Wednesday - February 1, 2023

As If They Were You

October 14th, 2008

“Treat everybody else as if they were you.” These words gave me pause. I wonder what it would be like if we each did what this “unknown author” is advocating? Would she still have abandoned her station at the airport fast food restaurant to get a fork and share a pastry with her friend while her customers waited if she followed this adage? Would he still have sat by the window of the plane with his feet on the seat and knees in my husband\’s space? And would he have cut off the driver in back of him causing her to miss her exit in urban rush hour? Probably not. So... Read More


September 12th, 2008

There\’s a line in the movie Gracie that I love. Gracie is a teenager in the 70s who is competing for a spot on the boy\’s high school varsity soccer team. In one scene, dejected and on the verge of giving up, her mother, played by Elizabeth Shue, tells her, “If you want to limit yourself, that\’s fine. But don\’t let other people do it for you.” Most of us do an impressive job of impeding our own paths with our detrimental self-talk, minimized confidence, and self-esteem doubts without any help from naysayers. Still, too often we blame those others, not ourselves,... Read More

Herd Mentality

August 11th, 2008

Booths featuring products and services related to employee engagement, web-based delivery, global performance, and talent management were overflowing with conference attendees as I walked the trade show at a national conference where I was speaking. Just a few years ago the magnets were initiatives like total quality management, six sigma, diversity, work-life-balance, and customer driven. Every few years there are band wagons of “solutions” for the ills troubling companies, with contingents of experts ready to sell the latest “fix” to eager herd-minded buyers. Reinforced... Read More


June 16th, 2008

“I don\’t like to be kept waiting,” he responded when asked by the travel-study professor why he delayed the entire group for a third straight day. “Next time,” the professor warned, “we won\’t hold the bus.” The following day the bus left as scheduled, returning to the hotel late into the evening from a full day of learning and exploring. It also returned to an outraged man who was left behind when, once again, he was late for the designated departure time. “That cured him for the remainder of the trip,” our travel-study professor shared... Read More


May 13th, 2008

It started with a turkey. In the early days of a start-up company I once worked for, a plump turkey was a small thank you token given to employees around the holidays. The turkey-giving practice lasted maybe three years, until the growing size of the organization necessitated its change. And while enhanced benefits emerged to replace that poultry gift, I found it amazing that the missing turkey still appeared as a resentment issue five years later in employee forums. Similarly, I was astounded when I recently heard employees grumbling at a company that provided a daily complimentary hot breakfast... Read More


April 14th, 2008

Once upon a time, a prince and princess lived in stressful palace, surrounded by a stressful village, inside a stressful land. They knew it was stressful because everyone said it was. Their parents, the king and queen, worked from sunrise to sunset hearing issues from their kingdom, weighing the requests, and appropriating the collective harvest to the people of their land. The people also worked from sunrise to sunset, doing their assigned tasks, completing their logs, filing their reports, and seeking an audience with the king and queen to request their needed resources. So it went, year after... Read More


March 11th, 2008

Watching a rerun of “What Not to Wear” on The Learning Channel, I was struck by the dialogue between the individual being transformed and the cast of experts. While agreeing to follow the advice and input from these style-masters, “Joyce” was closed to the ideas presented of what she should wear, how her hair should be cut, and her make-up enhanced. Her resistance sounded familiar. It echoed reasons proclaimed by people at work who cling to their comfort zones, eager to maintain the status quo, not rock the boat, or stick with the same skills. These people are past-focused,... Read More


February 15th, 2008

It was a dimly lit restaurant. Still she was dressed in pink, and while I admit it\’s hard to tell the gender of three month old babies, clothing color is a reliable clue. So, it surprised me when the waitress began playing with my granddaughter, asking “How old is he?” Twenty minutes later, that same waitress served our dinners into my daughter-in-law\’s lap, spilling the contents of her tray as she approached the table. We made light of the occurrence, assisting her with basic cleanup, but the interaction got me thinking. I\’ve met and managed too many people who... Read More


December 11th, 2007

Maybe you received the email offering cash in exchange for testing the Microsoft/AOL email tracking system. Or you heard that theaters were using subliminal advertising to increase sales of popcorn and soft drinks. Maybe it was the “buy one, get one free” Porsche promotion that caught your attention, or the warning that reusing plastic water bottles is unhealthy since components breakdown and are ingested. The fact that these are all false didn\’t stop thousands of people from forwarding them, repeating them, or believing them. Two of these even made it into the top twenty-five... Read More


November 15th, 2007

Involved in an expensive developmental workshop, Chad volunteered first when the facilitator queried the group about their objectives. It was the morning session of a weekend event that a friend of mine was conducting, and she\’d asked me to sit-in. So, on a Saturday morning when I\’d normally be sleeping, I found myself listening to Chad\’s frustrations about his lack of success, his inflexible boss, and his difficult coworkers. What sounded like normal workplace frustrations most people experience from time to time changed abruptly when my friend asked Chad if it had always... Read More