The power of self-demand

People in general, and knowledge workers in particular, grow according to the demands they place on themselves… If they demand little of themselves, they will remain stunted. If they demand a good deal of themselves, they will grow to giant stature.

— Peter Drucker, The Effective Executive

I’m spending the morning under a blanket, transcribing underlined passages from professional development books into a notebook I can carry with me in my laptop bag. As our daughter challenges herself to baking a new type of cake, and piping a new type of frosting, this quote from The Effective Executive resonated with me.

Originally published on Butterfly Mind, December 2016.

Tools I use for task and time management

This week’s SupportDriven writing challenge focuses on tools, and specifically on the tools we use for time and task management. When I moved into a leadership role this summer, my day-to-day work changed significantly, and in any given week I’m trying 2 or 3 different tools to find an effective combination that helps me get the right work done on the deadlines I’ve committed to.

This past month, I think I finally found it. Continue reading “Tools I use for task and time management”

Ecologist to… Happiness Engineer? The evolution of one career in support.

Growing up, I did well in math and science — areas I was told repeatedly I was special to do well in. I felt a sense of rarity, and thought, “If I’m good in these, when others struggle, then this is where I should direct my life.”

By the time I arrived in college, it did not occur to me to study anything other than science. Continue reading “Ecologist to… Happiness Engineer? The evolution of one career in support.”

Writing a flash talk under a tree

Each autumn, the company I work with, Automattic, holds our annual all-company Grand Meetup. We all converge this year in Whistler, British Columbia, where we will take and teach classes together; build internal tools; gather in town halls where we ask our CEO, support lead, and product leads anything we want; attend workshops on diversity and public speaking; and most exciting to me, give and listen to Automattician flash talks. Continue reading “Writing a flash talk under a tree”

SupConf: a conference organizer's dream come true

Photo credit Lance Conzett.

Several months ago, Scott Tran of the Support Driven community asked me some questions about an internal mini-conference I had organized for Automattic‘s annual meetup. He was thinking about organizing a conference for support professionals, and he’d never organized a conference before.

I was excited to share what I knew, as little as it was. I had never organized a public conference before, either. We laughed, swapped stories, and signed off of our call smiling and happy.

A couple of weeks later, Continue reading “SupConf: a conference organizer's dream come true”

Identity crisis averted. Thank you, mission statement.

Originally published on Butterfly Mind, April 2016.

In my 9th of 10 years of being a stay-at-home-mom, I was antsy to add meaning to my life beyond the role of Mom. I had recently begun blogging, and I was in constant search of my identity.

We often identify ourselves by what we do: scientist, lawyer, Mom. I am a mother, but that is not everything I am. Continue reading “Identity crisis averted. Thank you, mission statement.”