Synopsys: Karen Bartleson, Senior Director, Community Marketing

Karen Bartleson wrote the book on standards—literally. Her The Ten Commandments for Effective Standards: Practical Insights for Creating Technical Standards is considered required reading by standards enthusiasts.

From the outside, it seems quite the leap from the world of standards to community marketing—or is it?

People who know Bartleson tell you that this fearless, passionate leader doesn't take leaps but uses stepping-stones that take her from place to place in a series of what may not always seem like connected points.

But Bartleson says that she has taken leaps of faith in her career and that these leaps helped her learn how to trust her instincts.

“I quit a good job in a stable office environment to become one of the first remote employees at a new company. I had so much to figure out since remote offices were a very new thing,” she recalls. “I did learn four important things from this experience”:

  1. E-mail: “I learned that e-mail is a terrible vehicle for communicating tone of voice and subtlety of meaning. There's nothing like a phone call or a face-to-face discussion for important or sensitive subjects.”
  2. Increase your visibility: “I also learned that remote employees have to be readily accessible and make noticeable contributions so there's no doubt that they are valuable to their company.”
  3. Discipline: “I learned discipline in using my work time and personal time.”
  4. Curiosity: “ The experience also taught ...

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