A nice true story about making a difference - Revisiting Michael

Dear reader,

This post is not about technology or frameworks. It is rather focused on the most important thing we have: the people who surround us and how we influence them and how they influence us.

About ten years ago I worked as a Teamleader for a large software company in Germany.
We were hiring developers, but the interviews were quite frustrating. We did simply not find the person we were looking for. Because what we needed at this time was a Can-Do attitude. This was of vital importance, because we had deadlines approaching and were lacking the possibility to change them or release some pressure which was inflicted upon the team. So we needed someone who was positive, eager to learn and willing to go the extra mile.

Michael was someone whom I knew from University. He was unsure about his direction in life but at the same time I saw a lot of potential in him. So I asked him to come by and do a job interview with me. I wanted to hire him and so I did. He was unsure if he would be able to cope with the challenges which were waiting for him but much to my enjoyment, he agreed to work with us.

During the first project we did for a large logistics company in Germany (market leader), he approached me by saying that he would not be able to make it. I knew that the whole situation was challenging for him - even demanding. But I insisted on my view: I told him that I saw great potential and that for him, it was rather about self-confidence but about technical skillsets. He stayed with us. Project was a success. We met the deadline.

Today, a colleage of mine approached me and asked me if I knew this guy (he was talking about Michael). I said yes. The colleague, Frank, said that Michael would send me warm-hearted greetings. He is working with him at the same consulting company (Top 5 in Germany) and he is really good at his job. Considering that I pursued Michael to stay and overcome all obstacles, to become a great software developer (which he is by now), I feel very good. I really wanted to share this story with you because this is how we make a difference.

By encouraging and coaching a person, we can help this person to change her or his mindset from "I am afraid" to "I can do it". we can help to build up self-confidence.
So this person will eventually be able to pursue higher goals and become what he or she wants to be.

And how good is that? ;)

Best,
Tim

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