MIT alumnus David Miller in his net-zero home in Newton, MA. Miller and his wife designed the home with the aim to minimize energy consumption. Among a range of technological and architectural features, the house possesses a front hall that creates a wind tunnel effect when first- and second-floor windows are open (the hot air being sucked up through the open stairwell area to keep the home cool), windows with extremely thick casings to create powerful insulation, a north-facing living room that is entirely solar-heated in winter, and a roof covered in solar panels, which generate enough energy to power a majority of the home, as well as the owners’ electric cars.
Bergeron spoke about the trajectory of her career, the value of continuing education, the importance of balancing a healthy lifestyle with a professional career, and the momentous shift of becoming a mother months prior to the launch of her first massive product. At one point, the projection screen behind her illuminated with the message, “You might think you have a plan when you head out on your first leave. But in reality, no matter how much preparing you have done – face the fact, you are winging it.”
The winter is a period when everything slows down for me, as if the cold freezes time. Initially, I revel in the quiet; autumn feels as if the universe hits the Fast Forward button in late summer and only releases its hold months in time for Thanksgiving dinner. By early February, however, the walls feel too close, and I’m begin to rattle, looking for ways to regroup, for new opportunities, for positive change in the upcoming season. My ears are always open for guidance, and my job allows me to sit at the feet of strangers who become mentors by default. At one point in her talk, Bergeron said, “Sometimes the ‘little’ opportunity sets you up for the ‘big’ opportunity,” which reminded me of Oprah’s famous definition, "Luck is preparation meeting the moment of opportunity."
Time to continue my preparations…
The MIT Leadership Center and the MIT Sloan Office of the Dean hosted Eric Schmidt, Technical Advisor and Board Member to Alphabet, Inc., and former CEO and Chairman of Google, as part of the iLead Speaker Series.
In a packed room, I sat nearly at his feet to ensure I could get a clear view. Schmidt was concise, warm, thorough, and funny; he clarified the importance of treating people well. “Value people,” he said, “and make people feel valued.”