The closest thing to a magic wand

Leadership and management development touch every aspect of your company. Including “hot topic” items such as burnout and mental health. Think about it. What keeps people happy at their jobs? Their manager. What creates and maintains a good company culture? Leadership from top to bottom. And the first-line manager is where the rubber of the culture meets the road of the …

Ten cats, one mouse

Once upon a time, I had ten cats. It wasn’t intentional – they just kept showing up until I said, out loud and firmly, “Enough!” And yeah, it was very furry. But the ten cats aren’t the story here. The one mouse – that’s the story. At the time, I lived in a rural town in south central New Jersey, …

Pizza, pineapple, and cilantro?

These are three things people feel strongly about: pizza, pineapple, and cilantro. There are those who are adament that pineapple should never be anywhere near a pizza, and then there are those who are fans of Hawaiian pizza (ham and pineapple). And there are those who love cilantro, and those who think it tastes like soap and hate it. I’m …

Want a toaster with that?

Okay, so I just dated myself with that headline – but – do you remember the days when banks would offer a toaster (no, really: a toaster) if you opened a new account? And more seriously, have you ever been a loyal customer of a brand or business – and then felt betrayed and overlooked when that brand or business …

Doing your job = quitting?!

Let’s start here: I’m a card-carrying “people pleaser in recovery.” It’s attributable to plenty of factors, from childhood experiences through various work situations and onward in personal relationships. I won’t bore you with the details, but I suspect at least some of you can relate. And professionally, it led to a lot of extra time at work. Moving on: I …

I never played team sports in school

My brother, ten years (almost to the day) younger than I am, played soccer when he was a kid. I’m part of the pre-soccer generation. Though I was a killer on the singles badminton court, and a crack archery shot in high school gym class. And I hated volleyball. Ugh. That Bitmoji image here? Completely untrue and unrealistic. But the …

My college classes wanted papers, not exams

In college, I mostly took classes requiring me to write papers, rather than taking exams. Which is why I never really “got” the cramming-for-exams thing. Cramming: the act of stuffing things (people, objects) into a too-small container (a room, a box). Or too much information all at once into your head. As adults, we might still be cramming, although in a …

My time as an interpreter

No, I was never an interpreter of other countries’ languages. But I’ve done a lot of interpretation and translation of what might appear to be native English – but often isn’t easily understood. In my software-development days, it was technology-to-business-speak and back again. Interpreting what the business community said and translating it into something the business analysts and software engineers could understand …

When Bonnie caught the groundhog (no blood, I promise)

We have a groundhog problem. It’s a big, fat groundhog that has figured out how to go under the low fence around the bean patch. We just got a hav-a-hart trap on loan from a friend. But I haven’t had time yet to set it up. So when I saw the groundhog squeezing under the fence this afternoon, I let …

The day I yelled at an employee…

“Just do it!” I had reached the end of my patience. And I wasn’t quoting Nike. At the time, I was the Director of the consulting division at a mid-sized software company. And the client wanted us to do something in their installation that wasn’t the best option. I’d done what I could to convince them to take the better way, …