“But when is International Men’s Day!?”

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“But when is International Men’s Day!?”

This question, which can seem insensitive, offensive, and ignorant all at the same time - is, unfortunately, a symptom of a deeper problem in our society. Every year, I hear several men ask this question on social media and in person. Every year, I enter the same conversation slowly picking apart their shallow arguments. Every year, I hope that it’s the last time that I hear it, and every year, I’m wrong. I cannot imagine what the experience is like for a woman who has to hear this question every single year.

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Opportunity to Adapt

Opportunity to Adapt

I was recently talking with a business owner who had a very bleak outlook on the future. He started the conversation by saying, "I hate technology!" Not the typical mindset of a Gen Xer.  He owns a chauffeur company and shared that he is worried that autonomous vehicles are going to put him out of business. 

Don’t Stop Being Thankful, Your Life (and Your Brain) Will Improve.

Don’t Stop Being Thankful, Your Life (and Your Brain) Will Improve.

Every year around the holidays, my family goes around the table and shares something that we’re grateful for.  It can seem corny at times, but it’s a tradition, and we always do it.  The shares usually run the gamut from the expected to the unusual.  But no matter what is shared,  the experience never fails to put a smile on all of our faces.  The interesting thing is that there’s a scientific explanation as to why we’re smiling... Gratitude changes us.

Tacoma, WA Hires First Female City Manager, Elizabeth Pauli

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Tacoma, WA Hires First Female City Manager, Elizabeth Pauli

Across the United States, the percentage of women in the top Executive role in cities and towns is about 13%. In 1981 when the data was first collected… it was 13%.

Let that sink in for a bit.

Tacoma just hired Elizabeth Pauli to the City Manager position.  The first female to hold this office in history.

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We're having the WRONG conversation about Millennials

We're having the WRONG conversation about Millennials

In my years of work with Human Resources departments, I've sat in on many-a-seminar called something to the effect of, "Managing a Millennial Workforce" or "Managing Millennials." These presentations are often boiled down to three points:

  1. Millennials are entitled and narcissistic.
  2. Millennials fear commitment and change jobs every two years.
  3. Millennials need to be appreciated all of the time. 

When we place negative generalizations on an entire group of people from a certain ethnic origin, we call it racism, and it's appalling. When we do the same for a single gender, we call it sexism, and it's appalling. It's appalling because we are making gross generalizations of an entire group of people even though they have individual personalities, strengths, ambitions, and motivations. This is the major flaw in our conversations about Millennials, we frequently ignore that they are more than just a group, they are a group of individuals.  Read the Full Article

Forbes: Use This One Parenting Skill And Become A Better Manager

Forbes: Use This One Parenting Skill And Become A Better Manager

Like many of you, I’ve spent years studying literature on leadership, management and improvement. After reading countless books and articles I realized that although my reading was about business, I could always find a way to apply the concepts at home with my family. The more I experienced this, the more that I realized that the analog goes in both directions. Management is parenting; parenting is management.

As this reality washed over me, I realized that the element missing in most business books is one of the softest and most powerful skills -- a skill that parents employ daily and instinctively: unconditional empathy.  Read the full article

The Burning Platform is Managerial Suicide

The Burning Platform is Managerial Suicide

Remember 1999, when we all had Nokia phones in our pockets? I bet that if you think about it, you can still hear that iconic electronic ringtone. If you can’t, here’s a refresher that is likely to get stuck in your head for decades.

In 1999, Nokia 3110 sales figures eclipsed 160 MILLION, making it one of the most popular phones ever made. And then a few years later, when most of the world was reaching for their 600 MILLION iPhones or Galaxy smartphones, Nokia sold less than 7 million across all of their phone offerings. That was when rumors were going around about Nokia’s impending demise. In 2011, Stephen Elop, Nokia’s then CEO, delivered his infamous speech about a burning platform.  Read the full article

Huffington Post: What I Learned about Life and Leadership by Tripping (Hard) Over a Hurdle

Huffington Post: What I Learned about Life and Leadership by Tripping (Hard) Over a Hurdle

It is often believed that success begets success. But there is a reason that only 40 of every 1,000 businesses exist for longer than 10 years. Research overwhelmingly suggests that success and growth lead to a reduced need to innovate. Many think, “It has worked so well, so far - why would I need to change?” This sentiment is called complacency.

I came face-to-face with my own complacency on May 27, 2000 at the Washington State Track & Field Championships. Read the Full Article