Entries Tagged 'Life' ↓

The Distributed Self

Every person who meets me has an image of who I am.  And in every relationship, there are things I choose to open up and things I choose to keep closed.  You can call the controls I exert here “filters” or “lenses” but they are an explicit attempt by me to influence the person you see when you interact with me.  As these relationships transition into the digital realm, similar filtering is bound to take place.  I’ve written before about maintaining separate identities in different online circles, but that’s not the truth.

The truth is that your identity is distributed among those circles.  Your “self” is fragmented and strewn about your digital footprint.

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Mentors, congratulations, and humble pie

On Friday I was thrilled to find out that an old colleague of mine, Steve Todd, was honored as one of EMC’s Distinguished Engineers.  I worked with Steve when I was fresh out of college, building Navisphere out of twigs and rocks (well, it seems like it was that long ago).
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Tell me a little about yourself

I wish I had a picture to accompany this post — me, sitting on a chair, in front of a green screen, with high tech A/V equipment all around me, and bright lights shining in my eyes.  Me, nervous, blabbing off topic.  How did I get into that mess?
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Why do any of this?

When I started this blog, with my real name and occupational information prominently displayed, I received quite a few concerned comments from friends, family, and colleagues. In general their issues boiled down to this: why expose yourself to this? Why put yourself out there, increasing the risk of someone using the information you have out there against you in the future?

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More gameday advice: Get sacked!

In my continuing effort to add to the cluttered world of sports analogies in business conversations, today’s post covers a rather sensitive topic to this Tom Brady fan.  You want your quarterback to get sacked once in a while.
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The Object of the Game

Some time back, I talked about some lessons I’d learned from a couple different (fairly geeky) games.  There’s a valuable lesson I didn’t include there, and I think it deserves its own post.  In honor of the start of the American Football season, I’ll even add some sports analogies.

The lesson is simple: don’t ever forget the object of the game.  But there are a couple side lessons which follow from it.
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If I had a million dollars

Our high school guidance counselor used to ask us what you’d do if you had a million dollars and you didn’t have to work. And invariably what you’d say was supposed to be your career. So, if you wanted to fix old cars then you’re supposed to be an auto mechanic.

This line from Office Space cuts to the chase.  What would you do, if you didn’t have to do anything?  I’ve asked myself that question over the years many times, and in my youth I I sounded a bit like Peter when I answered it:

I would relax… I would sit on my ass all day… I would do nothing.

It’s ironic that it’s hard to answer the question until you’ve been around the block a few times.  Here you are at 30 or 40, finally knowing what you want to be when you grow up, and you’re 10-20 years into something different.
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We’re all in this together

There’s a lot of competition in the workplace.  Individuals compete for recognition and salary increases, teams compete for budget, products compete to stay alive, companies compete with each other.  It’s very easy to find yourself believing that seeing others fail is somehow good in that it protects you.
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Who do you work for?

Here’s a bit of a “professional checkup” question.  Do you know who you work for, and do you act like you work for them?

I don’t mean who you report to.  I certainly hope you know who that is (though in the world of matrix management, sometimes that answer can be tricky to arrive at).  I mean who you work for.  Who are the people without whom you would not have a job?

Another way to ask this question is “Who are your customers?” (and if you have zero customers, well, congratulations and condolences, I guess!).  It’s important to know who these people are, because regardless of how well your manager thinks you are performing, it’s ultimately your customers who decide your fate.
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Casual Friday: Changing the Rules

(It’s no secret to you that I am a geek, but today’s post is really going to push the boundaries.  I apologize in advance for losing my less-geeky readers.  Come back, I promise I’m not always like this.)

Today I’m going to share some life skills lessons I learned from James T. Kirk and Magic: The Gathering.  Yes, really.
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