Traditional leadership is, were you president of the chess club? Were you vice president of sales? How quickly did you get there? We don’t care. What we care about is, when faced with a problem and you’re a member of a team, do you, at the appropriate time, step in and lead. And just as critically, do you step back and stop leading, do you let someone else? Because what’s critical to be an effective leader in this environment is you have to be willing to relinquish power.What else? Humility and ownership. “It’s feeling the sense of responsibility, the sense of ownership, to step in,” he said, to try to solve any problem — and the humility to step back and embrace the better ideas of others. “Your end goal,” explained Bock, “is what can we do together to problem-solve. I’ve contributed my piece, and then I step back.”
Short but insightful read on what really matters when applying to Google: leadership, humility, collaborative spirit, adaptability, and a thirst for learning.
London here we come
On deck for next week: my second trip to what might be my new favorite city. I can’t wait.
Anonymous asked: You travel the world :) You eat and drink so well :) How do you keep your great figure?
I’ve answered this before, but I’ll remind you that I’m the worst person to give advice on this, because I do not lead a healthy lifestyle by ANY means, and I’m far from actually being fit - something I’d like to change. The yoyo travel doesn’t do me any favors because it’s really tough for me to stick to a workout routine.
Again, though, I think it’s mostly a combination of two constants that prevent me from turning into Michelin Man:
1) high-low dining (sometimes dinner is a huge plate of carbonara and a slice of ricotta cheesecake - other times I’ll simply eat two eggs)
2) walking, walking, walking everywhere - with a little dancing thrown in
More questions? Just ask.
Anonymous asked: Teresa, what websites would you recommend looking at for vacation home rentals?
We usually use Airbnb, Homeaway, and Vrbo for vacation rentals. Here are a couple of actual places we’ve rented:
Koh Samui 2013
The journey began with a 16-hour plane ride. Danielle and I met at JFK, our largest possible suitcases in tow (empty with room for shopping, duh), both frazzled from a day of frenzied packing and preparing for the unpreparable 2-week absence from work.
It was back in October that Amy, Danielle, and I had originally begun plotting our international vacay. We were all long overdue for visits to the parentals in Taipei - but the risk of deep vein thrombosis is not worth a weeklong visit to Asia. It’s gotta be two minimum! And so when a friend mentioned his New Year’s Thailand trip we clicked “purchase” - not really sure of who, or when, or what was happening, especially because of all that Thai on the airline website…. just that in the middle of blistery cold October we had secured plans for a beachy getaway 9,000 miles from home. Fiscally irresponsible plans, maybe, but plans nonetheless.
Somewhere between that whip-and-click of travel booking, we booked the more affordable of two travel options, which involved traveling by land, air, and sea to Koh Samui. First a 4-hour flight from Taipei. Then a 10-hour layover in Bangkok. Another flight to Surat Thani. An hour bus ride to the pier. An hour ferry ride. And then finally a cab to our resort. And I should mention that operations efficiency is not Thailand’s strong suit.
Exhibit A: Line for the ferry, which involved lots of people cursing and boxing each other and trying not to vomit on the person they were sitting on top of.
After the day and a half of traveling like we’d never traveled before for a single destination, we arrived at our suite and found good reason to forget about the first 40 hours of our excursion.
We were particularly enamored by the huge bathtub and its rainfall showerhead.
And before we go any further - the highlight of my trip may or may not have been the mango sticky rice at our resort’s restaurant, Beyond the Sea.
Not only was it Instaworthy-picture-perfect, it tasted better than it looks. After ordering it on the first day, we called for room service and placed an order for five of them.
Once we got settled in and beach readied it finally felt like vacation was officially ON. We headed over the Chaweng beach and grabbed a couple of brews while we waited for $10 bungalow massages. ($10!)
The next morning - on the last day of 2013, we set off for an island adventure (a trend for my last-days-of-the-year?). Grey skies and a little too much Mekong whiskey the previous night made for an uncomfortable boat ride out, but once the sun broke through we were grateful the guys had rustled us at 6 a.m. for “hiking” and snorkeling (with Discovery Dive - info here if you’re interested).
As the last stop of on our snorkeling day we climbed perilously tiny stairs to the sparkly green waters of the emerald lagoon.
That night we met up a friend’s villa and the whole crew donned red short-shorts and whistles in preparation for the Full Moon Party. THEMES are our favorite and we took our lifeguarding roles very seriously.
Heading to the FMP involved another boat ride situation that was less than organized. We laughed at the silliness of the situation and in the end didn’t make it to Koh Pha Ngnan for midnight.
Instead, we wound up on a family’s fishing boat, slowly drifting toward our destination as fireworks lit up the night sky in full view.
Don’t you love Casey’s ears?
We made it to the FMP island shortly after and danced until dawn (something I can barely imagine myself doing… but there was something about that Thai Red Bull and the infectious energy of thousands of people celebrating the new year.)
One day (probably today) I’ll look at the vestiges of my youth and wonder where I ever summoned the energy. I will admit that though all kinds of internet horror stories made me a huge skeptic of the Full Moon Party, it was actually a lot of fun - transportation nightmare and bathroom lines aside. That said - if the thought of being in the crowd at a sweaty music festival gives you extreme anxiety, it’s probably not your cup o’ tea.
Some of us looked a little worse for wear at breakfast the following day…
After the group split ways and we checked out of our resort, and Amy and I headed to another hotel for our day of girl’s R&R.
Our final day in Koh Samui was dedicated to doing absolutely nothing. The rest of the day involved exactly what the doctor ordered: massage #3 and not much else. Blissfully tired and still jetlagged, we fell asleep at 9:30.
Fueling up at the breakfast buffet in preparation for the land-air-sea-journey back to Bangkok.
Farewell, Koh Samui!
Anonymous asked: My girls and I are looking for a fun summer trip on a graduate school budget! We went to San Juan this year, any other suggestions?
Trip-planning… my favorite! It’s hard to say without more specifics (where you’re all located, what your budget is, domestic or international, what kind of stuff you’re looking to do…) but assuming you’re on the east coast and with San Juan in mind:
If you’re thinking domestic, Miami is a great girls’ trip for relaxing by the pool and going out on the town. Austin would be a more low-key option, - a blast with a small group and can be done reasonably. Napa is a favorite too! I’m not sure how many you are, but some of my favorite affordable trips with friends involve renting a house somewhere with a big group. We’ve done everything from rustic cabins by the lake to huge mansions with pools in Vermont, the Poconos, Tahoe, and the Hollywood Hills. Home rentals over hotels and not eating/drinking out for every meal definitely bring down the cost. (Thinking of doing this this year in Napa or Austin).
Outside the U.S., Dublin is actually an easy flight from NYC, and since it’s a hub you can frequently get great flight deals. I always wonder why I don’t travel to Europe more given that the flight is barely longer than that to San Francisco. Had a really wonderful time there (check out my notes from trip-planning here).
I was also pleasantly surprised by Cancun, which we booked on Priceline - the total price for our family all-inclusive trip earlier this year was incredibly reasonable, and our resort/beach was fantastic (though I can’t say there was a lot of culture involved - mostly pool-lounging and eating my face off).
I haven’t been to either yet, but Bermuda and the Dominican Republic are both on my list of close-enough places I’m keeping an eye on for flight sales.