How the power players do it - by Fortune senior editor at large Patricia Sellers

Back from Brainstorm Tech and MPWomen

July 28, 2008: 4:13 PM ET

I'm just back from three weeks away. I vowed to keep Postcards up to date while I was gone, and with the help of the incomparable Jessica Shambora, the enterprising reporter we hired in June, we did it! We're posting twice a day--including a daily Power Point, which is a piece of career advice or strategic insight that might help you navigate your career and even your life. At least, we hope, it'll give you a little boost each day.

So I had a great and restorative two weeks off. I visited my 87-year-old dad in Pennsylvania. Good bonding time following the January death of my mother, who was my best friend. (They were married 64 years.) I also spent a few days at the Jersey shore, swimming, biking, and learning to play Wii Sports with the guidance of my favorite teenage pal, Ben Bristol. I visited friends in California and drove up that glorious coastline with my childhood friend, Diane. I spent last week in Half Moon Bay, south of San Francisco, at Fortune Brainstorm Tech--and learned a ton from forward-thinking CEOs like Michael Dell (DELL), Jeff Bezos of Amazon (AMZN), and Chris DeWolfe of MySpace. (DeWolfe said he learned a ton from the Lessons of the Fall Q&A that I recently did with CEOs who lost their jobs. Thanks, Chris!)

I capped off last week with an inspiring Most Powerful Women dinner in SF and then a soiree at the home of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. Both powows drew the most prominent women in Silicon Valley and included lively discussions about power and leadership. I'll tell you about the latter gathering tomorrow on Postcards. Meantime, here's a piece that the Los Angeles Times wrote about the Thursday MPWomen dinner. Wish you could have been there!

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