Lately I’ve been getting mixed signals from friends, peers and select family that admitting that you love what you are doing for a living and for whom you work for might not be such a good thing. I’ve heard the term, “drinking the Kool-aid” on at least five occasions in the last couple of weeks whenever I start talking about work and how I feel about it.
Up until the last two weeks when I’ve had to deal with my own personal drama, I have loved walking into the office each morning. I’m not a morning person by any means of the definition; but when I wake up in the morning I feel a surge of excitement and joy at the fact that I’m going to do something that I love doing.
I know it’s no longer fashionable to be loyal to your employer and that employers for a majority of US citizens might not be worthy of loyalty; however, I feel differently. The folks who lead the organization I work for are honest, hard-working, caring individuals. While there is always a barrier with most business relationships to keep work matters related to work and personal matters to personal; they try to offer more.
While I may not chose to cross those barriers due to my own beliefs; I am appreciative of the fact that they are willing to try and see all their employees as individuals and not just “employees”. After working years for a large organization that on more occasions than I can count never saw their employees as anything other than “numbers”; I can’t tell you how much I appreciate working with the polar opposite.
Not only am I getting an opportunity to work on something bigger than myself, to learn daily and to work with some of the brightest minds I’ve encountered in 20 plus years; I feel committed to the cause of the company I work for. Heck, I’m committed to the people I work for and with at this company. I’m emotionally invested in our mutual success and actually care about them all.
So to me loving your job doesn’t mean that you see life with “tinted glasses” and a “glitter and puppies” perspective. It also doesn’t mean that you like every moment of the duties you are responsible for daily. What it means to me is that the great and good portions totally outweigh the negatives.
I chose to see that people are trying to evolve to be better people, leaders, managers and role models for all of us who work together. Seeing folks take the extra moment to not be decisive solely on an emotional response is a big motivator for me and allows me to strive to be a better person, employee, and peer. Watching folks learn and watching the “A – HA!” moments occur has been my drug lately, all the more enjoyable as I’m not sure everyone knows that they are sharing that moment.
Daily I have a resurge of hope for what my future will be with the team I am working with. What I see daily is the growth and evolution of each person I work with. As Randy Pausch said, “Experience is what you get when you don’t get what you expected.” I see the people around me growing as individuals and I share their excitement.
It all of that means “I’m drinking the Kool-aid”, then I willing accept the statement as a positive one for me. It’s not a cult or brainwashing that compels me to share my joy about my job. It’s the folks around me who are striving to be better with me.
For as long as I can remember I was schooled and saw others schooled in the art of sharing. When my son was younger I can remember reminding him to share his toys with other children. Extra piece of food at a meal? Share it. See someone who needs something you have? Share it. It’s something I always believed helped make us better people in the long run.
Now as an adult I realize that society has changed and sharing is now more suspect than not.
So why now am I even bothering to keep doing so? Like most of the living I have had decades of life altering experiences , many heart wrenching life stopping moments and every thing that can be experience between. I recently decided to change my life in more ways then one.
I changed my lifestyle to a more healthful one, changed my personal life to leave behind baggage I’ve held on to way too long, changed my career path and decided to expand my horizons about how I define sharing.
So what is the definition of sharing?
- To divide and parcel out in shares; apportion.
- To participate in, use, enjoy, or experience jointly or in turns.
- To relate (a secret or experience, for example) to another or others.
- To accord a share in (something) to another or others.
Basically for me sharing is the new way I tithe back to society. I use to tithe to the religious organization I was reared under and with. Then as I became more aware I tithed to the local homeless shelters and food banks. Then domestic abuse shelters and finally I found what works best for me.
Everyday I try to tithe 10% of my waking hours and a 10% of my income to those around me. It might be the down on their luck couple at Circle K without enough gas money, it might be part of the lunch I brought, it might be the smile I share but basically it’s something I offer and experience daily.
Sharing your smile, lunch, a book or just a joke which can brighten your day more than you realize. So what if occasionally you encounter nothing but negative around you and feel like not bothering. Share something and feel the difference around you!
Here’s to the power of sharing!
After working with Scrum with assorted business units, I’ve discovered we don’t always have “Done as Done” shippable products at the end of the Sprints.
You might ask, if each sprint ends up with an incomplete work, when can we see a stable product ?
Answer is the work around invented by the thought leaders. It is called Stabilization sprints.
What are stabilization Sprints ?
These are sprints dedicated towards tasks such as
Fixing technical debts
Completing any final rounds of testing
Update or fix any architectural issues
Getting ready for the release by completing release notes, etc
Stabilization sprints can be scheduled based on the need of the hour. There is no hard and fast rule around when it should be scheduled.
Many people call stabilization sprints with different names based on the specific activity being executed. Some names are, Testing Sprint, Technical Debt sprint, Analysis Sprint, etc
Just in through JamesList:
Hans-Gunther Zach is selling his entire collection of Rolls’ and Bentleys and center piece of the collection, the 1934 Rolls Royce Phantom II 40/50 HP Continental also known as the Star of India is listed for £8,000,000
If the sale goes through, it is believed to be the highest price ever paid for a car.
