IMPACT

Morgan VanDerLeest

πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§β€πŸ‘§ Dad 🌡 Texan ο£Ώ Apple fan πŸ‘¨β€πŸ’» Engineering @impactbnd πŸ›€ Rails + JS sprinkles dev πŸ’» Tech & productivity enthusiast

Joined March 2020

About

Director of Engineering @ IMPACT

Jun 2018 - Present

Howdy! πŸ‘‹πŸ»

I'm the Director of Engineering at IMPACT, which means I'm responsible for the team building IMPACT+ πŸ™ƒ

With a background in development, finance, and marketing, I help coerce the creative process into incredible digital product experiences for our audience.

In my free time, you can find me hanging out with my wife and daughters
While we have people like Clodagh Higgins , Bob Ruffolo and Marcus Sheridan here in IMPACT+ (all of which are great), who are other thought leaders you follow that I should too?

Anyone from agency owners to people working in the agency world would be appreciated! See More
Morgan VanDerLeest
Big fan of Chris Do! Great inclusion, Peter πŸ‘πŸ»
Many of us have read lots of books throughout our careers, but I'm sure we all have that one book we always think of and recommend. What's that book for you? See More
Morgan VanDerLeest
Hard to name just one, so here's a few that have been influential for me:

Badass: Making Users Awesome by Kathy Sierra
Totally changed the way I think about building products and really all aspects of the customer experience.

Atomic Habits by James Clear
I've developed much better habits after learning how to support the right ones and break the bad ones.

No B.S. books by Dan Kennedy
Dan Kennedy (RIP) is a legend, and he has a lot of interesting books, videos, etc. This series is particular useful, and each book is a pretty easy read.

Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
Read these over a decade ago so they've become foundational for me. These aren't going to teach new ways to do things or help with a breakthrough, but they helped shape the mindset I have about business and creating value.
I'm interested in the topic of newsletters. What's the best way for me to do a kind of universal search on that topic? See More
Morgan VanDerLeest
This is in the works πŸ™ƒ
Morgan VanDerLeest
I love everything about this. Congratulations on the new role, and what a phenomenal getting started action!

In addition to video, I'm a big fan of long-form writing (and giving it a proper home). Not via a chat tool, and not via email. Those are both difficult to manage deep thoughts and conversations. But taking the time to write things out is good for the writer, as they're thinking through and revising before sending (and then they can include a video overview for the full package!). Also good for all kinds of people, as processors and quick responders get put on the same playing field (vs having to respond quickly in chat/email to avoid being lost).

We've also found this can sometimes replace meetings, leaving meeting time for important discussions. And it's also useful as a meeting recap, with both a video and the text summary version. Again, helpful to have a proper digital home for these so you can link to them and allow discussions, etc.

Basecamp has a great communication summary, but you can use whatever tool works best for you and your team.

Thank you for sharing, looking forward to your future updates πŸ‘πŸ»
As leaders of organizations, how do you create a culture that encourages learning and professional development? I know now more than ever it is challenging to ask people to put their time towards this, but I'd love to hear the different approaches we all take to do so. Thanks! See More
Morgan VanDerLeest
I've been actively encouraging my team to block off some time for professional development out of their regular workday once per week. It may sound counterintuitive, but the things they learn in those few hours a week can save us days or more down the road. Also having that time blocked off helps them be more efficient with the time they do have, instead of requiring learning on top of a regular work-week.

We also encourage sharing the things we learn. For us, that comes in the form of a Basecamp Automatic Check-In asking "What have you learned this week?". But could be a simple share in a weekly meeting. The Basecamp check-in works nicely because someone can write as much or as little as they'd like without being on the spot to speak about it.
After a summer of limited camp opportunities, the fall doesn't look much better for our 10 and 6 year olds.

For us in Connecticut, my kids' school is going back to a hyrbid model, meaning they'll only be in school two days a week.

How's it looking for everyone else? What are your plans? See More
Morgan VanDerLeest
We're getting ready to start full-time virtual schooling for our kindergartener. She's still technically enrolled in school but will be doing everything from home. Re-arranged some furniture so she has a nice desk area to be able to work and focus. The way our school district in Texas (or at least this school) works is every 6 weeks you can transition to in-person or virtual, or stay the same. Waiting to see how things look in another 4-6 weeks!
I'd love to know what books everyone is reading, even if they aren't super business-y! See More
Morgan VanDerLeest
100% recommend. I think you’d get a lot of great ideas from it πŸ‘πŸ»
Hey there IMPACT+ family
My name is Myriah Anderson and I'm the Community Manager here. I'm excited to get to know all of you :)
If you're new around here, we'd love to get to know you! Reply to this thread introducing yourself and letting us know why you joined. See More
Morgan VanDerLeest
Welcome, Animasaun Azeez !

What's the biggest thing on your mind right now that you'd like to get out of IMPACT+?
Is there such thing as too many links in a blog? I know we need to include external and internal links within a blog - but what is the right amount of links? I just read one online that had 16 links within the text. See More
Morgan VanDerLeest
Great question, Nicole!Β  Ramona Sukhraj orΒ  Liz Moorehead may have a good answer for you.

I know for me, it depends more on the length of the article. If I need to reference something, I'll link to it. But I try to have a good amount of my own thoughts around links so it's not just a stream of links.
Howdy and welcome to IMPACT+!

Please share your thoughts and questions here. And if you run into an issue, include a screenshot for reference :)

Looking forward to supporting y'all, have a great day! See More