Archive | The Personal Story

Some stories about Nilofer and the path she’s walking.

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Being Imperfectly Ourselves

I sometimes wish I was a Harvard graduate, that I was a 4.0 type student, that I could still do a mean regression analysis, that I had been a CEO of a major corporate company, and was already being called as a corporate director on boards like Nike, Nordstrom, or Amazon. But I’m not. I  More

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Why I’m Glad I Got Fired

I came to be an expert on collaboration because Carol Bartz both hired me and fired me — within 18 months. Here’s what happened. A friend of mine, Godfrey Sullivan, asked me to consider running the operations for the Americas unit at Autodesk. Only sheer politeness kept me from hanging up. Autodesk? Yep. That CAD  More

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Giving Up Swearing, I Swear

Last Wednesday, Christians started Lent. The season of reflection. People give up something dear to them so that when they miss it, they are reminded to seek instead the deep and abiding love of their God. (The Islamic faith has a similar practice based on a month of fasting.)  If I were practicing the Lenten  More

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Is TED Elite?

I see a lot of interesting myths perpetuated about TED, and while I risk being seen as a TED-promoter, I want to take them head-on and — perhaps — help address them more directly with a few facts. (Some context about me. I am only a four-time TED conference attendee; pay my own way, etc.  More

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You Spent 10K for THAT?!

I go to several conferences each year, often as a paid keynoter or speaker, but always as an enthusiastic learner. Quite often, I’m disappointed to see that what is ‘on stage’ more a reflection of the sponsorships, rather than insightfully selected great content, well-presented to really s-t-r-e-t-ch the audience’s brains and shape our collective perspective.  More

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Curing the Yackity Yack Disease

At Apple, my best boss* once walked out of a room, after calling a bunch of us “Yackety-Yakers”.  Even though I’ve lived in the Bay Area of California since I was 5 years old, I definitely miss a lot of cultural references. I like to blame this on the fact that I don’t watch television,  More

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