Monday, April 26, 2010


Thinking about my career, I realized that, what I think characterizes me the most, is the desire to create great, beautiful, useful and fun, inspiring and easy to use (software) products. Why does this matter? Being a manager is a daily process, a job (a very fun and motivating one, it is true) but not a purpose per se. It is how one contributes to the end result. I think that much more relevant is the underlying reason of why to be a manager. And that, for me, a great part of that reason seems to be the end product. Why is this important? Because, based on this insight, I can build my inner motivation, pick future roles and have a better defined professional purpose. This way, I can choose a wider range of positions, that would allow me to have the greatest impact possible on the outcome of the projects I'm involved in.

Further more, these projects bleed into my private life as well. They consume a lot of thought, a lot of time and emotional investment; they are a big part of who I am, life seems to revolve around them for long periods of time. Feeling good about the end result is almost as important as feeling good about yourself.

(me, wearing my SH5 T-Shirt, when meeting with friends)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Taking Charge Of My Life

Yesterday it stroke me. For a long time I was thinking how to increase my professional performance yet mix it with my personal life, while maintaining this balance on the long and sustainable run. I felt that something had to be done, that I was missing something, some attitude that I could not verbalize.

What I realized is that I needed to take charge of my life and run it like I would run a business. After all, one's  greatest asset to manage is himself and his time. Actively managing them, brings up many benefits  like:
  • Always having a clear scope and a target to reach, focus
  • Taking full ownership and responsibility of what I am doing
  • Paying attention to all signals around me, actively gathering feedback from everywhere - after all, I have a "business" to run
  • Feeling more alive, having more energy
  • Becoming better and better, personally and professionally.
This kind of attitude has reflections everywhere around: being more focused and more present, you inspire others to do the same. It's nothing specific - it's a mindset that makes you strong and confident.

One of the greatest assets of a team or person is ownership - the sense that he/she is part of the project, that he/she cares about his/her work and the sense that his/her performance directly impacts him/her in a positive way. Taking care of your life in a business-like manner, means that you perform everywhere like an entrepreneur. You don't feel that you work for a somebody else, that you obey directives hoping that one more day will pass, but rather you are an agent, work for yourself and have a contract with a company, a contract that you fulfill because it is in your mutual interest. - it's a mindset that cultivates ownership and performance - in you and in others.

This mindset allows one to be responsible of his/her actions and not blame others for his/her failures to act. Being in charge gives you strength and enhances your will. It also forces you to pay attention to what is around you and react fast. This increases optimism and courage to perform.

Taking charge of your life means having confidence in yourself. And having confidence means removing mental barriers and allowing peak performance. It has a snowball effect - personal performance increases your confidence and experience and, as a result, it means performing better and leading your life in a better way. Only benefits. :)