A Different Kind of Adventure
I promised myself on Day 21 that on this trip, I wouldn’t have another day where I didn’t have at least one adventure. Today, I pretty much went from hotel to work, back to hotel, again. My day started early and ended not too long ago, so there’s no run or fun new cultural experience to write about. But, today I still had what I consider an adventure.
One of the core reasons for me being in Stuttgart for an extended period of time is to understand the ins and outs of Mercedes-Benz and how the company operates, from the perspective of being in the HQ where the majority of decision makers and stakeholders are. To be entirely honest and transparent, coming from a development hub, it’s a lot more than I originally expected, in many positive ways.
When observed from a distance (e.g. back in Sunnyvale), challenges have a very different nature and composition when up close and personal. Whether they be technical or organizational, strategic or unexpected, the challenges that arise, regardless of location, are still challenges that need to be addressed for any organization to ensure success.
Efficient information flow and alignment are necessary ingredients to ensure that decisions get made correctly to address those challenges. One of the key things I’ve discovered is the sheer complexity that inherently lies in navigating the intricacies of highly interdependent topics, especially topics like how to bring automated driving features into the hands of customers. It’s both an art and a skill to know what information is relevant and not relevant for success.
I’m a firm believer in face-to-face communication. I believe that having a conversation with someone in person for just 5 minutes is more effective than 60 minutes on a video call. For that reason, any time I have so far had a chance meet with team members in person here in Germany, I relish the opportunity to understand their perspectives and to force myself to see things from their shoes. Truthfully, it’s not always easy. There have been multiple times where I hastily jump to a conclusion without actually verifying that I have full understanding. I’ve had to backtrack multiple times, but it’s a valuable growth opportunity as my career progresses.
In this short amount of time, I’ve come to value how important it is to ensure and maintain alignment within a team, an organization, and a company, and manipulating the right levers that can lead to action, execution, and success. For me, it’s a new way of looking at things professionally.
While it’s not a Zeppelin tour on the Bodensee, it’s a great adventure that forces me to pause and reflect. As I prepare to move in a few days to a new Airbnb in Stuttgart, I’m excited to see what the remaining two-thirds of my trip has to offer.
Frieden und Liebe ❤️ (translation: peace and love)