Tag Archives: leadership

Sabbatical Day 44 – Leadership and Food

On Thursday evening (Oct. 11) I went to Barrie to give a talk.  I was invited by Krista Birkbeck to speak to the Agile North meetup.  I’ve been committed to this talk for a loooong time, but I wasn’t sure what to speak about until the night before.  On Thursday morning I quickly put together a presentation on Agile Leadership – Luck, Love and Truthfulness (the link goes to my staff page at berteig.com where I have listed recent presentations and their decks in pdf format).  I really appreciate everyone who attended.  There were about 12 people including Krista and the discussion and interaction was fantastic.  One of the most interesting questions that was discussed was “can you choose to love someone?”  One of my own realizations was the inverse of the idea from “Skin In The Game” by Taleb: if you try your hand at something enough times, you will eventually “succeed”, and that includes leadership, agile coaching, etc. as long as trying doesn’t also have a chance of being removed from the game (being killed or blacklisted).  I look forward to sharing the presentation again sometime in the future.  Here’s a pic that Krista took at the session:

Mishkin Talking about Leadership

If you are interested in more of the content of the talk, you can always buy my book: “I Am Not A Great Leader – A Short Primer on Leading to Real Agility” which again you can find on my berteig.com profile page.

I’ve been eating badly.  So, time to smarten up.  I’m going to work on eating more veggies and fruits (any would be good, but hopefully quite a lot), and removing most of the sugar and processed white things from my diet.  I’m not going to do it super-strict, but my intention is that most days I will be on-track.  I would like to lose between 7 and 10 kilos (I’m about 106kg right now).  Continuing to cycle regularly should help, but at some point the weather will get bad enough that I’ll have to replace that with something else… hopefully swimming on campus.  I’m hoping to lose this weight by mid-December.  So two months.  I’ll track progress here.  Tomorrow I will weigh myself in the morning and provide daily updates here.

Finally, here is my updated personal Kanban board.  Main differences include that I’ve finished publishing Jerry’s book and I added my food/weight project.

Sabbatical Day 6 – First Day of Class

I attended my first day of university classes since 1995!  I cycled to class.  It took about 35 minutes which was 5 minutes longer than I planned.  I showed up about 10 minutes to start and there weren’t too many spots left so I ended up at the back of the class in “Mathematics 3020 Introduction to Abstract Algebra”.  I intend to change that for next class on Tuesday – hopefully I will be able to sit in the 2nd or 3rd row instead of the 5th.  I am the “old guy” in the room.  Everyone looks very young.  There was a guy sitting almost right in front of me who answered a lot of the questions.  I answered one, but otherwise shut up.  I took seven pages of notes.  So far, it is stuff that I already know.  I’m trying to decide if I work ahead in the textbook or if I just follow along.  The textbook is pretty well-written (I’ve read up to where we ended the class today) so I could really leap ahead without too much trouble.  I cycled back home immediately after class, ate a terrible lunch, and then fell asleep for four hours.  My day hasn’t had much else to it.

Tonight I’ll do the last little bits of my leadership book:

  • Write acknowledgements
  • Get an ISBN
  • Start the project on lulu.com

I’m expecting I will get final edits tomorrow and be able to finish the export for lulu.com at that time… and then it will be published!  I’ll have completed one of the projects on my board.

Sabbatical Day 5 – Work

Today was one of the few days in my calendar with scheduled work for my company, BERTEIG.  Melanie, Travis and I had a Partner’s meeting (basically board of directors).  Because our fiscal year end is August 31, we spent a bit of time reviewing the financials for the year (thanks Xero for a great accounting platform!) and doing a year-long retrospective.  We also talked about our strategic plans and made some updates to our goals.  Most of the details of that stuff is done with the full BERTEIG leadership team, not just by the Partners.  I can’t really share any details since that stuff is confidential, but suffice it to say that we have some great stuff planned… that I won’t be working on!!! (Sabbatical, remember?)

Aside from that, I spent some time with the family in the late afternoon and early evening.  Walked the dog.  After the kids went to bed, I finished the writing portion of my book titled “I Am Not A Great Leader” and did a v1 cover design.  I’ve sent the full thing to the editor (my mom).  I’ll be releasing it as soon as I get the edits back, get the ISBN number and put it up on Lulu.com.  I’ll be sure to post here when that stuff is finished – actually, I’ll be posting just about everywhere when it is done!  Here’s my super-fast cover design – let me know if you have any feedback.  (I’ll get a professional designer for v2.)

I Am Not A Great Leader - Cover

Sabbatical Day 2 – A Sunburn and Sore Feet

Lots more housework today, but a bunch outside too.  I’ve burned my forehead a bit and my feet are sore from standing so much.  I won’t bore you with the details.

Tonight I have to finish up my writing project that I hoped to finish before the start of my sabbatical.  I started work on it nine days ago when I took my trip to Hong Kong.  I wrote about 21000 words on the flights and while at the hotel in Hong Kong.  I’ve edited about half that, and I still have probably about 3 to 5 thousand words left to write.  I was hoping to publish early this week which means before mid-day on Wednesday.  That will be challenging at this point, but is still possible.  Maybe by the end of the week.