Address the Cause, Not the Symptoms: Jimmy’s PLB Journey

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At Next Jump, every new hire goes through PLB – or “Personal Leadership Bootcamp.” PLB is a safe environment for new employees to identify their “backhand” – the thing that holds us back from reaching our full potential – and develop practice grounds to tackle it. Jimmy shared his experience during our global staff meeting (reproduced below).

One of the difficulties I had early on in this 5-month long PLB journey, is that I focused too much on addressing symptoms rather than diving deeply into the root cause. At every checkpoint, I literally tried to action every piece of feedback I previously received: from exposing myself to failure, organizing my priorities, to being more emotional… Having trouble confronting the root cause also made me take much longer recognizing my backhand, which is a fear of being unreliable to others.


My perspectives changed during the fifth checkpoint. I was captaining the holiday brunch party, working on projects, and preparing for the checkpoint at the same time. I tried to take on every challenge myself, from designing database tables, collecting invites, to contacting vendors! I spread myself so thin in the process, I didn’t even have time to reflect before preparing my presentation. Knowing how much Yutong had on her plate, I didn’t want to make her feel like I couldn’t handle the situation by myself. I decided not to ask her for feedback on my presentation, even though she is a much better presenter and would give me great insight on details I missed. The end result was exactly what I feared: putting my TP through another round of PLB.


My fear of being unreliable turned into a self-fulling prophecy. It’s wasn’t just holding me back but also the people I work with. I made the wrong decision while having no perspective on the future. Fear narrowed my foci, on my image, and my competence, and blinded me from seeing the bigger picture. I pushed away from accepting help when I clearly needed to.


From then on, I tried to improve my transparency of communication and co-operation whenever I worked with others. I also made changes in how I captained the holiday brunch with Yutong. Instead of doing everything by myself, I learned to delegate tasks with priorities and gave deadlines to my team. Instead of being anxious about how to prepare the event, I chose to trust teammates with their responsibilities more, and follow up when more attention is needed. And instead of fearing for the unpredictable, we tried our best to create a pleasant event that could bring joy of families and friends to everyone involved.


Looking back, the past five months are not just series of endless potholes, but necessary steps for me to grow as a teammate and a person. These failures and frustration were what’s needed to make me turn around and see what I have been missing the whole time. The care and patience I received from my TP, my coaches and many people in the office are what motived me to improve.


All of these also reminded me of the time when Albert read out an honest piece of feedback to me in my follow-up interview. Even though it stung a little at the time, the idea of feedback and self-improvement got me thinking: When was the last time I got feedback from someone I just met? I honestly did not know. But I noticed how rare opportunities are to learn about myself and try to become a better person.



Looking back, I’m glad I took up the offer.



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