Archive | The Personal Story

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

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

Istock_000000565970small

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

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

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

Istock_000002721442small

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

The Value of Perspective

I switched to doing meetings with leaders as hikes — giving us the space and oxygen to get perspective. A friend and I have been trying to plan our next one. The last time we did this, we figured out a big-ass issue on the business he had just started to lead. It led to  More