The Star featured revolutionary new technology like adaptive curve lights following the movements of the steering wheel and an “all weather” Torpedo Convertible made by Thrupp & Maberly. The engine is a more powerful Continental 7.7 litre pushrod V8 and the Maharaja originally had 14 headlamps put on the car to combat the dark Indian nights, or just scare the living daylights out of his donkey riding countrymen.
Check out Peek – a great simple device to get your email anywhere.
Peek was born on a walk in the park when Amol Sarva and his wife, Ursula, were expecting their first child. At six months pregnant, Ursula couldn’t sit still and found comfort in taking long walks. But planning for a new arrival and a busy life besides, Amol saw that Ursula would return feeling behind. Emails were piling up. She had inbox anxiety.
A seasoned wireless industry entrepreneur, Amol had long been using smartphones for mobile email. With smartphone in hand, their long walks were actually a great way for him to stay on top of things at the office. Amol tried to get Ursula to use one, describing the many features: email, texting, voice calling, Internet, etc. But the bells and whistles are exactly what turned her off. She didn’t want a complicated smartphone with extras she didn’t need.
What she really wanted was a simple, nifty device that would let her do email on the go since email was how everyone she knew made plans, caught up, and shared news.
Amol thought a simple, fun, and attractive mobile email device had to exist. He asked his contacts at the cell phone companies, but they were dismissive. Nobody wants “simple”, they want “more”, they said. But Amol saw an opportunity, which he discussed with a few colleagues from earlier ventures. They explored the idea in the “real world”, closely observing real people using email at their desks and on the go.
Amol’s hunch was right; people really want a device that simply does email.
via Peek – About Peek.
Crucially for Solvig—who needed to get back into the workforce as soon as possible—StraighterLine let students move through courses as quickly or slowly as they chose. Once a course was finished, Solvig could move on to the next one, without paying more. In less than two months, she had finished four complete courses, for less than $200 total. The same courses would have cost her over $2,700 at Northeastern Illinois, $4,200 at Kaplan University, $6,300 at the University of Phoenix, and roughly the gross domestic product of a small Central American nation at an elite private university. They also would have taken two or three times as long to complete.
College for $99 a Month
The next generation of online education could be great for students—and catastrophic for universities.
Times are changing.
As an idea person, I’m constantly amazed at the speed of which new ones seem to be entering the main stream. If ideas use to be “a dime a dozen“, they are more like “penny for a pound” today.
From tweeting stuff your older father says to discussing the life of a squirrel, these ideas seem to be finding an audience and gaining sucess in short timeframes. Today the New York Times released an article that showcased the case of a Twitter account named “shitmydadsays”. Less than 30 days after launch, this young man has over 200,000 followers, media coverage, market appeal, an agent and multiple book offers.
So here’s to the speed of ideas and to hitting that sweet spot that only the world can tell you about.
The health-care debate entered a “new phase” this morning, as news leaked that President Obama was re-tooling his plans for reform. But while pundits wait for him to make a major health-care speech next week, millions of Americans are turning to the Web to self-diagnose aches and pains.
Web sites such as WebMD and Discovery Health have long served this audience–inundating them ads in the process. Luckily, those of us that can’t make it to a doctor (or can’t afford to) now have another option. It’s called HealthBase, and it was launched this morning by a semantic Web company called NetBase. The concept of “semantic Web” is a truly amazing evolution of the Web as we know it now: It allows your computer to “read” Web sites and know their content, instead of blindly presenting you with data it can’t understand. That means smarter searching and more relevant content. Here’s how it works.
When you search a condition, treatment or drug on HealthBase, it performs a semantic search of all the other health-related sites on the Web. That means it doesn’t just look at the titles of the articles and spit back a result, it reads into the actual text to deliver you really useful content. (If this sounds like a technology that would have great implications for your business, you’re right; check out Oracle’s semantic databases. It has also done wonderful things for social networking, people-search engines, and other services.) Thankfully, the brilliance of the backend of this site comes without any of the 90s-Web-portal sensory overload of other sites; it’s simple, easy to navigate and transparent. When you navigate to HealthBase, you’re met with just a search box, and four simple tabs.
Doing a search for “neck pain” led me to a plethora of confusing links and materials on WebMD. It’s hard to tell what’s advertising and what is content; even if you can parse the two, there are still an overwhelming number of options.
Semantic web in action – expect to see more and more of these centralized semantic searches for niche markets
According to the New York Times Bits blog, a recent study funded by the US Department of Education (PDF) found that on the whole, online learning environments actually led to higher tested performance than face-to-face learning environments. “On average, students in online learning conditions performed better than those receiving face-to-face instruction,” concluded the report’s authors in their key findings.
The report looked at just under one hundred studies that compared the performance of students in online learning environments (or courses with an online study component) to those who were given strictly face-to-face instruction for the same courses. What they found was that students who completed all or some of their coursework online tested on average in the 59th percentile, compared to the 50th percentile for those who received only classroom instruction, and that the results are statistically significant.