I thought it was funny that everyone wanted to adopt a dog during the pandemic. I adopted my first dog, Leela, nearly 12 years ago. Since I already had Leela, I felt lucky I wasn’t in the mad rush of people calling rescues, joining waitlists, hoping that they would find a dog within a few weeks, all to train it and spend some time with it before being called back to their offices full time. But then something happened — my dad’s dog passed away unexpectedly and suddenly several weeks ago.
It’s no secret that this is the most well-known Silicon Valley career path.
Jumping into the world of entrepreneurship is scary. To become a startup founder, you have to sacrifice. Those sacrifices might be small, like changes to your daily routine to accommodate time to work on your startup. Or they can be significant, like investing your entire savings into something that you hope will change the world. Those sacrifices come at a cost — your free time, your financial safety, your sleep — and you want those sacrifices to be worth it.
My whole adult life, I’ve wanted to be a startup founder — but five main doubts would stop me in my tracks every time. …
One of my personal goals is to be a great leader — and as I start on my own entrepreneurial journey, being a great leader is more important than ever. I’ve had the opportunity to hold several leadership positions at work and in my personal life. I excelled in some of those positions and was able to move the organization, purpose, or project forward. But in some cases, I failed. Like many things in life, I learned much more about becoming a leader, coaching leaders, and hiring leaders when I failed than when things went well.
Founders are nothing if not passionate. In fact, one of the main indicators of success that seed investors look for when considering investment in a startup is the obsession of the founder and how committed they are to their idea. However, sometimes that passion and push for speed to market can result in avoidable mistakes.
Based on the success of my last Medium piece on this topic, I wanted to share a few more pointers. …
“It is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.” ~ Brother David Steindl-Rast
When I was a little girl, so many things made me joyful:
That last one matters. I decided to become a marketer because of Disney. …
I think back to past performance conversations I’ve had with managers throughout my career. The same pattern preceded these discussions: I’d been in a role for a little more than a year, and I wanted to make sure I was on a path to the next thing.
I remember these conversations distinctly. My hands would sweat as I pretended to listen to all the things my manager wanted to cover with me. My heart would beat so hard I’d wonder if anyone else could hear it. I’d wait until the very end to inquire if my performance was on track to get me promoted at the next formal review. This is usually when my manager would stumble a bit and say, “I believe so, but let’s make sure you are set up to do a few specific things before then.” …
“Breathes there the man, with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land!”
- Sir Walter Scott, from ‘The Lay of the Last Minstrel,’ Canto VI
After a two week stint in the Scottish highlands, the profound nationalism resonating within Sir Walter Scott’s writing finally made sense to me. For those unfamiliar with his work, Sir Walter Scott (1771–1832) was a Scottish novelist, poet, biographer, and historian and is most renowned as the inventor of the historical novel. …
“It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” ~ Mark Twain
While the actual author of this quote may be in question, the meaning behind it rings true, especially when it comes to building your career. It’s a common approach to find out how to get to somewhere by following the insights, paths, and guidance of those who have done it before you. But does it work?
Knabbing the right talent is tough these days, and with the current and future talent shortage becoming more apparent, keeping the right talent on your team will be critical to your success. A lost employee may not be replaceable in the short term, and that can affect your ability to make a difference in your organization. A lot of managers and leadership teams falsely think that higher compensation is the reason that good employees quit, but that’s not true.
At the end of the day, what can you do to mitigate this risk?
“Kindness costs nothing.” — Irish Proverb.
Is your manager kind to you? Do you find them to be a considerate person? Do interactions with them leave you feeling better or worse? While this may seem so simple, it’s something that isn’t commonplace. Kindness is defined as “the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate”; however, that’s not the way most people would describe their experience at work. The managers and leaders I remember the most and the ones that I had the most difficulty leaving were managers that embodied this characteristic. If you can only do one thing for your team, do this. …