Holzarbeiten als neues Hobby

Holzarbeiten haben mir schon immer Spass gemacht, aber in einer Stadtwohnung hat man nicht den Raum diesem Interesse wirklich nachzugehen. In einem Haus mit einigermaßen großem Grundstück drumherum sind dem Ganzen nur Grenzen durch das eigene Können und der Zeit gesetzt.

Während meiner Elternzeit habe ich mit dem Vater meiner Freundin einen Holzunterstand für unser Brennholz gebaut. Das hat so viel Spass gemacht, dass ich mich in den letzten Monaten verstärkt mit dem Thema auseinandergesetzt habe. Aktuell habe ich mehrere Projekte parallel laufen über die ich in den nächsten Wochen und Monaten berichten werden.

Ein erstes kleines Projekt ist vor zwei Wochen fertig geworden. Aus diesem Kantholz:

ist ein kleiner Kerzenhalter entstanden:

Ausgeschnitten habe ich das Herz mit Stichsäge und einer Laubsäge. Das Holz wurde mit einer einfachen Lötlampe geflammt und dann mit einer Drahtbürste gebürstet.

Ein kleines Projekt, aber es hat Spass gemacht und schaut ganz gut aus für den ersten Versuch finde ich!

Sony RX 100 Mark V

A couple of months I shared a bit of my journey searching for a good compact camera that could serve as a “always with me cam” because the Canon 5D Mark III is just too big for that purpose.

Eventually I bought the Sony RX 100 Mark V and hell that is one little awesome camera!

Here are some things that I love about it:

  • Amazing image quality
  • In about any mode you can shoot RAW
  • Amazing video quality including 4k
  • Crazy slomo video (check my test video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7YIvNzyfSc)
  • Really fits your jacket pocket
  • Good enough battery live and you can charge it with a USB power bank
  • Pretty good flash if you consider its size
  • You can flip the screen which is great for some perspectives

It is a very expensive camera, but for me it was worth every single Euro. If you consider to buy it, use this affiliate link to support me 🙂 http://amzn.to/2glbxIR

Wait for Canon G5X Mark II or get the Sony RX 100 V?

I wrote about the G7X recently and how I was not really impressed with the camera. As I still want to have a small but powerful camera for situations where I don’t want to carry around my 5d Mark III I ordered a Canon G5X and despite it having the same lens and the same sensor as the G7X I liked it a lot better.

When I’m testing cameras I’m not doing it very scientifically, so maybe I just got unlucky with the test pictures and videos with the G7X and got really lucky with the G5X. Overall I liked the sharpness of photos and video a lot better. It also had better image quality on the edges. One thing I liked better about the G7X was the more up to date software …

Eventually, a G5X Mark II would be the right compact camera for me. According to rumors on the internet, it is supposed to be released this spring. Problem is, those rumors have never been very accurate. So it could as well be autumn.

So what to do? Wait for the release of the G5X and hope that it fulfills my expectations or go and try out the Sony RX 100 Mark V which is already ridiculously expensive for a compact camera….

Talking about more expensive … another option would be the Sony Alpha 6500 with the 16-70mm F4 lens. From all I’ve been reading great camera for photography and video, but also not really small anymore (if you take G5X or even RX100 V as a reference….).

First world problems…

Canon G7X MK II – Ordered and Sent back within 24h

I needed a new toy and I decided that it was time again to try out a premium compact camera. I already have a Fujifilm X20, but it is a bit outdated. After a couple of weeks of comparing and thinking I decided for the Canon G7X Mark II, mainly because

  • it has a big 1-inch sensor
  • fast lens
  • good video
  • flip display
  • touch screen
  • it’s flexibility compared to my Canon 5D Mark III

A strong competitor was the Sony RX100 IV (for quite a bit more money), but when I looked at it at the store I really didn’t like how it felt it my hand compared to the G7X.

After my one-day test of the G7X, here is what I really liked about it:

  • it feels great in your hand
  • small enough to fit into your jacket
  • great handling and usability especially due to the touch screen display
  • quick focus

Today I copied all photos and video over to my computer and that’s where the disappointment started:

  • Lousy image quality (except for the colors, the colors are great)
  • a lot of distortion at 24mm
  • only the center is really sharp …. the rest is muddy. You don’t even have to go to 100% zoom in photoshop. You’ll see it right away
  • Video are mediocre as well.

Lots of people love the G7X, but it is just not my camera. Maybe I’m spoiled by shooting with full frame and L-class lenses, but I’m not willing to pay 560€ for the image and video quality that is coming out of the G7X.

