Lenny Rachitsky | Lenny’s Podcast – Ada Chen Rekhi (Notejoy, LinkedIn, SurveyMonkey)
Ada Chen Rekhi is an executive coach and co-founder of Notejoy. She helps founders scale themselves alongside their teams. She has over a decade of experience leading teams through periods of rapid transition, from the chaos of founding early-stage startups to leadership roles in growing SurveyMonkey and LinkedIn.
- It’s important to find a career that aligns with your values to avoid feeling trapped and unhappy later on.
- Use curiosity loops by asking unbiased questions to experts and those who know you well. This approach contextualizes advice and helps fight against bad guidance, leading to better decision-making.
- When seeking advice, ask specific questions and keep it light. Aim to get at least three or four responses from people who know you well. Always thank them and remember that people generally feel good about helping others.
Seek feedback from trusted individuals through a structured curiosity loop, similar to a personal board of directors, to improve decision-making. Look for hard feedback, including disagreements and surprises, to ensure the best outcome for yourself.
By doing a values exercise, individuals can uncover their personal and professional values, allowing them to make choices that align with their core beliefs rather than external influences.
Shapeshifting your identity
- Prioritizing self-awareness and using values as a lens for decision-making can lead to a simpler and more fulfilling life, despite external pressures to follow the “smart” or obvious path.
- In the beginning of your career, experiment with different roles and industries to find your fit. Keep an open mind and be willing to change your values. Simplify decision-making by maintaining clarity.
- To optimize career experiences and growth, seek opportunities to learn new skills and explore diverse career paths. Avoid staying in uncomfortable situations to prevent complacency and lack of growth.
Don’t look for external validation
- It’s crucial to be aware of your surroundings and have conversations with your leadership about your interests and goals. Even if your current job may not provide opportunities, building relationships or learning new skills can be valuable. Don’t forget to enjoy your work and life.
- To have a fulfilling career, it’s important to prioritize your own values over external validation. Take the time to evaluate what truly matters to you and use it as a guide for career decisions.
- Coaching can be a valuable tool, but it’s important to determine if it’s necessary for your specific goals. Seeking out a community with diverse perspectives can often provide more robust learning opportunities and lasting emotional support.
The importance of coaching
- Coaching can help individuals achieve long-term or sensitive goals with guidance and frameworks. It’s important to find a coach that suits your learning style and understands your personal goals, as different coaches specialize in different areas.
- Working with coaches on a shorter-term basis for niche skills can be helpful to achieve specific goals. Women in leadership in Silicon Valley should address potential biases triggered by physical appearances or other factors and work to fix them.
- To succeed as a woman in the tech industry, it’s important to understand and adapt to unwritten rules. By studying the industry, supporting each other, and calling out these rules, women can position themselves for success.
Communicate and resolve conflicts
Consistent and intentional practice is necessary to improve skills and advance in careers. Identifying weaknesses and pushing through discomfort is crucial. Persistence can lead to significant growth and networking opportunities.
Starting a business with a partner requires complementary skill sets, open communication, and the ability to engage in constructive conflict resolution. Focus on problem-solving and consider reading Persuasion by Robert Cialdini for valuable insight.
Identify one important task to do the night before and spend just five minutes on it the next day. This small step can lead to an hour of work and a sense of accomplishment, making it easier to tackle other tasks.
How curiosity loops can improve decision making
Curiosity loops are a structured approach to gathering advice and feedback on specific topics or decisions. To use curiosity loops, start by asking a specific, unbiased question that solicits rationale. Then curate who you ask, including subject-matter experts and those who know you well.
This approach can be used in heavyweight ways, like sending an email and making a document, or in a lightweight way by making it an ongoing theme of what you’re curious about as you interact with people. Curiosity loops are particularly useful because they contextualize advice and help fight against bad or unhelpful guidance, leading to better decision-making.
Importance of being intentional in career path and continuous growth
Being intentional about your career path and continuously optimizing your experiences is important. Instead of focusing solely on job titles or promotions, seek opportunities that will help you learn and gain new skills, even if it means stepping outside of your comfort zone.
Don’t be afraid to explore different career paths, as diverse experiences can make you a valuable asset to future employers. Additionally, it is important to be aware of and avoid getting stuck in a job or situation that makes you uncomfortable or unhappy, as this can lead to complacency and a lack of growth.
Aligning your career with your inner scorecard
When making career decisions, it’s important to be intentional about what truly matters to you and align your work with your values. It’s easy to fall into the trap of pursuing a job that looks good on a resume or satisfies the expectations of others but doesn’t bring personal fulfillment or align with your inner scorecard.
Taking the time to evaluate your values and using them as a guide for career decisions can lead to a more meaningful and satisfying career path. It’s important to avoid the ego monster or “outer scorecard” and focus on what truly matters to you.