Action become Vote


Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become

The title of this blog is a quote from James Clear’s Atomic Habits book. The tl;dr of this book is a set of strategies to get 1% “better” each day.

If that’s the case (and I certainly agree), here are some of the recent votes I cast and why.

  • Completed a higher ed management curriculum in strategy and innovation. I cast this vote so that I could learn new models for expressing existing or new ideas in a way that more effectively conveys the substance to stakeholders. I also met a ton of wildly successful business leaders and faculty that I otherwise would not have had access to.
  • Worked with our engineering and management teams to re-plan a major project so that we can incorporate additional engineering resources and adjust to more aggressive timelines. I cast this vote because our existing plan would not meet business objectives and that’s not my style.
  • Proposed structural changes for Red Hat engineering as a whole to set ourselves up for a more sustainable future (firm believer that structure dictates behavior). I cast this vote because our strategic goals were drifting out of alignment with incentives and goals for the IC levels.
  • Met with Emerging Tech group to identify ways for them to support our managed services growth and technical strategy. I cast this vote because while our CTO office incubates fantastic new and innovative technologies, we have to leverage those skills in different ways in the future.
  • Worked with an internal team on strategy documents to draft a position paper on “Open Services”. I cast this vote because I believe firmly in Red Hat’s business model and want to see its core ethos carried forward into the managed services world.
  • Kept up my mentoring schedule. I cast this vote because I want to remember how my mentors affected me and pay it forward. Oliver Parker, here’s to you sir.
  • Worked with a small group of folks to create a coloring book on Site Reliability Engineering called Reliability Nightmares. Red Hat has over the years delivered a number of coloring books for topics we care about. I cast this vote because “culture eats strategy for breakfast” and I felt this would be a fun tool in fostering a movement.

I’m still digesting the rest of this book, but wanted to get some basic thoughts about this particular quote written down.

What votes have you cast lately?