December 21, 2020
I really have no words for this past year, nor even this current moment.
But I do have this: I was decorating the Christmas tree this weekend and just burst out in an unusually robust round of crying, punctuated by laughing.
I’m no stranger to tears, but I don’t get a good laugh-cry going often and certainly not in my pajamas holding tinsel in my hands while putting glass pickles on the tree.
What was going on?
A whole cavalcade of things.
First, my mother.
My mother loved Christmas and we had some great Christmases and we had some pretty horrible ones. But whether bad or good, Christmas was always a big deal in our house.
She’s now eight years gone and I miss her.
Then there’s this pandemic, the daily tensions and growing losses – including friends who have lost loved ones this last week.
And then I’m really missing my family and friends in California, New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas (how I ended up in Brooklyn far away from the clan is another story) and, of course, I’m missing all my *local* NYC friends.
I laughed after the tears because in the midst of this craziness I’ve also reconnected with old friends, been better about exercising and doing tons of reading, which I love, and –this is the best part – watched as council members really stepped up so no one walked alone during this tough year.
After the tree trimming, I reached out to a friend for help. She had previously asked that I reach out when having a hard time. She put me in a good mood, and, in fact, suggested we host an impromptu holiday party together (yes, via Zoom, but it still put a smile on my face).
I’m beyond grateful to my team for their hard work this year – and to the members of this broader community who have really been there for each other. And to my friends and family who have held my hand during this pandemic.
What words can I leave you with for this holiday?
Perhaps, only never walk, laugh, or cry alone.
And have as good a holiday season as you can.
P.S. I’d love to hear from you – how is your holiday season going? Any laugh-crying for you?
P.P.S. If you’re a mom, then you may like this Saturday Night Live skit from this weekend:
Most Popular Recordings
- Groundwork: Get Better at Making Better Products with Vidya Dinamani and Heather Samarin
- Making the Case for Empowering Your People with Marty Cagan
Recent Talks and Activity Recordings
- Groundwork: Get Better at Making Better Products
Vidya Dinamani and Heather Samarin, co-Authors of Groundwork
Talk Type: Product
Audience/Roles: All Roles
Product leaders are all too familiar with the one to two-year period it typically takes to train and coach PMs. Product leaders hire smart people and then work with them individually, guiding them through how to think about product management, and watching them develop. Vidya Dinamani and Heather Samarin wanted a much faster way to help cultivate efficient and effective product managers that consistently create products that delight customers, regardless of the industry, the environment, and the development methodology that the team employed. They took years of experience as product executives and working with hundreds of teams as product coaches to create a framework to Get Better at Making Better Products.
The design philosophy and methodology behind Groundwork was created to help product leaders be confident that their teams were committed to solving the right customer problems, minimizing costly rework by using individualized needs, and leveraging actionable personas in big and small product decisions. Vidya and Heather want Groundwork to help product teams have a much higher chance of success in the market—and help every product manager shine.
Join Vidya and Heather as they share the background, principles, and methodology behind the Groundwork to help you, and your team, get better at making better products.
- Making the Case for Empowering Your People
Marty Cagan, Partner, Silicon Valley Product Group
Talk Type: Product, Leadership Development, Culture
Audience/Roles: All Roles
From Marty: “I have long been interested in the difference between how the best companies work, and the rest. Working with both types of organizations for so many years, there are many differences ranging from culture to process to staffing to roles to techniques. But at its core, strong product companies empower their people, and most of the rest do not. My focus over the past few years has been tackling this issue head-on, which means the product leadership. In this talk, we’ll discuss why this model consistently yields better results, and what’s necessary to transform to work like the best.”
Marty’s Bio: Marty Cagan is the founding partner of the Silicon Valley Product Group, which he created to pursue his interests in helping others create successful products through his writing, speaking, advising and coaching. Before starting SVPG, Marty served as an executive responsible for defining and building products for some of the most successful companies in the world, including Hewlett-Packard, Netscape Communications, and eBay.As part of his work with SVPG, Marty advises tech companies of all sizes and stages, stretching far beyond Silicon Valley. Marty is the author of the industry-leading book for product teams, INSPIRED: How To Create Tech Products Customers Love, and the upcoming book EMPOWERED: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Products. Marty is an invited speaker at major conferences and top companies across the globe.
- See talks from the last month and beyond here.