Weeknotes 20:10

June 2, 2020

Week of May 24 - 30

Virtual Retreat

My team gathered for our virtual retreat. We were suppose to make a silly hat and we wore them to begin the day.

The highlight of the week was the LGND Virtual Retreat on Friday. Our team had planned to get together in person this quarter but had to change plans because of the pandemic. I had really enjoyed last year’s retreat because it was the first time that I had met any of my teammates in person. It was a great time of connection as we all gathered at our DC HQ. Over half of our team is remote so it is important to have these times of personal connection.

I was not sure what to expect trying to do this virtually. To be honest, I have been at the point where Zoom calls feel more sapping than they do energizing. It is more of a challenge to connect this way because you lose so much of the communication that personal interaction can bring. And Zoom calls tend to feel a bit more formal. One of the best things about our retreat last year was the conversations that happened on breaks or away from the “planned” time.

Well, I was blown away.

It was a great time of connection with my team. I would not have thought that it was possible to come away from a time like this feeling as connected as I did on Friday. It was a “taste” of what I experienced last year when we met together in person.

I believe the key to the success of this time, at least for this introvert, was that we had several break-out times where we worked together as a team. We were grouped with three to four other teammates that we don’t necessarily work with as much. Throughout the day we worked together to:

  • create an illustration of one of our values
  • find items for a scavenger hunt around our homes (my team won!)
  • created a TikTok video and shared with the larger group

I really enjoyed the interaction with my team and had a lot of fun.

My team’s illustration of “Trust Wins,” one of LGND’s values. Illustration by Michelle Silva.

As a larger group, we shared the results of those group times, played a game of Mafia (brought me back to my days of living in Hungary), and then each of us took 2-4 minutes to share about our interests or something we are passionate about. One of our teammates went over to his bookshelf and pulled out books that had a big impact on his life. One teammate did a Tarot card reading. One shared his collection of older video equipment (that all works and he uses to create). Another teammate shared how she makes puzzles out of family pictures. And one teammate shared about his family’s craft beer that they will be brewing soon. It was a great time of getting to know more about those I work with each day.

I am so grateful for all of my teammates that planned out this day and facilitated this experience. It filled my cup in ways that I am totally amazed.

Busy Short Week

It was a short work week with the Memorial Day holiday on Monday and the retreat on Friday. My focus for the week was 3 different projects. One project, a report for the Airport Cooperative Research Program, was soft-launched on Friday for a team review by our client.  I had mentioned this project in my last weeknotes entry. I spent my time on content improvements and adding functionality that enhances the report.

Another project needed to be polished after we presented it to the client on Tuesday (and launched on June 1). And finally, I made a lot of progress on a redesign project for the Greater Washington Partnership that I started last October. We are hoping to launch the new site later this month. I worked on improving some of the functionality and creating some new content types that will make it easier for the GWP team to add and edit the content on the site once we hand over the keys.

Online Reading

Reading (Books)

  • Plugged In – I finished this book on Memorial Day. Though it was different than I expected, I really enjoyed this book and it was very thought-provoking.
  • Atomic Habits – I finished this one on Sunday (which is not in the scope of this weeknote but I will mention it anyway). As I finished the book, I realized that it did not give as much practical application in the sense of working through what specific habits to work on next. There had been a more practical exercise early in the book to examine current habits. So I think I thought there would be more exercises like this. That said, the book is really good and what I come away with is a framework and practical advice to then do the hard work of starting good habits and putting away less helpful ones.


  • The West Wing (Netflix) – I have really enjoyed getting back into this show. I finished season 1 and binged a bit over the weekend.

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