Live Your Eulogy, not Your Resume

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Watch this short TED Talk by David Brooks. Amazingly deep. In less than 4 minutes he clearly evokes and advocates the need to live life based first on values and second on skills that define success in the business world.

For some, a eulogy is the first and only time their life’s impact has been celebrated. It’s the ultimate retrospective but one that is only useful for the next generation (if they attend your funeral). David Brooks writes that “Eulogies aren’t resumes. They describe the person’s care, wisdom, truthfulness and courage.”¬†This applies to agile and your work life more directly than you think. Does this look familiar…

We value…
Individuals and interactions  over processes and tools
Working software over comprehensive documentation
Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
Responding to change over following a plan

The stuff on the left is your eulogy; the stuff on the right is your resume. You resume tells what you do; your eulogy tells who you are. Do you want your eulogy to be “He will live on, not in our hearts or memories, because we barely knew him, but in his PowerPoint slides, which were always meticulously prepared.”?