Published April 20, 2014 by

Being Appreciated, Being Heard, And Getting Paid!


The above cartoon was in a recent issue of “The New Yorker” magazine and I found it both amusing and very important.  The caption reads “I’m working harder than I ever have, but all I get our of it is larger and larger paychecks.”   Amen!   I have been saying things like this for years.  Others have been saying it as well but most people roll their eyes and don’t pay attention………until they lose their most productive team members for issues other than what they get paid. 

I have often discussed how important it is “pay” careful attention to your best performers.   Reality is that regardless of what you pay them, if  they don’t feel the love or clearly understand their future potential, they will show up one day and say goodbye.   So many times I was told by superiors that I should tell an unhappy employee to refrain from complaining because “surely they will get paid.”

My friend “TED” had a good talk on this topic as well.  The title is  “What makes us feel good about our work.”  by Dan Ariely.   “Contrary to conventional wisdom, it isn’t just money. But it’s not exactly joy either. It seems that most of us thrive by making constant progress and feeling a sense of purpose.”

Read, Watch, Listen, Learn

Son of a Person


Published April 13, 2014 by

Obamacare Succession, Your Fungible Skills, Where To Get Them!


In the US this week, there was new person named to run the part of the US Government that is responsible for the much maligned healthcare plan known as “Obamacare.”  I won’t get int any of the details but I wanted to note one thing I kept hearing about the woman who assumed the leadership role.

Some stories mentioned that the new leader had little health care experience. Of course opposing political types wanted to use this change of management as another opportunity to bash the whole plan.  Every story I read, and every story I heard mentioned that the new leader had very strong and proven management skills.  People cited how she (Sylvia Matthews Burwell) was a great leader and problem solver.

This got me thinking to how I have thought I have always been pretty good an fixing things and managing people.  When I decided to explore new work and career options after many years in a single industry, many told me that my skills would be easily transferable to whatever work I might choose.  So far, I think they were correct.

There are many many people that are super super good at doing one thing.  Its probably a good idea to diversify your expertise when you can so as to prevent limiting future opportunities.

I think you know what my recommendation would be and where I would suggest you would get such useful advice!

Son of a Postman





Published April 8, 2014 by

Odd Expression, Says Lots, More Leaning In Needed

Last week a friend told me that he had to “babysit his kids.”  I had heard this same expression several years ago from a male colleague.  It didn’t sit well with me then, and it doesnt feel right to me now.  The first time I heard this it was spoken by someone from “the South” so I sort of dismissed it as leftover backwater southern stupidity.  This time I heard it from a male with global sensibilities, well traveled, well read, and a wife that equals him in her career achievements.

Isn’t babysitting something that you hire someone to do?  You ask your mother or your in-laws to help out occasionally?  Aren’t both parents responsible for the care, feeding, and mentoring of their children?  Is the mother who is the default child minder while the father is a stand in when the mother is busy elsewhere?   Really?

It just not right!  Didn’t Sheryl Sandberg tell us that in order for women to succeed in workplace there needs to be an equal partnership with shared responsibilities for everything?  If men still think that “babysitting” their own kids is something out of their expected purview, perhaps women need to “Lean In” a little harder.

Son Of A Postman


Published April 7, 2014 by

Work The Fields, Incorporate All Your Talent, Succeed

For the benefit of my non-American readers, and for those who don’t follow sports, I need to give you a quick summary of what has been going on with US College Basketball.  The team from the University of Kentucky has made it to the final game of the championship with a team of primarily made up of freshmen and all of the 5 starters are freshmen.  Its a diverse group of players that even includes a set of twins.

I am not so much of a sports fan but I do watch the NCAA college championship games every year.  I typically start watching when there are 16 team left in the tournament.  I only watch the second half of every game.  It is almost always super exciting.

So why should you care about my sports watching habits or this team from Kentucky?

Well, I just keep thinking of all the managers that I have known who would never put inexperienced people in front of their clients or let super bright and very able young people speak in front of large internal meetings.  It reminds me of all the times I got criticized for including someone in a meeting who was young or didn’t have the correct corporate title.  This always annoyed me.

How can you know someone’s real potential if you don’t test them or if you don’t take risks?  How can you keep you business fresh, vital, and responsive if you spend all your time listening only to those at your level?  Don’t they all think just like you?

How can manage anything or anybody if you don’t “work the fields?”   In the fields you learn what you can do better and get a sense of how you are doing as a manager.   Insightful and informed managers make for successful and profitable businesses.

Work The Fields.  Give the Freshmen A Shot.

Son of a Postman