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My blog’s one-year anniversary happened in Belgium. Here’s how.

I wrote my first post on this blog — it’s pretty terrible — on October 21, 2013. A year later to the day, I landed at Brussels Airport. There’s a tie between the two and a transparent story about the last year or so of my life, so allow me to tell it if you have a few minutes.  Read more

The future of work is becoming a ‘personal gatekeeper’

In a way, all work is structured around the idea of “gatekeepers.” Most high-level people at organizations have an admin/personal assistant; to get a meeting with said high-level person, you frequently need to go through the admin. The admin may well know that you’re not a person relevant enough to get a meeting, etc. You can make a strong argument that, within the hiring process, Human Resources primarily exists as a gatekeeper. You could make a similarly strong argument that, within the broader flow of an organization, middle managers primarily exist as gatekeepers — they can almost always say “No,” but frequently can they say “Yes.” The point is, to get anywhere at most businesses/organizations, you need to understand who the gatekeepers are and how to access them in the most effective way possible.

What if, though — what if you thought of yourself as your own gatekeeper?

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Everyone should try Gwyneth Paltrow’s chicken kapama

Gwyneth Paltrow is loathsome, but nobody does loathsome better. Blake Lively sucks, Alicia Silverstone looks exhausted, and no one is taking Shailene Woodley’s advice on toothpaste. None of them went to Spence, dated Brad Pitt, or won an Academy Award while wearing a pink princess gown, so why would you bother listening to them? You think you know girls and women like Gwyneth, but you don’t, not really anyway. No one else is quite on her level. She can do whatever she wants, she is never embarrassed, and she certainly never loses. So of course I want to know what she cooks for 4-6 people on a weeknight. Wouldn’t you?

That quote is from Gawker article about a Gwyneth Paltrow chicken recipe on Goop. The article is titled “This is the best chicken you will ever make,” and Saturday evening, I attempted to make it. It may well be the best chicken you’ll ever make. Read more

Why is honesty at work so hard?

Before we begin fully, two quick stories:

1. I went to a meeting on Friday for my current job; ’twas lunch with the CEO of the company. There were probably 11 of us there, a mix of newer employees (I was the newest) and some 10-12 year veterans of the company. It was overall pretty informative and illuminating, insofar as any structured lunch with a powerful person can be, but one interesting nugget that came up is when he talked about trying to align his direct reports (the SVP level of the company). They used a consultant, and one of the first exercises involved his direct team having to say one thing he does that doesn’t help the business at all (and/or hurts the business). As you’d predict, they were somewhat scared to do this. Read more

Mississippi State vs. Alabama is now ‘the game of the year’

Here’s what we know right now:

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Only 13.3% of the 30 global talent hubs are in the United States

My friend blasted me at this wedding last weekend and said I read every column inch of CityLab, which may or may not be 100 percent true (but is probably close to true). I was just reading it — GUILTY AS CHARGED, BABY!!! — and came across this post, which in turn has this chart:


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What if each day at work had a theme?

Basic idea is here in Fast Company, and here’s the grid that Jack Dorsey (famous for Twitter, currently of Square, and once written about on this blog) came up with for himself:

Monday: Focus on management and running the company
Tuesday: Focus on product
Wednesday: Focus on marketing and communications and growth
Thursday: Focus on developers and partnerships
Friday: Focus on the company and the culture and recruiting
Saturday: Take day off to hike
Sunday: Focus on reflections, feedback, strategy, and getting ready for the rest of the week

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