I wrote the following on my birthday, the day before we left for the UK for a month. Alas, our home router died that day too, so I didn’t actually publish it. I’m going to date-adjust the post back in time to when I actually wrote it instead of when I finally got back to the states and therefore around to publishing it.

Today, I turn 39. It’s feeling kinda old. But people have been great about celebrating it with/for me. People were very nice at work today both about my birthday and wishing me well for my next month in the UK where I’m kicking off a new project with my Brighton-based development team.

I also just unearthed a sheet that I thought was lost, so figured I should capture the thoughts digitally so it would be OK if the sheet was lost (again.)

With some other directors/middle management at the Lab, I was recently put through some “management training.” Before it started, I was dreading it. I’ve been through a few such things which seem to be filled with a few nuggets of usefulness that need to be extracted from hour upon hour of tedious lecture. Fortunately, this one was really different. It was mainly communication training run by a dynamic and engaging instructor that was clearly tailored to help us as a particular group. It definitely got me fired up to think about my management and leadership, and I’ve been reading some useful management-related book recently too. I recommend both of the ones linked in here.

At the end of the training (5 days spread over a couple months of which I was only able to make 3 due to travel), we put our names on the top of a sheet of paper and put ’em in a pile in the middle. We then took others sheets and basically wrote epitaphs for the person whose name was at the top. At the end, we collected “our” sheets of paper to see how others though of us when they were thinking well of us. Here’s my collection:

  • “Rock-like.” Also, funny as hell.
  • Patience in all things
  • Sharp wit and intense focus
  • Your crystal clarity
  • I love your frank attitude, regardless of the topic, yet you always come off intelligently.
  • Your real thougtfulness, sincere smile, and sharp consideration
  • Your insights and availability are inspiring. You are invariably reasonable and perceptive
  • Your clear language and genuine curiosity are a true gift. Don’t ever stop using them, please.
  • You are the best definition of “solid” possible. I was so glad I got to work/talk/hang with you.
  • Always positive, pragmatic, and willing to help!
  • Your intelligence and easy-going attitude make me extremely happy to have you around to bounce questions/ideas off of
  • You’re extremely intelligent and sharp-minded, but you lack any hint of arrogance. It’s great working with someone so competent and humble