White Men Are Not the Problem

White Men Are Not the Problem

Millennials tend to get a bad rap these days, blamed for many of the changes occurring in work as we know it. While this younger generation may be ushering in some much needed changes in how, where, and why we work, I’d argue that much of what we’re seeing in the changing workforce is actually due to the evolution of technology, which happens to coincide with the coming age of those born in the 80’s and 90’s. Similarly, I’ve been part of many conversations around diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and the most commonly bashed demographic is that of the white male. This has to stop if we want to make real progress.

When Life Happens

When Life Happens

Have you ever had big plans and felt like you finally knew where you were heading, just to have life laugh sadistically in your face? How do you handle these times when you get off track? What I see most often is anger and self-flagellation, and often a guilt-ridden path back to where we think we should be.

Luckily, there is a better way. In the last 14 months, I have been: not exercising consistently, working crazy hours, neglecting friendships, gaining weight, letting my blog and podcast collect cobwebs, and feeling overall stressed about the limited number of hours in the day. In the last 14 months, I have also: fallen in love, gotten engaged, bought a house, started a new role in my company that brings me immense fulfillment and great experience, traveled to new places to volunteer my time, and felt overwhelmed with gratitude that my life is turning out this way.

Kicking And Screaming

Kicking And Screaming

Originally published 3/9/2017

Sometimes, I think I may have a glitch in my brain.  Where some choose to stay in a situation that is unfulfilling but comfortable, I choose to strike out in a new direction.  Where company executives insist we must keep doing what we’ve been doing in order to continue being successful, I see their adamant defense of the status quo to be futile and a self-fulfilling way to make their fears of failure come true.  But just when I become convinced there is something wrong with me and the way I view the world, I connect with other people or read books and articles that prove I am not alone...

Living In This Guy's America

Living In This Guy's America

Originally published 2/25/2017

I recently had lunch with a dear friend of mine.  He is the most giving, generous person I know, and I was very curious to hear about how he’d been doing with all the recent events that have occurred during the early days of Trump’s presidency.  We had a long, thoughtful conversation about what is happening and where we’re going as a society, and I came away with a sense of hope for the future for the first time in months.

If you’ve ever met me, you’ll know that I never hesitate to express my opinion about a topic...

The Most Adaptable Creature On The Planet

The Most Adaptable Creature On The Planet

Originally published 2/25/2017

Humans are a most fascinating creature.  We have evolved, established ourselves firmly at the top of the food chain, and come to inhabit most of our largely hostile planet.  The human body and mind are incredibly adaptable; just look at one winner of The Biggest Loser if you don’t believe me.  And yet, while all of these feats are no doubt impressive, they have created the insidious illusion that we can conquer and control everything in our lives.

There is a phrase in Swedish that I always repeat...

Secrets To Successful Networking

Secrets To Successful Networking

Originally published 1/19/2017

In the era of Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In, I literally cannot count the number of times I have been told that in order to overcome the old boy’s club, I need to “stop being afraid and get out there and network.”  For most people I know who despise networking events, it’s less about fear of making connections, and more about failing to see the value of schmoozing with strangers, or a desire to not come off as a smarmy used car salesman just trying to sell an idea or profit from a connection.  While I’ve seen my fair share of people who attend networking events...

I'm Allowed To Feel This

I'm Allowed To Feel This

Originally published 1/10/2017

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where a friend or loved one is telling you about this awful experience they’ve had, whether it’s the loss of a loved one, a big failure at work, or a breakup they’ve just gone through?  It can feel rather awkward as you think to yourself, “Shit, what am I supposed to say or do in this situation??”  Everything you think of feels grossly inadequate, so inevitably you resort to some sort of platitude like, “Well, it’s always darkest before the dawn,” or, “Everything happens for a reason…”  Or on the opposite end of the spectrum, you immediately leap into “fix it” mode...

Fail Fast, Don't Fail Fast

Fail Fast, Don't Fail Fast

Originally published 1/10/2017

Over the last couple of years, the mantra of “Fail Fast” has risen to the top of the buzzword list, and is now quickly losing favor.  It’s not just that the phrase has become commoditized and therefore lost some of the punch it used to pack, but many people, in my opinion, lose the whole point.  Too much emphasis is put on the fail part, and not enough on the fast part.  I’ve heard people criticize the “fail fast” methodology because it “encourages people to look for failure or try to fail.”  When I hear this, I wonder if the person saying this has any idea how ridiculous they sound...

The Art Of Being Alone

The Art Of Being Alone

Originally published 12/27/2016

Growing up, I was what you would classify as classic extrovert.  When people told me they enjoyed being alone, I would joke that the time it took me to drive to and from school was enough alone time for me.  I thrived on being around people and felt energized by their presence, especially in large groups.

As an adult, in contrast, I have shifted drastically on the introvert/extrovert spectrum.  I tell most people I’m an ambivert...

What Did You Expect?

What Did You Expect?

