Tag: Back West

Will the Closing Door Hit You in the Butt as You Leave?

Office doorIt happens.

  It happens. That stint with your employer starts to look like toast. The accomplishments of five or ten months or five or ten years ago are yesterday’s news; “what have you done lately” if the mantra that’s sung from the corner office. The boss – likely the new boss rather than the old boss, […]

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[Work Space] Glad I Bumped into You . . . .


Little things count; they frequently count very big. A recent post spoke to the smarts behind picking the right time zones for multiple locations that optimize work. This post extends that thought to how workplace shapes individual and organizational performance. While the Yahoo (and to degree, HP) move to eliminate telecommuting by remote workers was […]

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[Work Locations] Hit the Sweet Spot


It’s not Flo Rida, but like a lot of little things that add up to make a huge difference, where you put offices and people is critical for all sorts of reasons. You want to hit the sweet spot. Time zones, for example. A recent call with a colleague left me chuckling as she walked me through […]

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Dare to Be the Nail that Gets Hammered?

k-spsh-nl) adjective

Ex·cep·tion·al (k-spsh-nl) adjective 1. Being an exception; uncommon.   The Japanese have a proverb: “The nail that sticks out gets hammered down.“ That saying applies in most parts of the United States as well. “Be different” and suffer the consequences. Unless you’ve got sufficient leverage through power, position, or extraordinary credibility, when someone proposes something different – risk taking or […]

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[Life Back West] December 2013 – What Would Agnes Do?

Italianate Victorian Painted Lady in San Franc...Over 70, she summoned me from across Liberty Street with a wave of her hand as I wondered what a stranger was doing motioning to me. Newly moved from Chicago, it was definitely not something that would happen in the Windy City unless the person was psychotic.

She has been dead for over a decade and I still remember the first time we met as if it was yesterday. Over 70, she summoned me from across Liberty Street with a wave of her hand as I wondered what a stranger was doing motioning to me. Newly moved from Chicago, it was definitely […]

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What Would Santa Say?

Santa Checks the Naughty or Nice List

Gary Allan Hertzberg, the American musician known professionally as Gary Allan, has a song line of  “Let’s be naughty and save Santa the trip.“ For the “naughty or nice” standard, it’s a pretty good way to gauge behavior, and one for all of us (you too) to follow. Exemplary behavior in one person – think Nelson Mandela […]

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[Life Back West] November 2014 – “Hardik”

Car crash

The Volvo died. An early morning head-on collision on Divisadero Street with a driver scrambling through a light to get to their flight at SFO left my spouse shaken but otherwise well, and a car that had lasted for over two decades on its way to the junk heap. While the car had a habit […]

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Where is Jonah Lehrer?


It happens: we screw up. With any luck we own up to any mistakes and move on. Life continues, the metaphorical business version of an invisible scarlet letter and all. Jonah Lehrer, whose gifts as a writer (best sellers such as Proust was a Neuroscientist,  How We Decide, and Imagine as well as writing for Wired and The […]

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[Life Back West] October 2013 – Kismet?


“Kismet” the CEO asked? “Yes, kismet,” I said. “The not-so-accidental fact that I’m working with someone who has some of the same strengths and challenges that I have. The good news? I know them well.” The CEO’s direct report was the client, someone I’ll call “Bob,” did indeed have a skill set that reminded me […]

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Lose Your Voice?


“Did you lose your voice?” It was the first question my exec coaching client asked himself as the chairman went around the room polling everyone’s thoughts. “Worse,” my client said, “I knew it was a really bad idea and everyone else knew it too.” Research by social scientists documents the dangers of groupthink; an opinion […]

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