Samples of the newsletters I produce

I currently write the E6 Solutions business newsletter for a client. Please email me at if you'd like me to send you a sample.

Creative Houston Sparks

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Health Guide USA Tips & Trusted Links

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Hire for integrity first, experience last

From Chip Conley's Wisdom Well

Quoting Dee Hock, founder and CEO of VISA International:

“Hire and promote first on the basis of integrity;
second, motivation; third, capacity; fourth, motivation; fifth, knowledge;
and last and least, experience.

Without integrity, motivation is dangerous.
Without motivation, capacity is impotent.
Without capacity, understanding is limited.
Without understanding, knowledge is meaningless.
Without knowledge, experience is blind.

Experience is easy to provide and
quickly put to good use by people with all the other qualities.”

Networking done well

From the blog of Customer Experience expert Austin Govella... Professional introductions for networking at conferences, 2022-Apr-26 by Austin Govella

I learned this introduction format from design leader, Christina Wodtke (@cwodtke), who I think learned it from executive coach, Harry Max (@harrymax). Answer three questions:

  1. Your name

  2. Your role and company

  3. The most interesting thing about where you work

It works kind of like a Mad Lib:

Hello, my name is your name.
I am a your role at your organization
Where I the most interesting thing you do.

For example, my intro might go like this:

Hello, my name is Austin Govella.
I am a User Experience Lead at Avanade
Where I help enterprises transform how they connect with employees and customers.

As with business introductions, tailor your role, so the audience understands. For example, for general audiences, I might describe myself as a Project Lead instead of a UX Lead

Be interesting

The last part makes the magic: the most interesting thing you do where you work.

I've got to memorize this list for "talking to people you barely know." (from Lilsa MacLellan on Quartz)

People greatly overestimate how awkward it will be to hold a “deep” conversation with someone they don’t know well, and routinely underestimate how much other people care about us and what’s on our minds


How to have better conversations with people you barely know — Quartz at Work


The secret to having more meaningful conversations


Twenty prompts for better conversations

During the study, which appeared in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, participants were given conversation prompts ranked according to how intimate they were perceived to be. At the shallow end of the pool was “What do you think about the weather today?” At the more probing end of the spectrum, strangers asked each other questions like, “Can you describe a time you cried in front of another person?”

Here’s the complete list of prompts:

“Shallow” questions, listed in order of ascending intimacy

  • What do you think about the weather today?
  • How often do you come here?
  • How did you celebrate last Halloween?
  • How often do you get your hair cut? Where do you go? Have you ever had a really bad haircut experience?
  • What is the best TV show you’ve seen in the last month?
  • When was the last time you walked for more than an hour? Describe where you went and what you saw.
  • Do you like to get up early or stay up late?
  • Do you have anything planned for later today? When are you going to do it?
  • Can you describe a conversation you had with another person earlier today?
  • What’s your daily routine like?