photo of leading virtually with dispersed team mates

photo of virtual team matesAs the polar vortex took the Midwest by surprise last week, I connected with my friends and colleagues who work in the areas most affected by the extreme temperatures. Other than frost on the inside of the window and a few heating repair bills, it seemed like a regular week for these professionals. They all work from home and have done so for years. They don’t have to worry about a nasty commute or dangerous roads. Their worst-case scenario is a toddler bursting in the room during a video chat.Read More

Tidying Up KonMari

Tidying Up PhotoUnless you’ve been living under a rock, then you’ve likely been inundated with stories of friends and colleagues who are transforming their lives thanks to the viral sensation Marie Kondo. Her show on Netflix, Tidying Up, has taken the world by storm and is making us all question why we ever folded our shirts flat in the first place. Marie is a professional organizing consultant whose method for identifying what holds value and what just takes up space helps people identify how to unclutter their lives. The method, dubbed KonMari, involves holding on to the item and asking yourself if it sparks joy inside you. If it does not spark joy, we thank the item for the value it provided. And then we let it go.Read More

Superhero belt buckle

Superhero belt buckleThe saying “dress for the job you want, not the job you have” always sounds great in theory. Certainly, there’s value in transforming the image that others hold of you. By looking and acting the part, it’s possible to shift perception and then perception becomes reality. Additionally, when you behave like the person you want to become versus the person you are in your most natural state, over time that enables you to change and adapt internally. But there’s a limit to dressing for the part.

It takes more than a utility belt and a cape to become a superhero.Read More

Glasses for reading book

Glasses on bookHappy 2019! Hopefully, the year is off to a great start and you’re on track with your New Year’s resolutions! However, if you haven’t committed to a gym membership this week or decluttered your house while binge-watching Netflix, there’s still a trendy way to jump on the “New Year, New You” train. Grab a book. Better yet, grab 200 of them. It appears that 2019 is the year of the 200 Book Challenge.

The value and long-term impact of reading consistently has been demonstrated repeatedly in both scientific research and executive case studies. From Oprah Winfrey to Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and a long list of notable billionaires, the passion to read daily is a common trait that defines them. Read More

Back to basics

Back to basics As part of the challenge to read 200 books this year, I committed to read a handful of leadership books that have been collecting dust on my bookshelf for years. I’m a book enthusiast of sorts. I’m not as passionate about reading them as I am in collecting them, apparently. I have the appetite to read, just not the attention span; so, I typically read a few dozen blog posts a day vs. book chapters. This weekend, I cracked open one best seller on leadership, and abandoned it after one chapter out of boredom. So, I moved on to book #2. This book is written by someone with a huge following as a leadership guru. After one chapter, I tossed that book aside too. On the 3rd try (and fail), I realized the problem wasn’t with the book challenge. The problem was with my expectations.Read More

Photo of holiday bow

Photo of holiday bowAs we approach the end of the year, it’s no surprise that your employees have been feeling short on time. In addition to their engagement and commitment to the job, they’re managing a mental checklist of activities, events, and to-do’s from home. Shopping, cleaning, decorating, setting travel plans, and more take up precious downtime and leave workers feeling as though they’ve taken on a second job. For employees with children, they’re likely stressed about childcare during the winter break in addition to attending year-end recitals, holiday programs, and class parties.

And there’s no relief at work, either. With winter illnesses and scheduled vacations, there are typically fewer people to cover the same amount of work. Meanwhile, managers push employees to meet end of year goals and add on extra hours to meet customer demands. Add in budgeting, forecasting, and annual performance appraisals, and it’s no wonder there’s so much excitement about the start of a new year. By mid-December, we’re in survival mode and just hoping caffeine will power us through the rest of the year.Read More