The Low Bar of Exceptionalism

A young girl watering a tree.

We live in a world where extraordinary people are no longer hard to find. Social media platforms bubble their stories to the top of everyone’s feeds. TV programs like [INSERT COUNTRY]’s Got Talent or The Voice allow hidden gems to get their chance to stand on stage and sparkle. One of my favorite Facebook groups is People Are Awesome because each 3-5 minute video shows a montage of dozens of people performing extraordinary physical acts and acrobatics that leave me speechless and inspired.

Focus on Outcomes Instead of Hours or Repetitions

My boss reached into the bucket of beans, pulled out a fistful, and then shoved them to within inches of my face before asking a rhetorical question. “Do you seriously think I can sell these?” Confusion turned to a sickening feeling in my stomach as I looked more closely at the mutant sized variety he held in front of me. They were massive, bulgy, and I swear I could see veins popping out and running along the shell. He answered before I could. “Well, obviously I can’t pay you for these buckets. Now go back and ignore any others that look like this.”

Where is Waldo at Work?

Waldo at Work

Life as the COO of a rapidly growing and rapidly moving agency made it hard to sit still. Literally. The demands to address issues quickly and immediately often resulted in me performing a brisk jog with one hand holding a laptop and the other my phone. Occasionally I had to stop mid-stride to see an alert and then immediately pop a squat on the floor to flip open my laptop to respond as quickly as I could.

A Living Letter to My Mother & Others

A young Joddy Rajter

Life doesn’t always give us the chance to say goodbye before someone dies. This is why I’ve grown to respect and appreciate my in-law’s practice of saying “I love you” each and every time we meet. It both reinforces the message and ensures that we never part ways questioning this vital fact. It is also why I love the Ho'oponopono prayer, which is a repetition of the intentions “I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you.” It’s a simple yet profound way to heal even the most broken of relationships.

The Website RFP & The Impossible-to-Estimate GI Joe Line Item

Two people collaborating in front of their laptops.

My bold claims: 1. Every feature within a website RFP can be delivered with a low, medium, and high level of effort (LOE) solution. 2. While the difference between low and high can be measured in single or double digit percentage (e.g., 1-99%), the difference can sometimes span several orders of magnitude (10X to 10,000X). 3. One or two of these massive discrepancies can kill the budget and, as a result, the entire project. 4. We can learn a lot by reviewing GI Joe, the line item scenario.

Shame as a Shield; Pity as a Weapon

Neon sign: "Hurt Me" by Adam Birkett on Unsplash

Imagine a situation as devastating as killing someone that you love. I tend to live a very sheltered life. I also refrain from watching horror movies. Such thoughts like this are not common in my everyday experience. I found myself speechless amidst strangers as a young man told me his story. And it wasn’t just the story that made me tear up. It was the complete lack of emotion in his being as he rattled off the sequence of events as if he was reading a weather report. It was just three months ago that he got his parents (straight-laced, white-collar professionals) hooked on heroin.