Tag: J. Mike Smith

“I’m Not There Anymore”

Pre-School Graduation!!!

It can be surprising – even unsettling – when you bump into someone who has been a pillar of an organization for decades and they mention that “I’m not there anymore.“ That was the case when I bumped into Todd Wanerman at La Rondalla. Todd was one of my son Traylor’s teachers at The Little School, a person so […]

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[Use with Caution] “Some of Us Were Talking…”


There are phrases that bring out smiles and there are strings of words that generate frowns. Here’s one that can do both: “Some of us were talking…” Like other “traffic signal” words and phrases – things like “but” as in “You’ll like it but it might be bumpy” or “just” as in “He’s just another […]

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Can Introverts (Co) Rule the World?

quicker delivery

They’re sometimes dismissed – usually by extroverts – as “too shy” and not-so-good at speaking up. Social skills to mix it up in crowds can seem lacking. When they’re “on point” it can seem like they can falter. They are said to have “issues” when it comes to small talk; not great “speaking on their feet.” So can […]

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A 10 Minute Meeting Worth Millions?

call center

It they’d been sipping brews or smoking cigarettes I probably wouldn’t have noticed. Instead what caught my eye and ear was the crew at the open deli kitchen of Bi-Rite Market talking about what they needed to be aware of and do to make the day go smoothly. I reminded me that sometimes the simplest way to […]

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Your Career: The Art of the Comeback

Symptoms + Cures

Outstanding talent from Hillary Clinton to Mao Tse Tung to Robert Downey, Jr. has been humbled and managed a career rebound. Here’s one more comeback-in-progress to add to the list: Jonah Lehrer. Lehrer’s attempt has lessons for anyone who has stumbled, made stupid mistakes, or taken a fall for someone else. Maybe you. Lehrer has been publicly psychoanalyzed, editorially flogged, and digitally […]

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One (More) Headhunter “Secret”: “See Me”

An Ifugao warrior with some of his trophies; I...

There are “secrets” in the executive search trade that anyone who hopes to be headhunted (or hire a headhunter to fill an opening) should know. A set of 10 tips are here; another 7 more are here. Here’s an 18th tip: what you do in the search process can stick with you for a lifetime. While the […]

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Your Career: The Too-Brief Goodbye

Glass exit sign at LA Cathedral

There are a number of ways to say goodbye to a job – some helpful and effective, some not-so-great. Here’s a goodbye email that I received this week (names and contact info fictitious) sent blind copy from their work email account: “I’m leaving Salesforce.com. Please use “george.richards@gmail.com. My cell phone number will remain the same: 1-650-299-4242.  George” What works […]

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[Life Back West] March 2014 – The Six O’Clock Club


Ask any priest, competitive athlete like Michael Jordan, or experienced traveler. Rituals done with intent bring meaning to life. They also work, doing things like boosting performance and making things go better. Francesca Gino and Michael I. Norton noted in Scientific American that “investigations by psychologists have revealed intriguing new results demonstrating that rituals can have […]

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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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