By Chandrama Anderson
Love Means Having Someone to Lose: Engineers Not ExemptUploaded: Oct 14, 2013
Formula 1 race driver and World champion Niki Lauda reminds me of a lot of Silicon Valley engineers I've met.
I saw the movie 'Rush' a few days ago with my teenage son, and I was struck by Lauda's brilliance, calculated risk-taking, and execution (I promise I won't spoil the plot for you).
Lauda initially took out a loan and bought his way into Ferrari as their number two driver. He then went to work with the mechanics to reconfigure his car. Driving Lauda's car, Ferrari's number one driver was able to shave 2.3 seconds off his time. Of course Lauda renegotiated his contract with Ferrari at that point.
Just before Niki married, he said to his wife-to-be, I'm not going to be very good at this -- at holding hands, remembering birthdays and anniversaries. And yet the next scenes were of joyful love, followed by fear. Niki essentially said that happiness means it's the end because he now has someone to lose.
I've seen a lot of engineers that are afraid to show their love. That doesn't mean it's not in there, and it doesn't mean that s/he is not capable of learning to show it. It also doesn't mean that s/he is not already showing love -- it just may not be in the way you are expecting to see it.
Many of the traits and skills that have made us successful in school and work may not be the ones that make us successful once we walk in the door at home.
Yet we need all of those traits and skills. We have to figure out which ones to use where, and how loud to use them in a given situation.
The takeaway this time: Experiment with not treating the love of your life like a co-worker.