January 29, 2019 | 11 min read
Humans of MacKeeper: Ewo, Duty Team Lead
Position: Duty Team Lead
Random fact: Ewo prefers personal conversations over chats and emails. He also believes that cats are better than dogs.
Tell about your first day at MacKeeper. What was it like?
Although it was more than four years ago, I still remember it vividly.
It was mid-August, and there were seven newcomers who joined the company the same day as me. I remember the large office—a very bright and colorful one—with lots of enthusiastic young people running around. The atmosphere had a wow-effect on me.
Did you hesitate before accepting the offer?
Not really. Everything happened quite fast. I sent my CV on Tuesday, was invited for a job interview on Wednesday, and received an offer on Thursday. I accepted it without much thinking.
The only concern I had happened after I said "Yes." I hadn’t noticed it was going to be a shift schedule. Of course, I preferred a regular one. However, it did not stop me from accepting the offer. I liked the project, there was a great office and attractive social package, so I decided to give it a try.
Little did I know that I would only work six months on shifts. Half a year later, I was promoted to a Lead position, and this is the role I have stayed in up to now.
Your nickname is Ewo. What does it mean for you?
Ewo is the nickname I used for computer games. I've always loved short names and Ewo is that kind of nickname you can’t really make jokes about (unlike ambitious nicknames such as The_Winner or Handsome). I invented this nickname for gaming a long time ago, and now, years later, it is what everyone calls me at work.
Let's talk business. What team you are a part of? What role does your team play for MacKeeper?
Since my team works 24/7, we're the eyes and ears of the company.
Apart from doing what's been expected from us, we've gone an extra mile and developed a few services for internal usage.
We did it a for two reasons. First, because we wanted to grow professionally: both as individuals and as a team. Second, because we knew what services would make the lives of our colleagues better.
After launching a few services and getting the first round of feedback, we realized it was worth it. There is a demand for what we do, so whenever we get a chance, we work on additional services and tools that we know will improve internal processes within the company.
And what about your role in the team?
For my team, I am the person they look up to and follow.
In my management, I use approaches I learned at the Leadership School. I know how to lead my team, so every member knows they can count on me. I want them to know I will always be here to help. And this trust is mutual. Just like they know I'm always here for them, I know they will do whatever it takes to meet and even exceed my expectations.
Describe your typical day at work.
It depends on the time of year. In summer, I wake up earlier and come to the office at eight in the morning. In winter, I can't arrive earlier than ten.
I look through emails first thing in the morning. I need to understand what happened while I was asleep. Then I drink coffee and, by the time I arrive to the office, I already know what happened during the last night's shift and what I should do about it.
Then I plan my day based on the global goals we have as a team at this particular period of time. Plus, I work on routine tasks, standard workflows, and timeframes for all tasks. As a lead, I need to make sure everything runs timely and smoothly.
Sometimes I have to convince top management to allocate some of the budget for an out-of-the-box solution instead of developing a solution of our own (because I believe it will save the company time, money, and effort in the long run). In these situations, my job is to explain the pros and cons of both options and convince everyone to make the right decision. Once something is approved on a higher level, I share the news with my team and explain what we're going to do about it and why.
In most cases, it takes time for everyone to accept something new. It is a part of human nature to resist the unfamiliar until it proves to be an improvement.
So, my job is challenging but also interesting. That's why I love it.
What are your most and least favorite tasks?
I love communication. I love negotiations, talking to my team, and, through conversations, finding answers to the critical questions affecting our work.
My least favorite part is to work on technical tasks. Why?
Now I know that a good leader is well-versed in a topic, understands what should be done, and knows how to describe tasks properly. Also, a good leader is always ready to help—to help but not to do the job for their team. If I'm forced to spend hours trying to figure something out on my own, while my team is just waiting for me to fix something, this means I am a bad leader.
I shouldn't be afraid to delegate complicated work to my team. First, because that's how they grow. Second, because it takes me a few days to do something like that, and the truth is that I deliver more value spending this time on some higher-level issues no one but me can resolve.
Name three character traits that are necessary for your job.
Reasonable strictness. Leadership skills. Having a vision of the future.
If you could choose any superpower to help you with your job, what would it be?
Mind reading. There's a kind of person who is very smart but struggles to express themselves verbally. It feels like they have 20 things running in the back of their minds simultaneously, and they don't know which of the 20 they should focus on.
If I could read minds, working with such people would be much easier.
Plus, I would use this superpower the funny way. I'd be able to say "Oh, thank you!" before my colleague even says "Good job, Ewo!"
Describe your job in three words.
People. Knowledge. Atmosphere.
What motivates you to do your best at work?
When I feel too tired, nearly exhausted, I take a day off.
Of course, there are situations when I can't afford it. For instance, I know there is an important meeting planned for that day. I am invited, so people need me there. If I skip, I'm losing a chance to influence a final decision. So, if I get back to work after the decision is made and realize that for some reason it doesn't work for me, I need to either accept it or try to reverse it in some way. Both options are not so good. Also, sometimes one day off results in 3X work for my team and me or, even worse, pushes us in a completely wrong direction.
When I lack motivation, I remind myself that skipping work today can translate into much more work tomorrow. And I remind myself of all the people who depend on me.
What is your personal anti-stress recipe? How do you recharge after a busy week at work?
Firstly, I try to forget about work (this is the hardest part). Second, I spend quality time with my family, not talking or thinking about work. Third, I have fun with my friends (conversations about work are allowed) [laughing].
If you could swap places with any employee in a company for one week, who would this be? Why?
I'd choose Maklaud. First, because he is my boss. We communicate a lot, we have the same goals and a similar vision. Second, because I want to know what it's like to have such an insane timetable, when you’re running from one meeting to another, when everyone needs something from you, and you have no idea where to find time for everything. Third, it would be a challenge for me: more people depending on me, more communication, higher risks, and bigger goals.
Now imagine you've got a job offer of your dreams. It's too good to reject, so you're leaving. What piece of advice would you give the company and your team before you head out?
Go the extra mile. Move beyond. Remember the sky is the limit.