Leadership Podcast with John Maeda!

My colleague John and I recorded a little podcast together, and you can listen to it here. We talked about listen-first leadership, being judged on performance vs potential, and how I think of a senior engineer as “making the whole team better”. There’s also a transcript available for those of you (like me!) who hate […]

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Learning What Not To Do Doesn’t Teach You All That Much

quiet empty space

Early on in my career, I worked on something that shipped without tests. And I learned something important: That’s a bad idea. To frame it positively, I learned that any tests were better than no tests. And so I went away and read things, talked to people, and experimented. And over time I’ve learned a lot […]

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GHC: Leadership Workshop with Patty Azzarello

Bouldering

I was interested in this workshop, because I had read Azzarello’s book, Rise: How to Be Really Successful and Like Your Life. “Your job description is not a life sentence.” “You have more control than you think.” These quotes set the stage for a really helpful presentation about how we see our jobs, and how […]

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Achieving the Quasi-Possible, Just About On Time

ticking clock

This Thursday, it will be two months since I arrived in Sydney. I came to work on a specific project, and that project came with a pretty ambitious deadline. I don’t know if anyone, including the person who thought this deadline up, really believed we would make it. But we did, just about. We as a team, […]

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12 Angry Men

12 angry men

As part of the course I’m taking, we watched 12 Angry Men. I don’t watch many movies in general, and I’ve barely seen any black-and-white ones so it was weird. The whole movie was set in one room, and they showed the heat by having the men sweat copiously (like, wet faces, one guys shirt […]

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Trust and Team Dysfunction

Trust No Faces

I’m taking a leadership course at work at the moment, and this week we spent time discussing The Five Dysfunctions of a Team (Amazon). I’d recently read Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team (Amazon) so it was interesting to hear what other people thought of the concepts. There’s a pyramid of things – Inattention to Results, […]

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Strengthsfinder 2.0

Strengthfinder

I’m taking a leadership course at work just now, and one of the exercises was to take the StrengthsFinder (Amazon) test. At first I took the test and thought it was a bit rubbish. I didn’t really have strong preferences for a lot of things (much of which came from me being very ambivert) and so […]

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Leadership =/= Control

Trapped

Currently, I’m reading Tim Harford’s Adapt (Amazon). It’s a fascinating book, quite different from the Undercover Economist (Amazon) – which is also excellent. He writes about the importance of experimentation and feedback, and the insanity of centralized military planning – where an individual soldier can shoot to kill, but the General running the base can’t approve […]

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Should all women aspire to be entrepreneurs? In OSBR

from Mary Oliver's "The Summer Day"

My article is out in the OSBR, in the issue on women and leadership. I was trying to make a point about how we should take a broader view of what leadership is, and be supportive of quieter forms of leadership, as well as talking about why I personally don’t want to be an entrepreneur. […]

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Secret Lives of Superheros

Superhero's ..... (198/365)

The wonderful Serena invited me to join her for a panel at a women/tech conference in October. We’re still working out the details, but essentially we’ll be talking about role models – our own personal superheros. if you will. Some points that I’m thinking about: It’s great to see really successful women in tech, I adored […]

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