What I did last Summer

Do you remember when you were a kid, and during the first day of school, the teacher would ask you to write an essay on what you did over the summer?

Looking back, I presume the teacher really wanted to get a sense of your writing skills, but also learn a little about you and your family. But since I have been off the grid for the summer and am now coming back online, I thought I would share.

I left Microsoft in June (see goodbye blog post) — and last week joined ESG (see new job blog post). I had spent 5.5 years at MS and had a great time; but by Spring, I had decided that I needed to do something different.  While I could have continued working through the summer while searching for my next adventure, my kids were out of school and I wanted a break too …

So, what did I do:

The family spent a good bit of time in pools and water parks, during one of the hottest Texas summers on record, with over 40 consecutive days of 100+ degree heat.

We also watched several movies in the theatres and played a lot of video games (see blog)

I took a group of Boy Scouts out to Summer Camp for a week – and later staffed a weeklong leadership course for Scout leaders (Wood Badge) at the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico

I also did some honey-do’s around the house that had piled up, and started reading again, which I had gotten out of the habit of during the busy Microsoft year.

I also started reading again.   The last couple years didn’t afford me much “sharpening the saw” reading time, so I had a stack to start from:

One of my favorite authors is Dr. John C. Maxwell, who teaches leadership topics with a Christian background and tends to recharge both my mind and heart – so I started another one of his books that has been on my shelf since I joined Microsoft.

My oldest son’s new school had some assigned reading, including The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Teens. I had read the original 7 Habits years ago, so I opted to read his version in parallel, for some interesting conversation.

My new role has some project management aspects in its future which I hadn’t done in a while – so I started reading Velocity – A Business Novel, which is an interesting read which combines some Six Sigma, Lean and Constraint Theory in a novel-based format.

I also brushed off the dust and re-started Take Back Your Life!, which is a personal time-/information-management book that I was too busy to read (ironic, eh?).

That’s it.  It was a such a blessing to have some extended time with the family, with Scouts and just sitting on a couch on a Wednesday afternoon.  Along the way, I met with several companies who were interested in me possibly joining them in Product Marketing/Management or Technical Evangelism roles, many of which I may still be able to serve through ESG’s Strategic Consulting services offering.  But in the end, the people at ESG and “adventure” of literally looking at, talking about and playing with the wide range of technology that I live in was too amazing not to do. 

Now, my office is (mostly) cleaned up, my head is full of new ideas, my heart is fully recharged, and it is time to get back to work.

See you in Cyberspace.

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