Larry Myers

February Notes

February 28, 2024

The principal of my kids’ school embodies servant leadership. We have a crosswalk near a major entrance to school without a light, and it’s heavily trafficked in the morning and afternoon as we all try to get our kids to school on time. It desperately needed a crossing guard, and CPS was failing to get one budgeted and hired. Our principal is out there every day with a bright vest and a handheld stop sign during the 15 minutes before and after school helping get kids and parents across the street the safely.

He does not have to do this, he is not required to this, and yet he is out there doing a job well below his pay grade. When his contract comes up for renewal people are going to remember that he demonstrates his dedication and care for the student body through very visible action, not just words.

February 23, 2024

The warm weather that Chicago has been experiencing for the past few days has been both amazing and terrifying to me. February in Chicago is supposed to be cold, wet, and grey. Blue skies and high 50’s is not supposed to happen until late March, a month from now. I have barely needed to break out much winter cycling gear for the season. Climate change is going to be wild.

February 20, 2024

The worst part about Disney World is the water smell. I realize it’s a natural phenomenon and not harmful. But the sulfur content just makes for really gross showers and brushing teeth. I was reluctant to even fill my water bottle with tap water. Happy to be back in Chicago where we live next to one of the largest bodies of fresh water in the world.

February 17, 2024

I think one of the best parts of vacation is the focus and lack of distraction it affords. I do less, and what remains I do well. In this case is it being present in every way with my kids. There is suddenly time to have casual conversations that last longer than a few minutes. Normal life moves at too fast a pace, and I forget how nice it is to just talk to my kids.

February 14, 2024

One of the understated benefits of taking vacation is raising your bus factor at work.

If you were hit by a bus and suddenly unable to work, how many people could take over your role? You want this to be greater than zero. Being the only person who can do your job is usually not the type of job security you want. You will get stuck and stagnate over time. Your job security should be defined by how many people are demanding your skills, and your ability to meet that demand.

So go on vacation. Force your company to make sure somebody else can do your job. Your ability to grow your career depends on it.

February 10, 2024

I’m running a Hero Kids session for my kids and their friends tomorrow. (Think D&D Jr.) I may be more excited than they are. D&D wasn’t something I played as a kid. When I traveled for work Critical Role podcasts got me through a lot of long hours on the highway by myself. Being able to GM is something I wasn’t expecting to enjoy, but it’s a ton of fun. It’s license to really engage the best parts of your creativity and imagination.

February 5, 2024

A Bloomberg article was recently posted that despairs working age people foregoing having children to focus on their careers in significant numbers. My perspective on this topic, having 2 kids and a 20 year professional career, has gotten more nuanced over the past few years. Your career is worth investing in to point that it will allow you to have a stable and satisfying life. Treat your career as a game to be won with the biggest high score at your own risk. My longest tenure at any one company has been 6 years, and many previous projects I was proud to have worked on no longer exist. In many cases the entire company no longer exists.

Things in my life that have lasted significantly longer than 6 years:

  • My marriage
  • My role as a parent
  • My relationships with my friends and neighbors
  • My love of cycling and being outdoors
  • My personal projects

Your career is important, but it is more transient than you realize, and you have less control over it than you’d like. Prioritize the things in your life that cannot be taken away by a reorg, and will be measured in decades.

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