Category Archives: values

What we believe, how we treat each other, and how we want to spend our time on this earth are important. Spend your time wisely by knowing yourself and how you want to be treated and treat others. As a person, a team, an organization, or a company.


“Sometimes people use “respect” to “treating someone like a person” and sometimes they use “respect” to mean “treating someone like an authority” and sometimes people who are used to being treated like an authority say “if you won’t respect me I won’t respect you” and they mean “if you don’t treat me like an authority I won’t treat you like a person”  And they think they’re being fair but they aren’t, and it’s not okay”

— Emotional Labour Metathread


On [crude] Jokes and Decades of Shame

Ever wonder why there aren’t more women in technology? I’ll just leave this here for you to read: “On Cock-Sucking Jokes and Decades of Shame“.

Please follow the Wheaton Rule if you feel the need to comment.

Hey Mom, I’m on the Intertubes!

Had the privilege of being interviewed for a leadership podcast last month, thought I’d share it. How do I sound?



It’s the Culture, Stupid

So this went viral in March: Reflecting On One Very, Very Strange Year at Uber. As a direct consequence the founder and CEO (among others) was forced to resign, and I wouldn’t be surprised as more changes happen as the adults with the money hold the dude-bros accountable.

I’m mostly not sorry for them, because being a dick deserves to the rewards of hubris. Also, I’m looking forward to the day that Lyft come to Calgary, because I will always prefer to do business with people (and companies who are of course made up of people) who actually have values.

Every business needs to make money. I have no problem with that. But if they only reason you started a company was to make money, you’re going to have a hard time.

Clarifying Your So-Called Passion

[this is  a summer re-post series re-post]

Three years ago I was going through the end of a 29-year marriage, and it was one of the most horrible experiences of my life (including the month my daughter spent a month in intensive care after she’d been born.)

In order to try to figure out what I needed to do next, one of the things I did was write a letter to my twelve-year-old self. I realize not everybody likes writing to help figure things out like I do – I also have journal-ed on and off over the years – but it’s a cool exercise to go through if you’re inclined.

It help me clarify what was important to me, what my healthy boundaries might look like, and it help me centre on that passion thing everybody is always talking about. I’m sharing it here on the chance that it might help somebody else write their own letter and make their own decisions. Not that it has to be as dramatic as my situation, but maybe it’ll help…

Letter to My 12-Year-Old Self

You’re a pretty cool kid. You’re smart, you’re funny, you’re creative. You have empathy and heart and love in buckets.

Find the people who like you for who you are, who push you, think deeply, and know how to love, laugh, and trust despite having been hurt. They’re awkward, geeky, often quiet, sometimes weird and occasionally fucked up. They are wicked cool, and so are you. You and they will create the future.

Don’t put up with other’s who disrespect you. You don’t have to like people that don’t like you.

You are not responsible for (or control) anybody else’s happiness. You can care for somebody, you can love them, you can want them to be happy. But you can’t make somebody happy, or fix them, or take away their hurt. You can be there for them. It’s like sharing a meal with somebody. You can keep them company, but you can’t chew and swallow their food for them.

Learn to say difficult things with as much thought and compassion as you can. People who deserve to know deserve to know the truth. They deserve to make informed choices for themselves. Just like you.

Nobody else is responsible for (or controls) your happiness. How you feel and what you decide to do about it is your choice. Nobody else’s. You get to choose how you feel. It doesn’t just happen.

Trying to escape your feelings doesn’t work. They will always be there. The longer you ignore them the more rancid they become. Turn and face them, work through them, and move on.

Learn to listen with your whole body, soul, and mind. Ask questions. Seek to understand. Listening is not the same as agreeing. Don’t confuse the two.

You like being right, but that isn’t always the most important thing. Learn the difference and why it matters.

Shitty things will sometimes happen for no good reason. Learn what you can from them and then move on.

Work with your hands when you can – it’s part of who you are. Learn as much as you can – it’s part of who you are. Create and contribute – it’s part of who you are. This is your joy.

Please Don’t Do This

Please don’t do this. This is a dick move. If you need me to explain why in detail, I’ll send you my hourly rates…
Dick Move

Unfortunately the company in question had a mealy-mouthed values-based response, including:

“Issues related to that message have been handled internally. The message sent does not align with our core values of personal growth and diversity.”

This kind of corporate-speak damage control that makes employees everywhere roll their eyes every time CEO’s start talking “values”, “vision”, and “mission”.

Try harder next time. Maybe say something authentic and meaningful.


More Powerful Than Passion

Mike Rowe has some interesting things to say about passion versus opportunity, and ends his blurb with: “Never follow your passion, but always bring it with you.

He also has some interesting things to say in his TEDTalk, although the video is a bit longer at 20 minutes.

Would You Date Your Company?

What is your company’s personality? 

Send It Back Down

They say that the profession with the most psychopaths are CEOs. This isn’t for you. You’re successful because you’re smarter and more deserving than anybody else. Yea, that’s your story and you’re sticking to it.

For the rest of us, if you’re lucky enough to do well, it’s your responsibility to send the elevator back down.

If you're lucky enough

If you’re lucky enough

It’s No Use

Often the full and complete answer is more satisfying and insightful than the myth:

“The first question you will ask and which I must try to answer is this, “what is the use of climbing Mount Everest?” and my answer at once must be, “It is no use.” There is not the slightest prospect of any gain whatsoever. Oh, we may learn a little about the behaviour of the human body at high altitudes, and possible medical men may turn our observation to some account for the purposes of aviation. But otherwise nothing will come of it. We shall not bring back a single bit of gold or silver, not a gem, nor any coal or iron. We shall not find a single foot of earth that can be planted with crops to raise food. It’s no use. So, if you cannot understand that there is something in man which responds to the challenge of this mountain and goes out to meet it, that the struggle is the struggle of life itself upward , then you wont see why we go. What we get from this adventure is just sheer joy. And joy is, after all, the end of life. We do not live to eat and make money. We eat and make money  to be able to live. That is what life means and what life is for. ”


Mallory up the side of some useless mountain