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Showing posts from December, 2010

2010: My Year in Review

2010 was an eventful and transitional year for me, with highs and lows, and moments of happiness and sadness.

January
I started the year determined to branch out professionally from managing technical projects in the web/tech space. In an effort to make new contacts and connect with unusual suspects, I finally embraced social media, and created accounts on LinkedIn and Twitter. Gradually, I met many new, interesting people, and really became energized about work and professional networking.

April
In April, my mother passed after a long illness. I felt the full gamut of emotions: grief that my mother had passed, relief that she was no longer in pain, sorrow that my daughter's time with her grandmother was so short, and resolve, to go out and embrace life.


In October, on the date of her birthday, I posted some of my memories of my mother.

May
Toward the end of Spring, I joined the Reserve Hose Fire Company. I'd been looking for a way to give back to my community, and volunteering as…

Drive by Daniel Pink (Book Review)

In Drive, Daniel Pink challenges the old guard notions of motivation that remain entrenched in business today and still hold that people are driven primarily by external carrot and stick motivators.

Examining and citing old and new research, the author contends that carrot and stick motivators actually only work in certain circumstances (with rule-based routine tasks) and people are instead strongly motivated today by some combination of the following factors:
Autonomy - the desire to direct their livesMastery - the urge to get better and better at something that mattersPurpose - the yearning to do something as part of something larger than ourselves
The implications of a reassembled paradigm of motivation are huge and far-reaching. In a normative workplace, everything from prescribed work schedules, fixed work processes, and performance bonuses could and should be recast if you approach motivation differently.

One other note. It's worth noting that Daniel Pink writes very well. Th…

Unbowed by Wangari Maathai (Book Review)

There is an early sequence in Unbowed when Wangari Maathai describes a fig tree and nearby stream where she would constantly go to fetch water. Even as a girl, Maathai relates how fascinated she was by the crystal-clear stream and all the life in the water and around it, in the shrubs, reeds, ferns, and surrounding fig tree. Later she would realize how everything was connected -- how the "fig tree held the soil together, reducing erosion and landslides," and how forests, fresh water, wildlife, everything contributed to a functional, sustainable biodiversity.

Fundamentally, Unbowed, is the story of Maathai's devotion to the natural balance and sustainability she felt at a young age. The text details her education in Kenya and abroad and key role in establishing the Green Belt Movement, an environmental and communal grassroots organization based in Kenya with a primary focus on planting trees and combating deforestation.

The book details Maathai's many struggles and ob…

First Storm of the Season

Our snow-covered backyard, courtesy of an intense band of lake effect snow: