Leadership: The Good, the Bad, and You

Leadership: The Good, the Bad, and You
For simplicity’s sake, we can boil leadership down to: the good, the bad, and you. This is the first of three posts to cover all three. When the topic of leadership comes up, most people think first about “bad bosses” — they skip right over the good, to the bad. So here goes, I’ll use this first post to explore bad leadership. Really, is there anything left to write about bad leadership? I’ve been known to say that every problem within an organization can be tied back to a lack of ... Read more
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Stress Carriers

Stress Carriers
We all know one or two of them. They may be a friend, relative or co-worker. What they have in common is that they scatter stress like Tinkerbell scatters fairy dust. They are stress carriers. They often appear friendly and helpful, but they have a knack — and perhaps the intention — of making others feel inadequate or upset. They also are skillful at shifting their work or worries to others smoothly that you are left wondering how it happened. It is easy to recognize a stress ... Read more
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Stepping Out and Stepping Up for Opportunity

Stepping Out and Stepping Up for Opportunity
At 2am four years ago, I responded to a general post seeking volunteer tennis coaches. I was about to finish graduate school and had coached sporadically for seven years, so I thought this could be a fun, interim experience. For the next two hours, I emailed back and forth with Vi, the person who posted the ad. She had just started a new NGO that delivered tennis programming to kids who live on the Southside of Chicago. I naturally was curious about this person who was up so late at night ... Read more
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The Walls Have Ears

The Walls Have Ears
Today, thanks to cell phones, we are constantly surrounded by conversations. People talk while they are walking, shopping, and eating. It seems like there are no longer filters on language used or content discussed. If nearby, you can listen to the intricacies of a legal matter or the intimacies of a personal relationship. This same behavior can be observed in the office. Though a conversation you’re having may seem harmless, it can have damaging effects. For example, perhaps you use ... Read more
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Beware the Lemmings

Beware the Lemmings
The lemming is a small rodent that mostly lives in the Arctic. Folklore has it that lemmings follow each other even when it results in their jumping off cliffs in what some describe as mass suicides. The lemming analogy is a cautionary tale for a “group think” mentality and can be applied to several situations in the workplace. New employees are more susceptible to becoming lemmings than others who are better informed. Frequently, an established worker volunteers to help the new person get ... Read more
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Words Left Unsaid

Words Left Unsaid
When I got married, Betsy (co-founder of Start Smart Career Center) gave me a piece of advice that I cherish because it has proven to be invaluable. She told me that the words I choose not to say to my husband are just as important as the words I do say to him. I could not have possibly appreciated the gravity of that statement at the time, but over five years later it is a motto I’ve come to live by in every aspect of my life. This concept may be easiest to understand in regards to ... Read more
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International Women’s Day: Make It Happen

International Women’s Day: Make It Happen
Today is International Women’s Day. Every year on March 8, women’s economic, political, and social achievements are celebrated around the world. The first observance was held in New York in 1909, organized by the Socialist Party of America in remembrance of the 1908 strike of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union. The United Nations declared it a holiday in 1977. Over the past 107 years, women in the United States have made incredible strides, gaining the right to vote, serving ... Read more
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Bloody Sunday and the March Before Us

Bloody Sunday and the March Before Us
Fifty years ago today, “Blood Sunday” became one of the most important civil rights events in American history. The public was forced to come to terms with the violence, degradation, and inhumanity that African Americans were subjected to in many parts of the country. Up until the passage of the Voting Rights Act 1965, African Americans were dissuaded from, and denied the right to vote, throughout the South. Poll taxes, literacy questions, and requirements for whites to vouch for their ... Read more
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How Meditation Can Ease Stress From the Work Day

How Meditation Can Ease Stress From the Work Day
For many of us, work is one of the biggest stressors in our daily lives. Things like nagging bosses, demanding customers, and high expectations can make your body tense and raise your blood pressure. Work day stress can inhibit your ability to think clearly and have a whole range of adverse effects on your physical health, even weakening your immune system. Then there’s the obvious effects that work can have on your mood and general state of mind. Meditation has been practiced the world ... Read more
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Don’t Settle for the Cheap Seats

Don’t Settle for the Cheap Seats
There is going to be a meeting with the boss that will be held in the conference room. Unfortunately, the conference table isn’t large enough for all the managers to sit at the table. There are chairs placed around the perimeter of the room for overflow. The men wander in and take a seat at the table without giving it a second thought.  They may try to decide where the boss will sit so they can choose their chair strategically. Some of the women seem uncertain about where to sit and ... Read more
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