When Your Boss Sees You as Competition

When Your Boss Sees You as Competition
There are probably few things harder to manage in the workplace than having a boss who considers you to be a competitor rather than a colleague. This may have little to do with your actual behavior or performance. Instead, it occurs when an insecure boss realizes how smart or how competent you are. Perhaps your good reputation preceded you, or you are better educated, hold more degrees, or have received more public recognition. Maybe you simply have worked hard and are on a fast track. Now, ... Read more
Share This

Selling Yourself

Selling Yourself
It’s impossible to turn on your television or any news channel and not see and hear Presidential candidates talking about themselves and their accomplishments. They all claim outstanding records. They explain away any failures or inconsistencies in their past records. They take credit for a huge variety of successes from solving international crises to assisting small communities during difficult times. Regardless of fact checkers disputing what the candidates claim, they continue ... Read more
Share This

The Three Words You Must Never Say

The Three Words You Must Never Say
Recently. I was lucky enough to come across a little book called “Fail, Fail Again, Fail Better.” The author, Pema Chodron, is an American-born Buddhist nun. The book contains the commencement address she gave at her granddaughter’s college graduation. The title was intriguing, and it made me want to see why she was encouraging failure. While the text of the book is sparse (taking up only 80 pages), the message is anything but. While I hope you will read the text in its ... Read more
Share This

Free Time Isn’t Free

Free Time Isn’t Free
How valuable is your time? It’s easy to answer that question at work simply by figuring out your hourly rate, but it is much harder do determine the worth of your leisure or non-work time. Do you feel you are able to meet your personal needs and commitments, or are you always running late and falling behind? Would you like to recapture some of your free time? With some simple planning, and a bit of discipline, you can. One way to begin is by being more organized and efficient. For ... Read more
Share This

Use or Lose

Use or Lose
As the old year draws to a close, many employees are scrambling to use remaining vacation time. Perhaps you saved time especially for the holidays, or, maybe you  didn’t take enough time off during the year. Now you find that you can only take so many days at one time, or that others have requested the dates before you. As a result, you simply aren’t going to be able to use all of your vacation days this year. Does it really matter? Almost all companies have policies about leave ... Read more
Share This

Mastering the Job Jungle Gym

Mastering the Job Jungle Gym
Recently a government official was complaining on television that millennials treat their careers like a jungle gym. He further noted that they move from job to job without a real commitment. If an opportunity opens up and looks interesting, millennials move on, just like a kid running from one piece of equipment to another on a playground. Previously, careers were more analogous to a rock climbing wall than a playground. A person had to climb steadily and carefully to make it to the top. ... Read more
Share This

The Language of Leadership

The Language of Leadership
The terrorist crisis in Europe has heightened the visibility and actions of world leaders. Every speech is carefully dissected and analyzed by political pundits and news commentators. They look for hidden meanings, they take comments out of context, and they make pronouncements on limited data. Depending on the coverage, a national leader may appear strong and decisive, or weak and bumbling. Sometimes the optics take on more importance than the content or the intent. We often hear that ... Read more
Share This

Emoticons, Emoji, Women, and Work

Emoticons, Emoji, Women, and Work
I have always disliked “smiley faces.” They seem rather silly to me. The emoticon for a smiley face (colon, hyphen, parenthesis) has been around since 1982, and a huge industry using pictographic symbols (generally referred to as emoji) for electronic communication has grown tremendously since the late 90s.  Currently, you can’t watch tv without seeing McDonald’s ads using “emoji” to highlight their change in menu. In the ads, everyone, men as well as ... Read more
Share This

Leadership, Honesty, and Integrity

Leadership, Honesty, and Integrity
America is abuzz with “Pope mania.” People everywhere are talking about Pope Francis’ visit. The television coverage is nonstop, yet it doesn’t seem particularly bothersome. Perhaps it is because, for weeks, we have been inundated with 24 hours of negativity related to next year’s Presidential campaign. Watching the Pope is a welcome diversion. From the politicians, we have heard bragging, and aggrandizement, lecturing and shouting. We have listened to insults, ... Read more
Share This

Your Accent is Showing

Your Accent is Showing
Most people don’t grow up thinking they have an accent, and we don’t always know how local phrases can identify our place of origin or give personal clues about us. For example, I spent most of my formative years in Pennsylvania Dutch country and didn’t move away until college. After graduation, I was excited to have my first real job, and equally excited to have professional colleagues. I was invited to go to lunch with some co-workers and replied I would join them as ... Read more
Share This