Category Archives: How People Work

Why do we do the things we do? This series of essays looks at human behavior, habits, psychology, and the weird ways that people act, behave, and think.

How My Kid Teaches Me About Leadership

Listen, I won’t lie and say that parenting is easy.

A lot of the things that are worth it haven’t been easy. There are days when I’m a frazzled, tired mess just trying to figure out how to get the stroller on the subway and maneuver my way to the next coffee machine.

But there’s also a surprising amount that I’ve learned about leadership from becoming a parent. Last Fall, I pitched the editors at Inc to write a new series about the intersection of leadership and parenting, and I’m excited to share I’ve got a new column over on Inc.com all about personal and professional growth, and how my kids teach me more than I expected about leadership and business.

The learning curve of building a new human from scratch and re-wiring yourself as a parent and a functioning adult comes with plenty of challenges. All-nighters, toddler sick days, teaching empathy and learning to juggle household demands with workplace deadlines can feel insurmountable. Yet it also feels strangely familiar: like the long days of marathon training, or like the late nights studying to get your MBA on the side of your full-time gig.

I’ve interviewed hundreds of entrepreneurial parents and there’s one consistent theme I keep hearing: how much the jump off the deep dive into parenting readied them for business challenges in a way they didn’t first expect. In fact, of the many skills they gain are completely in line with what entrepreneurship asks of us.

Here are five ways becoming a parent changed how I grew my business–for the better.

Also, if you enjoy that article on Inc, I’ve also got a column over on Forbes all about parenting and leadership. In my latest article, I write about how one entrepreneurial mom built a business out of her need to keep her four kiddos entertained, and how the business took off unexpectedly. Check out Shelby Rideout’s new company, Bright Signs Learning, and her tools that help her educate her kids:

How this mom of four created a business by trying to entertain her kiddos.

If you enjoyed it, I’ve also got articles on starting your own mastermind, the challenges of staying connected when you work from home, and how my interviews with entrepreneurial parents reveals how they are pioneering a new work revolution that’s changing what work looks like for a lot of people.

If Facebook Went Away

If Facebook went away, what would change for you? How would you spend your mornings? Your workday? And what would you miss? And conversely, what would change for the better? It might be the biggest social network we’ve ever seen, but it’s also constantly changing, and it’s undergoing more investigation for its role in changing how our brains and communities work. Here’s what I’d miss, what would change, and why I still use it (for now). Read the article

Letting Things Break

In the process of pursuing new ways of working, it means you’re going to build new habits. Building new habits isn’t always a piece of cake: sometimes it’s rusty, weird, and feels uncomfortable. If you want things to stay the same, then keep doing exactly what you’re doing. If you want to get new results, you have to try new things. Right now, there’s one area of my life where I’m deliberately letting things break, and it’s not pretty. It’s uncomfortable. And I’m probably going to disappoint people. Read what it is and why I’m okay experimenting with it.Read the article

Teleportation

I find there’s a secret magic in the written word. Here’s why it’s so powerful. Also — I interviewed Danielle LaPorte on the podcast, if you’re curious to listen in.Read the article

Leveling Up

Imagine your email inbox was filled only with messages from the highest players in your field. Oprah, Tim, Seth, Shondra. What would you do differently? Imagine your product becomes a hit sensation, and you have hundreds (or thousands) of new customers joining you every day. Are you ready? What would you do differently? Imagine theRead the article

Am I The Kind Of Person Who…?

Today I want to talk about habit shifts, and how to once again get back into a habit you want to cultivate when you veer off course. I’ve written about it before. The reason I keep writing about it is because habit shifts, like taking care of a physical home, take ongoing care and maintenance. Building habits is like taking care of a home, but it’s your person-as-home, your mental space, your human space. And I, like everyone else, need to clean my house on a fairly regular basis. And the habit of re-starting can be challenging. So I asked a good friend and coach for help. Her answer—and the question she shared with me—worked. It worked really well.Read the article

How to Finish A Book

One thing that’s come up after publishing my 2017 reading list is how surprised I am (and others are!) that I was able to read 53 books in a year.  True story: in 2016, I probably read 10 books, and finished … well, let’s say I read a lot of half books. It’s easy to get distracted by another book. Shiny object syndrome is real, and I found that I had started to skim everything. My obsessive reading of internet articles had made me a bad reader. This was a wake-up call. If I couldn’t finish a book, was I really learning? Here are the habits I changed last year to increase my reading. And also, my rules for how to decide when NOT to read a book.Read the article

Why I Tracked Every Book I Read in 2017

This year, I decided to track all of the books I read to see what was making it’s way into my mind. As part of my year of devotion and paying more attention to where I spend my mental energy, I kept a running list of all of the books I read. I also tracked theRead the article

Why I am Choosing to Email Slowly

I am by choice a slow emailer, and it often takes me a week or two to respond to messages. Sometimes longer. I think to myself, You do not really want me to be a fast emailer. Why do you want me to email quickly? Do you want me to sit at my desk, furiouslyRead the article

How To Do An Annual Review: 10 Questions

Each year I do a private annual reflection where I look back at the past year, think about what I want for the year ahead, and make a list of dreams and goals. Then, I edit ruthlessly, a skill I’ve learned slowly over time, because having a list of 50 things does not guarantee thatRead the article