10L: Ross Stevenson

10L: A few simple questions about how leading professionals see their work.

About Ross:

I’m a fellow human, in my 9-5 life I’ve spent the past 14 years in the very exciting world of people development. Currently leading L&D for a tech company, and outside of that I provide commentary on navigating this crazy thing called life from my own slice of the digital world, also known as a blog.

What was your favourite learning experience (Could be work, personal, school…anything is valid)? What were you trying to do? Why did it work so well for you?

Most recently it was building my own gaming PC from the ground up. 

Lockdown boredom set in one day and I somehow decided on a project of acquiring a gaming PC. For what reason, nobody knows! Although I’m sure an afternoon down the black hole of YouTube had something to do with it. I’ve not had a PC in 15ish years but the challenge of building something that everyone kept telling me was difficult is what excited me.

I’m an engineer at heart, so I love breaking things down and understanding how things work together. This experience worked well for me because it once again proved that if you apply yourself and take the time to understand how to do something, the possibilities are endless. The problem in today’s world of instant gratification, is that very few have the discipline for this.

Enough already…What one thing do you wish people in your industry or profession would stop doing? (What gets your goat?)

It has to be (what I call) captain obvious statements with no solutions offered. My background is somewhat engineering so I’m very solution focused and hate the drudge of captain obvious statements that point out the problems we already know.

Too many people do this, kick the horse and offer nothing as in ‘what could we do to improve this’. Stop telling us things we already know, offer solutions and look to solve problems.

I realise I’m potentially starting a war with 80% of people on all social media channels by saying this but hey, it is what it is.

Same again please…What has changed for the better in your professional world as a result of COVID working practices? Should it be retained for the future (whenever that might be and whatever it might look like)? 

I think people just being more human. That’s the one thing I hope we can retain from all this chaos.

It’s not often you get a collective experience of potentially staring down the barrel of your own mortality all at the same time. This shared experience has created connections, unlocked conversations and really shown, we are all in this together.

More of this please…

From the good old days…What do you miss most about working life from the pre-COVID world? Do you think it will return? 

Honestly not much. I hate to sound like a harbinger of doom but it wasn’t all roses and sunshine before the pandemic hit. Although, I would like to be able to get a haircut more than once a year.

Theft is the sincerest form of flattery…Which part of which other industry or profession do you think we should learn from and adopt (or just steal)?

You should steal from everywhere and everyone that has something which creates value for being a better human. I’m not on the train of obsession/semi-love affair, like some in our industry are with marketing.

Marketing’s great but it’s only one piece of the bigger matrix type puzzle. There is much to learn from data junkies, techies, product people and so many more.

You know who would be great for this…Which famous person (live or historical) do you want to join your team and why?

This took me 0.2 seconds to answer – it has to be Marcus Aurelius. He was one of the great emperors of Rome and often cited as one of the greatest philosophers to have ever lived.
I’d love to be able to tap into his wisdom in this modern day and get his take on this world. 

If only I had…What did you learn from your most recent mistake?

Let the first impulse pass, wait for the second – emotions are a tricky business.

There can be only one…Which one tool or piece of kit would you keep if you could only use one from now on?

It’s got to be my phone, right? At this point they might as well merge it with my brain.

The picture of success…Which image or picture is a good representation of how you would like to develop your practice over the next five years?

Where can we find you?

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