The river is famous to the fish.
The loud voice is famous to silence,
which knew it would inherit the earth
before anybody said so.
The cat sleeping on the fence is famous to the birds
watching him from the birdhouse.
The tear is famous, briefly, to the cheek.
The idea you carry close to your bosom
is famous to your bosom.
The boot is famous to the earth,
more famous than the dress shoe,
which is famous only to floors.
The bent photograph is famous to the one who carries it
and not at all famous to the one who is pictured.
I want to be famous to shuffling men
who smile while crossing streets,
sticky children in grocery lines,
famous as the one who smiled back.
I want to be famous in the way a pulley is famous, Naomi Shihab Nye
or a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular,
but because it never forgot what it could do.
Whenever I struggle with feelings of impostor syndrome or self-doubt, I return to this poem.
Whenever I feel like I’m not enough — not good enough or strong enough or famous enough — I read this poem and feel better.
I hope it can be a reassurance to you, too.Continue reading
Two months into my new management gig, and I very nearly made a huge mistake.
There I was, blind to the strengths of my teammate, trying stubbornly to fit the teammate into a role he did not want. I was failing him as a manager, and worse, I was projecting my management failure onto him. I, the mighty manager, must be right; he must be the one failing.
I realized my mistake after a series of hard conversations and a bundle of self-reflection. I realized it just in time. Not only had he yet to write off me or the company, he was still so gracious and warm-hearted as to become a trusted colleague and amazing part of our team, thriving in the role I should have been more aware of all along.
My mistake was one of hubris, definitely, but it was also one of ignorance.
I didn’t know how to manage people.Continue reading
Here are my favorite questions to ask in weekly 1:1s, team surveys, and self-reviews. I love these questions, and I hope you do, too.
My all-time favorite questions
1. When was the time you enjoyed working here the most?
2. Do you feel overworked, underworked, or just the right workload?
3. Who do you really admire? Why? (People often admire those they want to become.)
4. Have you seen something recently and thought to yourself “I wish we’d done that”?
5. Have you seen someone here do great work that’s gone unnoticed?