“Doesn’t it scare you?”, a friend asked today.

He was referring to the fact that I blog a LOT of personal opinions – even some stuff that is embarrassing. I mean, for crying out loud – I show humanity here!

He asked the question in the context of my current quest for meaningful and fulfilling employment – he was concerned that I am making it difficult to market myself. Especially he was concerned about my CoA and CoB post of two days ago.  And in a sense, he was right – I now know that both CoA and CoB read the post.  I got reactions back from both of them.  Guess which one gave me positive feedback, and which expressed concern?

But what he doesn’t realize, at least not fully – I am not just interviewing for a position.  I am interviewing companies as well.  And the company that understands and accepts the fact that I am human – and that I have opinions that I cannot keep contained within the aspects of my job – that to me, I am both defined by my job, and help define my employer through my work – that is the company I want to work for.  And if I am somehow “vetting” them through my blog, then so be it.  If they find this uncomfortable then they probably would not be happy with me anyway.  And I probably would not be happy with them.

On this blog people can learn who I am – what makes me tick, what I think is important, what enrages me, energizes me, and what I am willing to do to make a customer happy.

My friend disagrees.

He works for a fortune 500 company, and in his world, I probably would agree with him.  In his world my honesty in my blog is probably a negative. My free sharing of feelings about everything from overbearing corporate entities, power-infused doltish police officers, employees that fail to measure up  – all of these things would be negatives when it came to working in his world.

But I do not have any interest in working in his world.  I have tasted that world – and while it treated me well for some time it eventually changed me.  Into something I was less than pleased with.  I started fitting the mold – instead of questioning the questionable rules I started to enforce them – almost blindly. I was assimilated.

It is no wonder I lost the luster for what I was doing.

And honestly – my loss of focus on what was really important probably cost more people their jobs than just me. I lost the drive to “build beyond all else”.  I fell into the trap that most mid-level managers fall into – I thought I was important.  AND – I needed my paycheck.  I had grown accustomed to the power, and the salary.  I forgot that the most important thing was building products, and teams, and bridges within the organization – instead I played a defensive role for almost a year – one that cost a lot in the totality of its failure.

But unlike a lot of mid-level managers  – I learned from it.  It took me a while.  I stepped back for several years and reconsidered what I liked doing, and how that fit into what I am good at doing, and how I can get paid for doing things that I enjoy.

After an initial ambitious play at building something huge I settled down to build a few small successes.  I needed to “get my groove on”.  I needed to find my happy place and decide what I really wanted to do/be when I grew up.

I am lucky – I had the opportunity – both with my family, financially, and most importantly emotionally and intellectually to just step back.  To re-connect with the guy that made me successful in the first place.  To remember what it felt like to build something significant.

I am not a perfect human being.  Chances are I never will be.

What I am today is something better than what I was when I was winning awards – I am complete – intellectually and emotionally.  Today I know what makes me happy.  5 years ago I always thought there was something more than what I was doing.  But what I was doing was pretty cool – and I didn’t take the time to appreciate it because I was always more concerned about “what is next”.

Today I know what is next.  Build one great team.  Then build the next.  Nothing in my professional life has given me more sense of fulfillment, and nothing else ever will.  I build teams, and I can live with that – rejoice in it, even.

And I don’t regret [most] of my blog posts. I am who I am – and part of me is someone that needs to share life experiences.  For me.


  1. @Major – thanks – of course, I agree with you. Life (and business) is all about personal connections. I think we do ourselves, and our employers a disservice (and vice versa) if we try and separate the two.

  2. I think sharing aspects about yourself – even if they’re personal – is a great idea. It helps to build bonds with some people, and it may start debates with others. Either way, you’re making personal connections.