“If you’re a real creative director, you need to be making creative things. It can’t all just be about making ads,” Donald Robertson, SVP of Global Creative Development at Estee Lauder, told Fast Company this month in his spotlight as one of the magazine’s 100 Most Creative People in Business. Robertson, who shares illustrations with Instagram followers at @drawbertson, gets up at 4am to paint for four hours every day before he heads into work. Read more
The Wall Street Journal ran an article last year about how to run your family like a business. Once you get past the potentially off-putting juxtaposition of business and family, it includes some great ideas — things like weekly meetings and a family mission statement. This translation from a business organization to a family makes sense; businesses have worked for more than a century to run efficiently, build community, and solve complex problems — things we need to do in our families and in our lives. Read more
Happy March! With 7 days to go until daylight savings and 20 days between now and the spring solstice (not that I’m counting or anything), spring is in the air.
I find that the beginning of the month is always a good time to check in with myself — to take a few minutes to think about how things are going in my life right now. Not where things were, or where they’re headed, but where they are at this precise moment. Are things generally in sync, or is something out of balance (my answer this month: a bit out of balance)? What does my mind say, what does my heart say, and are these in conflict at all? And where, if at all, might I want to set an intention to shift something in the month ahead? Read more
My five-year-old son is full of questions, as five-year-olds tend to be. “How do you make the metal that creates the car door? How hot does it need to be to bend? Where does it come from? How do you stitch denim? What is porcelain made of? What are the ingredients in trees? Why doesn’t milk have gluten in it if cows eat wheat?” This kid is a MAKER, in a serious way, and fielding his questions has made me take a good hard look in the mirror. Read more
I met a woman last week who successfully returned to a high-power job after 10 years out of the workplace. “The second I saw my twins, I knew I couldn’t go back to work,” she said. “Without a doubt, I wanted to devote my energy to those teeny tiny humans. I made the decision so quickly that I even surprised myself.” Ten years later, her kids are comfortably in elementary school, and she’s back in the office, charging ahead in her second (and likely not last) career push. Read more
A few years ago, when our kids were just shy of one and three, my husband looked at me with exhausted eyes and said “if we get through these years without losing our jobs, getting divorced, or our kids resenting us, I’ll consider this time a success.” Hyperbole, yes. But that day, it felt like the absolute truth. He had spent the previous half hour scraping carrot puree off the kitchen floor and walls while I had physically barricaded our son’s door so he would stay in his room and go to sleep. Read more
A friend of mine who writes a great blog about leadership, management, people and other awesome things published a post this morning called “The Joy in Leading.” She profiles her sister, one of the co-founders of Joyride (a well-known cycling studio on the East Coast), who shares her wisdom about lots of things — the role of exercise in our lives, finding your passion, doing meaningful work, and leading people. I loved the interview so much that I asked Chantal if I could re-post it here. Enjoy…and if nothing else, take the Joyride slogan to heart today: “Life’s a Trip. Enjoy the Ride.” Read more
I have a love-hate relationship with the leaning in/opting in/”having it all” media barrage. I love the discussion for the hope it offers and the fascinating stories it uncovers, and I hate it for its privileged tone and generalization of an issue that is highly individual. The latest headliner on the topic was published in The New York Times Magazine Sunday: “The Opt-Out Generation Wants Back In.” Like many of the other articles on the topic, it profiles some interesting people and discusses their lives and their choices without talking about the biggest elephant in the room: TIME. Read more
What do I want to be when I grow up? This is an age-old question many of us re-visit on a regular basis (I’ve only been working for 13 years, and I’m already on career #4).
For a work project, I recently asked people to share the names of the best career books they’d ever read. Many of the usual suspects made the list, but I thought it was a useful collection to share nonetheless. Read more
“At work we hail the person for whom science and teaching is above all else, who forgets to eat and drink while working feverously on getting the right answer, who is always there to have dinner and discussion with eager undergrads. At home we admire the parent who sacrificed everything for the sake of a better life for their children, even at great personal expense. The best scientists. The best parents. Anything less is not giving it your best. And then I had an even more depressing epiphany. That in such a world I was destined to suck at both.”
This is an excerpt from an essay Radhika Nagpal, a Harvard Professor of Computer Science, wrote for Scientific American today. I’m far from her situation — fighting for tenure in one of the most competitive academic fields and institutions around — but I really related to much of what she talks about. Read more