Over the past week, I have had a lot of hard conversations with different members of my teams both in New York and California. Although, Janice and I are really excited about starting the next adventure of our lives, saying goodbye to family, friends and co-workers has been extremely difficult. I have been absolutely fortunate to work with some of the best people in the industry at Evite.com / Gifts.com, Fox Interactive Media, Electronic Arts and Barnes & Noble.
That said, it is NEVER easy – especially now. At Barnes and Noble, we have really created an amazing and close team and will have my last major launch on Tuesday. On a related note, Mark Zuckerberg (CEO of Facebook) had his first public townhall (https://www.facebook.com/qawithmark) and answered a lot of really hard questions and addressed some very interesting topics. One of the topics that really stood out for me was the topic of workplace diversity. Over the years, my teams is as diverse as they come and my current team is a good example of that. My team has a vegan (yuck), vegetarians, meatatarians, women / men, Mexican, Indian, Hungarian, Pakistani and my team lead (Matt) thinks Pittsburg is an amazing city and should be an independent state, believe it or not.
Having a truly diverse team really adds a lot to the overall team through the ethnic diversity, background in training and education and lots of great laughs and tremendous amount of fun!
There is a big difference between bosses and leaders and Matt is definitely a leader. Over the past year as Janice and I were preparing our adventure of sailing around the world, I have been working really close with Matt to take over the team. I could tell he instantly had the passion, desire and excitement to take the team to the next level and knew the future for the web division at Barnes & Noble would be in great hands.
Well last night, I had the chance to have dinner with Matt and his wife Sheila in Mountain View to catch up, ask questions and talk about “livin’ your dream”. Even though Matt is originally from the UK, Canada and Pittsburg (very hard to explain) – I can’t hold that against him but him and his wife being Vegan – I can. They gave me the following package as part of his Festivus package (had to come a little early this year) – yes he is strange and celebrates Festivus at work :). See what I am talking about – Vegan Tuna!! BTW – I hate the Steelers and Pittsburg for that matter so what did he get me??!??!?!
Anyway, I am really going to miss the great people that I have met / led and hopefully will have the opportunity to work with everyone again!! BTW – everyone has an open invitation to join us along our sailing adventure – just say the word!