Sunday, October 26, 2014

Living without regrets

A life with no regrets doesn't need to mean one with no mistakes. Really it means you're always looking forward, not obsessed with the past.

Our culture pushes a fear of failure, deeply. With that, achieving failure often triggers a deep identification AS a failure. It's an easy trap to get ensnared by. Watch for it!

It robs joy, and drains focus for the NOW. This builds a negativity mindset, one where all compliments are distrusted, all opportunities are dreaded. In this world, the only efforts wth making are ones with guaranteed outcomes. Which are few and weak.

The ultimate regret:  failing to finish a dream. Seek to prevent that. Keep your eyes forward; find dreams and embrace them. Then steel yourself to fight, fumble and stagger your way forward. It's helps to focus forward, towards the top of the hill we're climbing. Efficiency often is inelegant. Crossing the finishline is ultimately what matters, whether perfectly coiffed or dripping sweat.

Updated: I found this graphic that sums this up well. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Leadership and the next step forward from Karmagate

I'm a little behind in my reading, so just got to this GeekWire piece: Internal Memo: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella sets new diversity plan after ‘humbling’ experience. I am very pleased to see Mr. Nadella grow as a leader after Karmagate. It's very easy, in this society, for a leader to hide behind PR until any particular kerfuffle blows over. And I was worried that's what would happen this time, too. I'm pleased to be wrong. His plans going forward match very well to my advice, which, I must say, also pleases me greatly.

It takes wisdom and humility to learn from criticism, and move FORWARD. This memo demonstrates something very unique, something very visionary. To risk, learn from failures and change, then adapt is critical to a vibrant culture. Microsoft might just be at the edge of something amazing. I'm eagerly watching.

Sunday, October 19, 2014


My son requested I download Minecraft at some point in history; I'm not sure when. The months (years perhaps) of watching him engage the game impressed me. This game engages creativity in a deep and significant way, in ways no shooter one can. With his current creation, he's taking into account architectural details like work and room flow (currently building a bakery). Then when I mentioned to him about how Boeing camouflaged their Seattle plant during World War II (built a fake neighborhood above), he announced that he was building his own Boeing factory.

It delights me to see his brain working like this. And the standard gaming side-benefits (most noticeably better hand-eye coordination and dexterity) are nice, I love the creativity. His right brain is getting brilliantly stimulated. For that, I'm grateful.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Economic Cost

We don't see that what we pay directly influences how well others live. By driving to pay less, always less, we drive down the quality of life for others; this lust for advantage. Now I understand that we expect that the lowered costs come from the horded wealth of the exploiters. Yet, really, that cost is born by the most vulnerable.

Where is the sweet spot: customer maximizes their lives, seller theirs? It's truly impossible to know without transparency. Which won't be fully realized without trust.

Finding this place of trust, where we can believe, fully, that each party is seeking "win-win", this is the great challenge for humanity. To move past seeking advantage, from exploitation to relationship and respect. To seek out a world where we all grow, all benefit and no one is crushed by inequality. This is my dream, at least.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

More thoughts on Karmagate

Just read "Karmagate: 3 former Microsoft women discuss Nadella and what should come next" and came away with one key idea. Mr. Nadella has an opportunity for boldness and vision. My respect for him would grow if he publicly acknowledged the painful ignorance of his "Karmagate" faux pas (which he somewhat has done) and aggressively seek to change the inequalities in the tech sector.

I have the deepest respect for those who not only acknowledge mistakes, but use them as leverage points to affect positive change. Nadella has an opportunity to go from good to great. I hope he takes it.

(*my first response is here)