I’ve started capturing learnings from my experiences as the next generations of family and friends in earlier stages of their careers asked what I learned on my journey.
In 35+ years in software engineering (28 managing), coaching and teaching, I’ve had the luck, benefit and honor of working alongside some of the most incredibly brilliant, inspired, competitive, collaborative and productive people in small and large companies in two cultures (experiencing rapid growth before, during and after 3 acquisitions, 2 IPOs, and coaching and competing in national and world championships). Whether leading teams of engineers, managers, players on the field or classrooms of students – mentoring, teaching and coaching have always been an aspect of those responsibilities I have thoroughly enjoyed.
I’m currently go through a certification program as a Co-Active coach with CTI to add to my toolkit and experience in helping others grow their leadership skills.
As a horse whisperer, I learned to quietly and without a word can connect with a horse I’ve never seen before and ask it to move around an arena, change speed and direction, walk backwards, follow me, nuzzle its head on my shoulder, … It’s also important to recognize that it’s a dance that both beings contribute to. You make less progress with a horse if you only see yourself as leading them – appreciating their hesitations and desires to move in another direction are useful cues to pick up on and work with. So too can we as Talent Whisperers quietly and deeply move and motivate others to grow, develop and broaden their impact.
The path that provided access to a wide variety of of brilliant and passionate people and experiences:
- Kleen-Rite, Corp – First paycheck was as a janitor cleaning floors in federal buildings First “promotion” when boss discovered I knew how to fix cleaning machines.
- Kasemir Construction – Built a house from the ground up doing carpentry, masonry, flooring, roofing, plumbing, electrical work, etc.
- Darden Business School (U.Va.) Executive Program – waiter and bartender to pay for school. Got to meet lots of interesting execs.
- Atmosphere Sciences Research Center– Acid Rain Data Analyst – Results published in Scientific American
- Ultimate Frisbee – Player / Captain / Coach of National Champion Teams. Tournaments in the U.S., Austria, Belgium, England, France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, and Sweden
- Softlab, GmbH – Lead engineer, architect and consultant for Germany’s 2nd fastest growing independent software house at the time – acquired by BMW
- Cooperative Solutions, Inc. – At its time, the most heavily funded ($29M) start-up company ever – Promoted to site director for product BU when acquired by Bachman, Inc
- Informix, Inc. – One of the big database players in its day – acquired by IBM
- BroadVision, Inc. – VP Engineering at 2nd fastest growing company on Nasdaq in the dot com days – joined pre-IPO
- San Mateo/Santa Clara Public/Private Schools– Taught all subjects in K-8, learned about growth mindsets, knowledge acquisition, etc
- Intuit, Inc.– Director, Engineering – Spear-headed disruptive internal SAAS startup and learned about small businesses
- Yahoo, Inc.– Ran Yahoo!Games Engineering as the biggest social gaming site of the time
- IMVU, Inc.– Director, Engineering – Improved agile and continuous deployment at the company behind the book “The Lean Startup” and the world’s largest virtual goods catalog.
- Twitch, Interactive, Inc. VPE at Rapid growth/paradigm shift in video streaming – “unicorn” acquisition by Amazon for ~$1B
- Pure Storage, Inc. Director Engineer at the fastest growing infrastructure company to date – joined pre “unicorn” IPOing