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Why care?

30 November 2016

I’m on my way to accomplish the goal of reading 20 books during 2016. The book I just read is the number 14 on my reading challenge list and it’s #AskGaryVee by Gary Vaynerchuck’s . The book is extraordinary and inspired me while going through it. On a first read, it seems that Gary focuses a lot on marketing and media in general but the book has much more than that. In this book, he answers questions from his followers and dives into rich and diverse subjects.

One of the subjects Gary talks a lot about is how caring is so important in order to accomplish any goal in life. He mentions several times something like “caring like crazy”. Why? What does this mean?

There is another book from Joel Spolsky called Smart and Get things done that I read a couple of years ago. He talks about how important is that the people that you work with should be smart and get things done.

Smart and gets things done are very important qualities. But ultimately I don’t care if someone is smart. I’ve worked with my share of brilliant people who just don’t care and the end result is usually poor and not inspiring.

I learned that caring is such an important part of my life when I had to fire a developer in 2014 due to low performance. Although I gave this developer a lot of support to become better and tried to mentor him for months so he could improve, the end result was not positive. This developer was working remotely from Ukraine and after I fired him he decided to visit me all the way from Lviv, Ukraine to Copenhagen, Denmark by hitchhiking part of the way (Prague to Berlin). He wanted to meet me in person and thank me for trying hard and helping him get better even when we had tough deadlines to accomplish. The encounter was one the most humbling experiences I ever had.

In a first analysis, one may think that I spent useless time and money on a lost cause but because I cared and wanted to give it another chance, the rest of the team became stronger and praised the way I handled the situation. I was able to create inspiration and motivation from a negative situation without being fully aware of it, just because I cared. The productivity skyrocketed, the team continued increasing velocity and the happiness levels were the highest I experienced with that team of developers.

I was not doing this by script but seems I cared enough in this unfortunate situation and this resulted in higher team motivation and spirits.

Startups increase the chances of success if they hire employees that care about the idea and the team. Hiring professionals that care and have passion is key.

If you care in a deep way and you’re capable, I don’t care much how intelligent you are. In the end of the day, it is about passion and care to get ahead, to simplify things, to engage with the team, to add value at every sprint and to ship it.

So the take away from #AskGaryVee is care like crazy in every aspect of life. It’s sounds somewhat like a cliché but I think these simple ideas are easily forgotten. If you let cynicism and apathy win, problems start to appear. A cynical remark is all it takes to start the wrong culture of apathy.

Give me a passionate person over an apathetic genius any day of the week.

Peace. R.

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