that's another thing that I appreciate because you understand the health challenges in relation to career and how to balance and all of that kind of thing.
Michael Dosik:So for all of your listeners, Tracie, I'll do a little background. About six years ago on Thanksgiving day, I had a heart attack while running San Jose or Silicon Valley Turkey Trot. So it's a 10K race and I had a heart attack during the race. Obviously, I fully recovered. Very fortunate there happened to be a couple nurses that were jogging during the race and they did CPR on me until an AE device showed up and they kind of zapped me back. So a couple lessons there. If you're going to have a heart attack, hospital, great place. Sporting event, large one, also a reasonable place to have a heart attack because there's people there are trained to go off and take care of you, and a race, which is a kind of health thing, nurses are on abundance at a race. So it was a very fortunate to have that event then, even to the point where one of my nurses was a cardiac ER nurse just happened to be jogging by me named Zen. So if it doesn't get any more better than that, I don't know what does. Actually, we stayed friends. We get together every year still and hopefully all of us run the race, or at least some set of us run the race together every year. So it's been an amazing connection the four of us have had. That being said, it took me probably a year to kind of get over what happened to me. I think I probably cried every day as I would go for a walk in the morning. But what they did do, the race coordinators were fantastic, let me kick off the race the next year, which kind of brought a lot of closure. I got to say a few words and blow the horn and stuff like that. That was immensely gratifying for me. But to kind of tie that back to work, mentally for me, I didn't want to accept what happened. I actually went back to work about 10 days later. I was like, "All right, had a heart attack. Let's get things back to normal." Which is kind of your first reaction. I totally feel for this football player who had a heart attack on the field because I know he wants to get back to normal and it's going to take him some time to understand what his new normal's going to go off to be. But I think it's important to put things in perspective and so that's what really helped me a lot. It gives me a source of my resilience, that I've come back from a heart attack, I've been there and back again. That gives me a source of a fountain of resilience that I can always lean on. But it also gives me a perspective on folks that, hey, your health is the most important thing. You shouldn't be working yourself so hard and being so miserable with the job that it affects who you are physically and mentally. That was a long answer to your question, I think.
Tracie:No, it's a great answer, a great perspective because I think so many of the questions we're having during the pandemic and after, right now as we talk about productivity, as we talk about connections, that we can't be so on all the time that we forget we have to be taking care of ourselves and our families in the right way and just sort of keep the perspective of what's really the most important work to be doing in that.
Michael Dosik:You see this a lot, people get very hung up in the moment. What I've learned, I think the biggest lesson I've learned of the whole thing is that while I can take my work seriously, I don't have to take myself seriously. Tracie, you've seen me crack the worst jokes in the most stressful times. But that's one of my strategies of like, "Hey, you know what? It's not that big of a deal, right?" Yes. Yeah, maybe our website is down and we're losing millions of dollars, but you know what? No one's getting hurt. We'll figure it out. I would probably feel more sorry for the people that have to listen to my jokes during a crisis than anything else, but it's a way to express that, "Hey, this is a serious problem, but let's not take ourselves too seriously. Let's just kind of solve the problem, work the problem. That's all there is to it."
Tracie:So for our listeners, one of the things that we've had at work using our communication platform, we have a channel for dad jokes. So we share a lot of just really ridiculous jokes and it keeps the mood light and it keeps everybody focused on having fun and enjoying work and stuff. So I for one really appreciate the jokes and the sense of humor.
Michael Dosik:For sure. I think there's nothing harder for an engineer trying to solve a problem knowing he's got a bunch of off management at him. So I really want to relieve that pressure, right? Hey, you need to go solve this problem, you know you need to solve the problem. You don't need me hovering over you saying why isn't this fixed yet? I'd rather crack a joke and get you to laugh a little bit and settle in and just kind of, okay, Mike's got my back. I'm just going to go figure out this problem now.
Tracie:Well, thank you so much for your time today, Mike. I always appreciate visiting with you and thank you. So any parting shots before we sign off today?
Michael Dosik:Parting shots.
Tracie:That's been sort of a way for me to joke around a little bit, so.
Michael Dosik:I love it. I love it. Look, I think for all the listeners out there, I think if you're in tech, it's going to be a tough stressful time for a couple quarters as the industry right size itself a bit. I think there's a bit of, and I don't want to sound too conspiratory theory, but I think the power that had swung to the employees is going to swing back to the employers for a little bit. These massive layoffs are a way to kind of swing the power back. So we'll see how things play out. But no matter what happens, I always encourage people to be your best self. That's something I always told the team, my leadership was that no matter what happens at the company, no matter how stressful it gets, be your best self so you can always look yourself in the mirror and say, "I did the best I could under those circumstances." So that's my parting shot. Be your best self no matter what happens.
Tracie:It's a great note to end on.
Michael Dosik:Actually, I'll go a little further. One of the most impactful books I ever read was a book called Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl, who wrote the book while he was in concentration camps. He's got a quote, and I'm sure I'll butcher it, but basically he says they can take everything away from you except how you go react in that situation. They can put me in the worst thing, they can do these terrible things to me, but it's up to me how I want to go off and react in that situation. It's a great quote. I recommend finding how he really said. It's a beautiful set of words, but it's really up to you how you want to react in these situations. The situation's going to happen, that's out of control, but how you react to it, that's completely up to you. That's my parting shot.
Tracie:That's a great parting shot. I love the Viktor Frankl book. It's definitely worth a read, sort of a seminal work. For our listeners, your call to action this week is to give us a review on Spotify or on Apple Podcast, what you think of the podcast.nd I'd love to hear from you and you can reach me at email@example.com. We'd love to hear what you think of the podcast and the content that we're putting out there. So Mike, thank you so very much for being here today.
Michael Dosik:This was great.
Tracie:Always fun chatting with you and looking forward to staying in touch.
Michael Dosik:Thanks Tracie. Thanks everyone.
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