Originally published 10/12/2016

We often hear the adage, “Expectation breeds disappointment,” or some variation on this.  I believe there is a critical part of this statement that is, ironically, missing.  It is “unstated.”  The truer phrase is, “Unstated expectation breeds disappointment.”  Through experience, I have found that the best approach is not letting go of all expectation, which I think is almost impossible, but rather to get your expectations out in the open.

When you start out, you may not think you have any expectations...

An Open Letter To The Genius

An Open Letter To The Genius

Originally published 9/19/2016

Dear Genius,

We are not alike, you and I. We are different in a most fundamental regard.  You view the world as something to be observed and understood.  I, on the other hand, view the world as something to be earned.

I’ve never been accused of being a natural at something.  I have never known the feeling of finding something effortless at first attempt...

Comfort Through Discomfort

Comfort Through Discomfort

Originally published 8/9/2016

Earlier this year, I traveled to Sri Lanka on a volunteer trip.  Admittedly, I chose Sri Lanka more or less on a whim based on a friend’s recommendation.  I didn’t know much about the culture or geography before going, but I was looking forward to getting away from my daily routine and pushing myself out of my comfort zone.

That’s right, I was excited about going outside my comfort zone.  It may be hard to believe, because by very definition, we are uncomfortable outside of our comfort zones...

Choosing Your Path

Choosing Your Path

At work, I’ve been leading a Lean-In Circle for a group of our interns this summer.  Given the short timeline for our group, I let this wonderful group of ambitious women decide where their time is best spent.  One of the sessions we went through recently was Choosing the Right Path for You.  Everyone was eager to ensure they are headed in the right direction and especially in today’s plethora of choices, to make sure they don’t end up with FOMO.  Most of our sessions are a dialogue, but I like to kick things off with a few of the lessons I’ve learned or best practices.  Here are some of my favorites.  Leave me a comment to let me know if any of these resonate with you...

Achieving Your Potential - At What Cost?

Achieving Your Potential - At What Cost?

Originally published 7/24/2016

Often in life, we find ourselves at a crossroads.  I picture it much like the choice Maurice faced in Beauty and the Beast.  I always wondered why he would choose the clearly more treacherous path over the safe one.  Now, his choice makes sense.  Having just faced a crossroads like this myself, I can say without a doubt I walked away from the safe path and willingly in the direction of the unknown.

I recently made the decision to end my engagement to the person who at this stage seems very likely to be the love of my life...

Running Through Life

Running Through Life

Originally published 3/15/2016

I arrived in Sydney 2 days ago for a month long work rotation.  I wanted to give myself a couple of days to get settled and hopefully kick the jet lag.  On Day 1, I was productive, doing things like exploring my neighborhood, signing up for a membership at a nearby climbing gym, checking out the office, and picking up groceries.  I walked around a good amount but I didn’t exercise, knowing that after extended travel, the best thing I can do for my body is rest.  After a long sleep, I decided to go for an exploratory run in the area.  I checked out Mapmyrun and a few other sites to see if there were any good runs nearby...

Dangerous Demotivators

Dangerous Demotivators

Originally published 3/5/2016

As I mentioned in a recent post, I’ve come to articulate my life’s mission as eliminating barriers people face to reaching their potential.  Before this revelation, I knew I was passionate about inspiring people to check-in to their lives and strive to reach their potential, but I also had seemingly unrelated passions such as fighting for equal rights and eliminating bias in the workplace.  I realized that all of these passions fall under the overarching umbrella of obstacles people face in their personal and professional lives to becoming the best they can be.  After having this realization, I sat down to think about all the barriers that might keep someone from chasing their wildest dreams...

In Review: Superforecasting

In Review: Superforecasting

Originally published 3/5/2016

I probably shouldn’t admit it, but up until the last year, I didn’t see a lot of value in forecasting. I thought my only real exposure to the field of forecasting was the weather, the only job, I used to say, you could be wrong every day and still have a job.  Fortunately, I’ve since learned this couldn’t be farther from the truth.

When I first started my current role in June of 2015, my manager recommended Nate Silver’s book The Signal and the Noise...

In Review: The Inclusion Dividend

In Review: The Inclusion Dividend

Originally published 3/5/2016

If you’ve ever met me, you know I’m a voracious reader, and I’m constantly making references to books and articles I’ve read.  In an effort to give credit where it’s due, I usually reference the author and title of wherever I’ve retrieved this data from.  I realized that I also give this information because my hope is that others will find the tidbit of information interesting enough to pick up the book themselves.  However, we all have competing priorities, and if reading isn’t necessarily a passion of yours, it can be hard to make time to read book after book...

My Biggest Fear

My Biggest Fear

Originally published 2/25/2016

I. Hate. Snakes.  Like a lot.  I don’t care that they are often more afraid of me than I am of them (doubtful).  I just don’t like anything about them, from their scales to their beady eyes to the creepy way they slither along.  But this isn’t the fear that keeps me up at night.

My biggest fear in life is dying without making a meaningful contribution to the improvement of this world we live in.  I saw a quote years ago that had a profound impact on me (and I’m just now learning apparently it is only a Stella Artois ad):  I would rather die of thirst than drink from the cup of mediocrity.  I’ve taken this message to heart and used it as a guide...