The knowledge of worth

“Knowledge is only rumor until it lives in the bones.”

When I began writing my last post, I intended to write about muscle memory. About 1,500 words in, I realized I’d gone a totally different direction. I split that lengthy draft into two posts and shared instead about the place where Voldemort meets software licenses.

In that post, I wrote about how:

A few years ago, I began putting key licensing costs and terms into a simple worksheet. Rather than emailing these and calling my job done unless folks emailed back with questions, I’d set up time to review live, explain what the review was for, and walk folks through the worksheet–notably, the places in licensing agreements where Voldemort tends to live.

At first, I created licensing worksheets as a communication device. I needed something easier for stakeholders to digest than huge blocks of contract excerpts, which make many people sleepy, some anxious, and others downright agitated. (“I’m a good person! I shouldn’t have to spend my time looking at this stuff! Gah!”)

Something funny started happening after I’d been using those worksheets for a while. I started creating them even when I wasn’t trying to explain anything to anyone else. The work itself changed my relationship to the contracts I reviewed; rather than being lifeless statements of fact that lived in my head, they were living things for which I was developing internal roadmaps.

Continue reading “The knowledge of worth”

Where Voldemort meets software licenses

My software licensing job is actually a communications job. 

What now? How can that be? Licensing is not the same thing as communicating!

It’s like this: I don’t deploy software myself. I work with people who deploy software. For them to deploy software correctly, they must know what “correctly” looks like.

For that to happen, I must effectively communicate both what “right” looks like and what can happen if not-“right” is done. The consequences can be pretty gnarly, about which I’ll say more in a future post.

To bring this closer to home for most people, I’ll draw on the world of Harry Potter. I think it’s safe to say billions of people in the world are more familiar with all things Potter than they are with any single thing software licensing (and the many possible catastrophes related).

If my job is to protect you from Voldemort and I can’t be with you at all times, I must let you know important facts about Voldemort. Given this objective, which facts are the important facts? Those fact’s that’ll best equip you to keep you away from direct encounter with Voldemort: Continue reading “Where Voldemort meets software licenses”

Choosing Comforts Wisely

On Sunday evening, inspired by an afternoon chat with my husband, I re-watched an eye-opening Brené Brown video. The first time I watched it, I mainly absorbed its core message on “Why Your Critics Aren’t the Ones Who Count.” This time, I locked on a specific nuance.

At about 16:40 in the video, Brown says that “clarity of values” is necessary for anyone committed to living in the arena. She names courage as one of her values, and says, “If courage is my value, I have to do this. Whether it’s successful or not is irrelevant.” 

This got me wondering how Brown identified courage as one of her values. Even more so, I wondered how on Earth I could identify mine.

I searched “Brené Brown finding values.” I found her list of values, but wasn’t sure what to do with them. I read folks’ examples elsewhere and got an idea how to proceed. 

First I wrote down every value that resonated deeply with me. I thought the list would be huge, but I captured fewer than a dozen words.

After I had the full list in view, a few clearly resonated less intensely than others: Continue reading “Choosing Comforts Wisely”

Dragoning Greatly: An Introduction

I wrote my first blog post in June 1995. From the very first email response I received, I was hooked. I’d been heard! That could actually happen: I could be heard.

Online, I could be appear more than the broken teenager I was offline.

That was so powerful. Unfortunately, it was also setup for a lot of unhealthy behaviors.

A couple months ago, I fully and finally saw just how unhealthy my relationship with blogging had become. I deleted my existing blogs and began learning how to simply sit with myself, my thoughts, and my feelings. This, too, was powerful.

At first, it was only painful. It might have remained that way, but for one thing: In this quiet place, I found the works of vulnerability and shame researcher Brené Brown.

A friend had recommended Brown’s Daring Greatly several years ago. I’d bought a copy, read the preface, and … didn’t relate at all. As far as I was then concerned, I was already daring greatly.

About a month ago, my primary care provider recommended Brown’s Netflix special. I said I’d consider checking it out. I thought, Yeah, I already tried Brown. Not my thing. In fact, I just sold back my copy of her book a couple weeks ago!

On a whim, I did end up starting Brown’s special. Within moments, I was transfixed–laughing, choking back tears, and celebrating the fact Brown’s out there doing what she’s doing.

I wasn’t exactly sure what she was doing that was so foreign and new, but that was okay. I was just glad she was doing it.

Since then, I’ve discovered Daring Greatly was only one of Brown’s books. I’ve read all save one of them, and am halfway through the last–her latest, Dare to Lead.

I didn’t intend to ever again have any kind of personal site, but I’m inspired by Brown. What I do today doesn’t have to be like what I did yesterday. In fact, it couldn’t be, with all I’ve recently learned from Brown and my many other teachers, both global and local. Continue reading “Dragoning Greatly: An Introduction”