Uldis Karlovs-Karlovskis

Uldis Karlovs-Karlovskis – Senior Manager at Accenture

Uldis Karlovs-Karlovskis uses his psychological skills to help others find answers.

What’s your story?

I started as an engineer who was often questioning management behavior and decisions. Early in my career, I started looking for the causes of those decisions, human and organizational psychology. The learnings have been successfully implemented in large organizations. 20 years later I’m an expert and coach of Agile and DevOps practices in software engineering, and a recognized leader. I usually see beyond the data and what people try to explain. Usually, I’m the guy in the back of the room and speak up only when others are out of ideas or start taking a completely wrong turn.

What excites you most about your industry?

Software engineering as such is a neverending place of learning and creativity. A good engineer should never face the same problem twice. Being able to make an impact on such engineers to increase their productivity and speed to market for their deliveries makes the industry and DevOps the most interesting place to be.

What drives you in your career to push beyond what other people consider normal?

I just can’t stand people who make decisions when they don’t understand what they are doing. I can stay silent for a while, and give them the opportunity to learn from their mistakes, but enough is enough. Obviously, ignoring the problem and doing nothing is even worse. For sure, we need to prioritize the problems, but when everyone lowers their hands, my drive turns on.

What have been the most useful skills you have learnt and applied in your journey?

It’s not Java, Kubernetes, and not even DevOps. The emotional-intelligence-related skills and theory that I have picked up from Psychodrama courses and different group discussions are what keeps me on the journey every day.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?

I feel insecure answering this, but probably the best advice has been “You are unique and can do even more than you think. But do not expect that other people will see it the same way. You must convince them.”

Who inspires you?

There’s no one specific individual. I get inspired by people who want to contribute without expecting anything in return. Their prize is a positive impact on a group of people. But when they are nowhere to be found, working on the next big thing, then a few good compliments from my wife is all I need.

What have you learnt recently that blew you away?

The majority of people are simple and selfish. They don’t mean bad. It’s normal human behavior to care for yourself and take what we see as the only reality. I’ve been trying to shift that paradigm and show new perspectives on things at work and through my blogs on social media. The private comments from a few who are reading between lines but hesitating to speak publically can be very surprising. In other words, don’t think that no one is listening if it’s not publically visible.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?

I’d be less caring and careful. People are always my priority but a few decisions to keep peace later have become my mistakes. Even the obvious needs to be said out loud.

How do you unwind?

It depends on the aggressor or exhauster. It can be a shower in the morning, a 30min walk around the block, directing a theatre play, a conversation with a friend or colleague, a glass of whiskey on a Friday evening, organizing a group discussion, writing down one more idea in the backlog that never will be done, or just a blog on social media.

What is a major mindset change, belief shift or ‘ah ha’ moment that you’ve experienced in relation to your career?

I used to work in smart and caring organizations. Later, learning that some people go to work like a war or play weird games to feel better about themselves, made me rethink what I say, when I say it, and when I do it.

Everyone in business should read this book:

I can’t promise you an astonishing revelation but the book Accelerate well explains what organizations should do. It’s mainly for IT folk but I believe any industry can pick up a few good ideas from it. The hard part is that no one has a real recipe for how to get there.

Shameless plug for your business:

I see beyond cause and effect. Sure, there’s always still a cause and effect, but I typically see more than one option that could be done to improve things. DevOps is all about improvement and culture. That’s what I do best – improve human systems.

How can people connect with you?

Lately, LinkedIn has become my networking and communication platform. Feel free to connect and send me a message.

Social Media Links?

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/uldiskarlovskarlovskis/

This interview is part of the CallumConnects series.

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