For the moment I’m back at the point where I’m thinking that the 5D Mark III together with my 40mm F/2.8 pancake is the best compact cam I’ll ever get.

There are other compact cams that I’d like to try out at some point like e.g. the Fujifilm X70. It comes with a big APS-C sensor and a fixed 18mm F/2.8 lens. Should be way better image quality than on the G7X, but from all I’m hearing video (like with the X20) still sucks…

Situational Leadership

For a very long time, I deeply believed that treating everybody equally is the most unfair thing one could do. Instead, in order to treat everybody fair, you need to adjust your approach, you need to deal with situations differently. In everyday live, this can become a challenge especially if you lead a team that is diverse in culture, experience, expectations, and age.

Hence I was glad when I heard of the Situational Leadership approach. It gave me a framework for the believe that I have. Sometimes frameworks help to work in a structured way with difficult situations. There are various books about Situational Leadership. The one I read (though in German) is the following:

There are much more though, and also Youtube is a good source for shorter and longer clips about the topic.

In essence, Situational Leadership is differentiating between four development levels and four leadership styles.

Throughout D1 to D4 competence of employees in this group will grow. Their commitment or engagement, however, will fluctuate.

Someone new on a job might be very engaged, but not very competent yet. On the other end of the scale, a professional working in a field already for many years is highly committed and highly competent. In between, employees in D2 and D3 have a certain level of competence but either low (D2) or variable (D3) engagement. The reasons for this can be manifold, but it often comes from the realization that you know something and you have overcome the initial hurdles, but you also know that there is so much more that you are not familiar with. This may seem frightening and overwhelming.

The related four leadership styles differentiate from each other by the amount of direction and support an individual gets from their manager and in who is going to take a decision.

For an inexperienced D1, the S1 leadership style fits well. The person knows very little it needs to be directed a lot in order to learn. You will take all decisions. With growing competence of the employee, you will decrease the blunt direction and instead coach and support the employee so he can grow further by himself. You will talk through decisions with a D2, but you are the one that takes the decisions.

Finally, with S3 and S4 you are delegating the decision-making to the employee. Over time the employee will become more competent and confident and hence can make a decision; at first still consulting with you (S3) but ultimately completely independent from you (S4).

Some important additional points:

  • Assume everybody has potential and the willingness to use it.
  • Tell people that you are using situational leadership otherwise, people will be surprised by your change in behavior.
  • For the situational leadership model to be successful (and in my opinion any leadership model to be successful) it is key to agree on goals and to measure and rate them.
  • You can use more than one style on one person. Someone might be very experienced in one area, but very inexperienced in an area he just entered. Imagine a Senior Engineer with 15+ years of engineering experience who makes his first step into management. Those can be complex situations in day to day work live…

As usually, my goal with this article is not to dive into every detail of situational leadership, but just to give an overview and note down some key takeaways for my own purpose. There are plenty of resources on the internet as well as books that you consult for a lot more detail.

 

 

The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team

Recently I came across a book that I read a couple of years ago: The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni.

As it usually is, you are excited about a book and then as time passes by you forget again. So it is always good to go back and remind yourself.

The book is really about the 5 dysfunctions listed in the left triangle. All dysfunctions are somewhat related with each other, hence the representation as a pyramid. It starts with the absence of trust meaning teams are not open with each other. This results in fear of conflict during discussions. Honest opinions will be held back and instead, everyone will just voice opinions that seem acceptable by everyone. Fear of conflict leads to lack of commitment. If you haven’t voiced your opinion you will not buy into the decision. If you haven’t bought into a decision you will avoid any accountability which ultimately results to inattention to results.

On the other hand, truly cohesive teams, trust each other and hence engage in conflict around ideas. As all team members participated in the discussion they are able to commit to decisions and speak with one voice. As they agreed to a decision as a group they hold each other accountable for delivering on the decided plans. By holding each other accountable they focus on the achievement of collective results.

While this probably makes sense to most people who are reading this, reality is often much more complicated. Sometimes it is difficult to recognize the dysfunctions and it is even harder to fix them in order to build a functional team.

For those who want to learn more about the topic, I’m highly recommending buying the book or you watch this video:

New York Cheese Cake mit Blaubeeren

Hier mein erster New York Cheese Cake mit Blaubeeren. Geschmeckt hat er fantastisch, leider ist die Oberfl?che ein wenig eingerissen. Angeblich kann man das durch noch langsameres abk?hlen verhindern. Vielleicht klappt das beim n?chsten Mal…

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Das Rezept stammt aus dem Buch “I love Cheesecake”: