September 10, 2008
Out & Equal Workplace Summit 2008
Anh, Samwich and I arrived in Austin today for the Out & Equal Workplace Summit 2008.
I’m on a panel tomorrow for the afternoon plenary session (at 3:30) with the CEO of Clorox, as well as the President of AT&T California – Don Knauss and Ken McNeely (bios). Cindy Solomon is the moderator. We are doing a panel discussion, and we each have been given a few minutes to speak up front, and then answer questions from the audience. I’ve been asked to talk about transitioning in the workplace, and I expect that I’ll be asked questions around that topic.
So… I’m a little nervous. I’m no CEO, and this is the first time that I’ve done a non-techie presentation to anywhere near this number of people (I’ve been told that there are about 3000 registered – how many show up to see us? Well see!) I still feel like a total newbie in this space. Who am I to give advice, or even think that my experience is relevant? After a lot of teeth gnashing, I’ve decided to go pretty simple – big lessons learned for me, and big lessons that (I think) Microsoft learned.
For any even semi-regular reader of this space, my big lessons are the same ones I’ve been writing about for quite some time:
– If you aren’t ashamed, don’t act like you are!
– Open to questions means that there aren’t any secrets!
– Be unconstrained by percieved limitations
– Don’t be an adjective!
and so on… Of course, each of these little bon mots will be accompanied by an anectode (I’m nothing if not anecdotal).
I can’t say that my path would be good for anyone else, but it was my path, and I’ll talk about it. Please, if you are in the audience, no snoring.
Plenary 2 – Tomorrow in Austin. I’ll be there.
(As an aside, tomorrow is the one year anniversary of me sending my “Hi, I’m coming back in January with a new name and a new gender presentation!” (No, the mail didn’t say that – I’ll post it tomorrow for reference… it was *way* more eloquent) I could not have planned it this way… Quite a bit of change in a year, huh?)
PS – If you are at O&E and are wondering where I’m going to be, drop me a comment on the “Contact” page, and I’ll see what I can do!