I got an email from an old co-worker the other day: I was thinking about you and how you are a person I see as not being particularly embroiled in office politics, but also as having a lot of influence and knowing how and where to leverage it. I was curious if you had any words of advice for how you got to that place. Of course I was happy to hear that I come off this way, and as I thought about how to reply, I found myself writing an essay.