A reflection on business, family, and my quantified self. See also: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2015, 2014, 2013.
These days, I optimize for making the most of every day. Did I squeeze the juice out of every moment?
My kids are the perfect age, which makes life seem even more precious and fleeting.
As we walked up to Baby Beach in June, I saw a dad shouting to his family, “come check out the turtles!” He was standing waist deep in water about 30 feet offshore. I quickly helped Ava and Charlie get their snorkeling gear on, and we got to swim with them too.
Good thing my iPhone turned out to be waterproof!
In May, I rejoined Automattic as an engineer working on WordPress.com. It’s been an unexpectedly delightful experience, thanks in large part to the folks on the “Forge Bowling Group”.
Coaching Charlie’s soccer team this fall was a rewarding experience, as always. Part of the way through the season, I realized we could avoid a lot of goals if they didn’t have a turnover directly in front of their goal.
After that point, “to the outside!” was all the parents ever heard from me. But hey, it worked!
According to Goodreads, I’ve read 31 books so far this year (not quite my goal of 35).
My favorites seemed to be business books. The Making of a Manager: What to Do When Everyone Looks to You is chock full of practical tidbits, including this one:
Here are some ways to tell if your team is executing well:
- Lists of projects or tasks are prioritized from most to least important, with the higher-up items receiving more time and attention.
- There is an efficient process for decision-making that everyone understands and trusts.
- The team moves quickly, especially with reversible decisions. As Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos says, “Most decisions should probably be made with somewhere around 70% of the information you wish you had. If you wait for 90%, in most cases, you’re probably being slow.”
- After a decision is made, everyone commits (even those who disagree) and moves speedily to make it happen. Without new information, there is no second-guessing the decision, no pocket vetoing, and no foot dragging.
- When important new information surfaces, there is an expedient process to examine if and how current plans should change as a result.
- Every task has a who and a by when.
- Owners set and reliably deliver on commitments.
- The team is resilient and constantly seeking to learn. Every failure makes the team stronger because they don’t make the same mistake twice.
From High Output Management, my favorite idea is that everything relating to human performance boils down to either training or motivation. “Is this a training issue or a motivation issue?” is a hugely powerful lens.
Lastly, Turn the Ship Around!: A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders is an enjoyable read to understand what the transformation to a highly-effective organization can look like.
According to Strava, I ran 612 miles in 101 runs (average of 6.06 miles per run). Compared to years prior, I am spend a lot less time running. My typical exercise week these days: lift, swim, run, lift, soccer, swim, run.
According to TripIt, I traveled 24,770 miles in 53 days on 11 trips. The destinations included Scottsdale, Chicago, Minneapolis, Alaska, Hawaii, San Diego, Boston, and Denver. I guess TripIt includes driving destinations too? That list doesn’t add up to 11.