October 6th, 2015

How Open Source transformed my career

[ This post is also published on opensource.com ]

I was introduced to open source through immersion, when I learned C and Perl in college. Compared to previous programming languages like BASIC and Pascal which I had learned only from textbooks, I learned C and Perl in the context of the Internet. I would ask […]

August 18th, 2014

Evaluating Leadership Advice

This is an excerpt from my book Enlightening Technical Leadership.

Leadership advice comes in a lot of flavors – from the soothing stories of a grandmother, to the salty screed of a hardened skipper, to the bland babbling of a bureaucrat, and many others. But when we digest them, we see how they break down […]

July 25th, 2014


This is an excerpt from my book Enlightening Technical Leadership.

When we want to influence others, it helps to be aware of what is influencing us. When you want to influence someone to do something, or to think or feel a certain way, first ask yourself a simple question: why do you want to influence […]

July 15th, 2014

Performance Feedback

This is an excerpt from my book Enlightening Technical Leadership.

Whenever we get feedback, whether it’s formally at an annual performance review, or informally during the course of our work, we have an excellent opportunity to observe our identifications. What do we feel proud about? What do we get defensive about? Sorting out our triggers […]

June 25th, 2014

Identity Labels

This is an excerpt from my book Enlightening Technical Leadership.

As we participate in open source projects or open learning communities like Wikipedia, Quora, Stack Exchange and others, we frequently encounter people from different countries who work at different companies. It’s not unusual to see people change organizational affiliations while working on the same project, […]

June 12th, 2014

Letting Go of Mental Models

This is an excerpt from my book Enlightening Technical Leadership.

What I particularly like about GIS mapping programs like Google Earth is that it’s just as easy to add a layer and take on a new perspective as it is to uncheck a layer and let go of my current perspective. If I bring up […]

December 11th, 2013

Enlightening Technical Leadership

I’m happy to announce that my first book, Enlightening Technical Leadership, is now available! You can download the ebook for free from my web site, and the paperback is available at amazon.com:


July 6th, 2011

MIX Contributions

I recently had the opportunity to contribute to two Hacks on the Management Innovation Exchange (MIX):

Build a Strengths-Based Culture, by Josh Allan Dykstra Open the processes and the “books”, by Susan Resnick West

These are part of the Communities of Passion Hackathon Pilot being led by Chris Grams. I’ve enjoyed collaborating on this effort!


April 25th, 2011

Open Source, Giving Freely, and Self Awareness

[ This article is also published on opensource.com ]

In a July 2010 post on opensource.com, Jonathan Opp wrote about the nature of giving and participating in a gift culture/economy. One point that he mentions is the benefit of giving freely, without strings attached. I’d like to expand on that, since I think there’s a […]

January 20th, 2011

Bonus Fund: Empower employees to fund initiatives with company-matched bonus money

4/14/2011 UPDATE: Here are some interviews with me and other M-Prize folks: http://www.managementexchange.com/blog/voices-mix-human-capital-m-prize-winners

2/1/2011 UPDATE: My submission has been selected as one of the semifinalists for the HCI Human Capital M-Prize:


I’ve been following the Management Innovation eXchange (MIX) website for a while now, and there are a lot of great ideas that […]