Monday, January 19, 2015


I was in the Pacific Northwest for ten days, which I think is the longest I've been away from home since Chile, and possibly before that. We were at my brother-in-law's for 4 days, and then Anna and J went home, and my company (which is mostly people working from home) had our annual kickoff rally, where everyone comes into town and we spend days and days figuring out the coming year and hanging out.

The sad thing about visiting the Pacific Northwest, and Seattle especially, is that at some point I have to leave. I like it there. It's moist, but not overwhelmingly so, and without having spent a full year there, I think I've clocked a full month, spread out over all the seasons. The weather seems to have plenty of variety for me, which fits with the two kinds of ex-Seattle people I've known:
  1. "Oh, God. I lived there for twenty years, and it was just constantly gray and raining and I had to leave or I was going to die."
  2. "The weather's fine. But don't tell anybody, or else they'll want to move there!"
I joke about how they told me I'd only have to visit Seattle occasionally, and in fact I've been there almost every month since I started, but the truth is Seattle is one of my favorite cities. I wake up in my hotel, get everything together and go to breakfast (somewhere besides the hotel, because life is too short to eat at the Marriott), and air is all damp and misty and full of salt from Puget Sound. In the winter, it can often be below 40 degrees, and the buildings are insulated (which my house is not). I've no Seattle trips planned for a long time, sadly. I'm sure I'll wind up traveling at least a few times, especially now that I'm a manager, but it'll probably be to chat with some major customer in Montana or something.

With the new year, I'm a manager again. I only have one employee, but since it's my old friend and enforcer Jess, that one is thoroughly satisfying. Others will emerge throughout the year. We're doing cool stuff! We spent the Rally week fleshing it out, refining the story of what we're doing and why everyone should care. It turns out that when you collect fundamental measurements of your product usage, everyone cares, and you just have to give them a chance to tell you why. Engineering, Support, Operations, Customer Solutions, Sales, Marketing. The executive team. Let me tell you, it's a ton of fun to be working on something the executive team is really excited to get their hands on. No pressure, though.

I really enjoy using my leadership brain again, of course. Every leadership role is a new set of challenges, and this one is right where I need it: figuring out what to build and how to present it. I've already done team composition and dynamics stuff, and while I'd hardly say I know it inside and out, I've got a good handle on it. Jess and I are (a) two people, and (b) sort of a pre-packaged functioning team, so that's just not a concern.

I'm tired--I had one of my sleep downswings again, now recovering--but life is good.

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