Tag: Performance

[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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[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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[Life Back West] March 2014 – Do the Right Thing?

Cover of "Do the Right Thing [Blu-ray]"

Mark Twain said “Do the right thing. It will gratify some people, and astonish the rest.” While it’s astonishing, it may not get you liked. Respected perhaps, not liked. Doing right, in the words of a board member whose organization struggles with courage and a moral compass, is “Awkward; inconvenient.” I had a catch-up breakfast […]

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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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[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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[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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End of the Year Calling: The 90-Day Sprint


2014 is calling. Yes, you. The words it uses – “bonus,” “performance review,” “promotion” – may be different but the results are the same. Time to up your game and/or up the game of your team. Time to get started. If you haven’t been “campaigning” now is the time to start. And every day counts. […]

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[Life Back West] October 2012 – Stew and the Negro Problem

In your face !

In the battleground that passes for schoolyard or corporate politics, the behaviors you deploy largely dictate how effective you are. But if your preferred approach doesn’t work  – think of the overly polite Barack Obama in this year’s first Presidential debate – then it’s time to try something different. Here’s the backstory, and what it means […]

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[Life Back West] July 2012 – “Misfit Toys”

Avengers (comics)

If you live in a certain City by the bay, sooner or later little surprises you. Annoy you? Yes. Delight you? Often. Alarm, disappoint, thrill, and endear? Always. It’s those differences that make the place so special. Take away those difference and ultimately it leads to one destination; the land of boring, common, even mediocre. […]

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The Recruiting Wars Updated: All Star Talent Takes (Another) Beating

Dallas Mavericks logo

The lure of “A” players – that “can’t miss” man or woman that so many companies claim to recruit and land – has taken another beating. It’s not the first time that topgrading and the “A” Player strategy as a hoax has been exposed – and it won’t be its last. Like instant diets and get […]

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