Monica Walsh: A day in the life of a strategic partner and chief

Monica Walsh is Chief of Staff at Google where she works with a team on initiatives that includes Google Photo. This is a day in the life of strategic partner and chief.

What keeps you busy? Busy to me is off putting. My life if full and rich with family, wonderful friends I get to mix with, and interesting projects where I contribute and make a difference in people's lives (hopefully).

Today I woke up at 6:00 am.

The first thing I did was feed my cat.

My morning ritual includes… I'm not really a morning person.  I've always loved the dream state more! Ritual comes in different flavors – I like to have a hot cup of tea and read words of wisdom if there is space. Mostly, I move in the morning to get to work or get my kids to school. 

I started working at… usually I am at my desk by 8:30 am. I have worked at Google for 7 months now.

My biggest challenge was… each day I like to recommit to what I am doing, it helps me to be grateful, that's the big challenge. On the physical plane, I am usually the only woman in meetings all day – when are the others going to show up to the party!

I celebrated my mom! She's visiting and when she visits we celebrate because she's 70 and has been living with cancer, so there is lots to celebrate about her being my mom. 

What I love most about my work is all the people, they are multi-dimensional, warm and super smart (like me)! OK, and another thing I love about my work is the scale at which I get to think and act and operate. It's HUGE!

My favorite part of the day was… I love dinner with my family. Coming home and reconnecting, sharing about our days (we call it warm fuzzy and soggy sock) where we share high moments and low moments. It is a great release and a great form of connection.

Least favorite… Waking up! I'm not a morning person. 

I am so glad that I get to be a mother, be a chief, be a daughter and express myself as a woman in this world.

I wish I had an MBA. 

Something that surprised me was… it doesn't matter that I don't have an MBA. 

Did you have a plan for your day? Did it go as planned? I always have a plan, I start out with a plan, and then I flow. Things change so fast in my world so the key to a well-planned day is go with the flow.

I want to recognize my meditation teacher for helping me see myself fully and give from that place inside myself that is truly worth giving and living. I know all I know from her.

How do you commute? I walk or bike along a creek trail!  How rare is that. 

For lunch I usually go for the salad but I secretly want the pizza! (I'm veggie.)

A personal activity I do just for myself is yoga and I write poems on 3X5 cards at the end of my day usually about what happened in my day. 

I most enjoyed spending time with my kids and my girlfriends.

For dinner I love a glass of pinot and usually love a rice bowl with tons of veggies.

My favorite technology that I used today is a simple photo app that saves, searches and stores all my photos, and is easy to use...Google Photos. Free and easy and I love it. I'm not afraid to snap, send, and share photos and they are easily organized and searchable.

I am inspired by little things all around me that catch my attention and make me wonder. My kids especially inspire me.

Did you meditate? Did you exercise? I meditate each night before bed, it helps me sleep and release my day. My mind is so active usually that if I don't I end up popping out of bed to write down things on my to-do list.

For exercise I walk or ride my bike to work and do yoga three times a week. 

One strategy I use to make my time more effective is if it takes less than two minutes to do, don't write it down, just do it in the moment. 

I am passionate about helping others, promoting women, and taking a chance on others. 

Something I wanted to get done but didn’t get to do was… it's always the writing projects that are last to get done. I need more creative space in my day and I want to do my writing projects elsewhere, not in the office.

A dream I am currently focused on fulfilling is I want to speak at a TEDx conference or some big conference and tell my story, just to tell it so it's recorded and heard. 

I can’t live without chocolate! 

Today I felt grateful. 

I went to sleep at 11:30 pm.

Tomorrow I am looking forward to a rare day off work! A mother-daughter day with my mom! We are going to a museum in Palo Alto, wine tasting in Saratoga, and getting our nails done. We always laugh, talk about changing the world, and cry about the inevitable. 

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Monica Walsh is Chief of Staff at Google where she works on initiatives that are being used by millions of people including Google Photos. Imagine that scale!

Before joining Google seven months ago, she was the founder of Monica Walsh Consulting to amplify and leverage the good work of non profit organizations. She has been a strategic partner to Foundations and Non Profit Organizations in start-up or growth phase to build capacity, marketing and fundraising strength. Clients included United Cerebral Palsy of North Bay; A $10 million budget and two social enterprise business to Democracy based organization like Living Room Conversations, bringing civil discourse back into our political system so we can solve problems around education and prison population. She also worked with Headstand, a San Francisco based organization offering yoga and mindfulness curriculum to underprivileged schools in the Bay Area.

Learn more and connect with Monica on LinkedIn and Twitter.