Live with courage, not regret

live with courage not regretMoving from hurt feelings to sympathy happened fairly quickly after a friend apologized for not reaching out to me during my sick leave.

She said she had meant to call or send a card countless times but that something for work always got in the way.

Her remorse was obvious.

What resonated so much was being able to identify with how her good intentions had gotten lost in the swirl of appointments; to do lists; and grumpy, impatient bosses addicted to impossibly short deadlines.

I’d been there.

One scenario that still haunts me is a friend whose long-time husband asked for a divorce. She thought they were happily married and was dumbfounded to discover he’d been seeing someone for over a year. My friend’s ordeal was happening at the same time my job was operating at warp speed—my employer was in the process of a merger and I was the HR/OD point person. A workday of less than 14 hours was a treat.

Along with hubby time, exercise, gardening, and sleep, time with her sadly took a backseat to work demands. Our friendship was never the same. She couldn’t forgive me for not being there anytime she needed support. Her partial withdrawal hurt, but I understood. I’d let work become my number one priority and wasn’t there for her.

Was that the right thing to have done?

I know my boss and employer would say it was. Others would rightly disagree.

We all get to decide what’s important to us. Where we spend our time. Who we spend it with. What boundaries we set. What master we choose to serve.

And my choice back then was wrong.

That boss and employer are part of my past. They sure didn’t send me a get well card this summer. In fact, they didn’t even say thank you for the merger that was so well-received by the employees of both companies.

I made an either/or choice when it should have been a both/and one. I should have figured out how to carve out some quality time for my friend while handling my work.

I should have been courageous enough to tell my boss that I was going to do a better job of managing all my priorities, not just the work-related ones.

Today I have that courage. Just wish I’d found it sooner.


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Go ahead & disagree but leave the snark at home

disagree with grace and civilityIt was a day of the triple rudeness whammy…one delivered in my Twitter stream and the other two observed in meetings:  someone sharing their point of view only to be vigorously pommelled with personal attacks. The retorts were just plain brutal.

5 ways to banish the perfection gremlin

escape from perfectionRebecca’s gifts were always so perfectly wrapped that it felt wrong to open them.

They were works of art with perfectly creased foil paper, artfully draped lace doilies, and exquisitely abundant handmade bows. She would spend hours on each creation.

Be a Volunteer & Escape the Unemployment Trap

Today’s guest contributor is Richard B. Alman, principal and chief career/employment strategist of Recruiter Media Inc., owner/operator of the career website Recruiter Networks. Richard has also managed human resources for Fortune 100 and smaller multi-national companies.


be a volunteerThere’s good news for jobs in the United States.

  • In June, the private sector added 288,000 jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • The unemployment rate has shrunk to 6.1 percent, the lowest since September 2008, when the Great Recession was just starting. The rate has dropped nearly 2 percent since the beginning of 2013.
  • The U.S. Payroll to Population employment rate (P2P), as tracked by Gallup, now stands at one of its highest points since tracking began in January 2010.
  • More companies, states and cities are either raising their minimum wage or considering it.

Does this mean that we can put our minds to rest regarding jobs and prosperity?

Not exactly.

Dancing with purposeful discomfort

purposeful discomfortWe joined the conversation just as Matt was defending the right to be quirky and go against the mainstream. He was calm, gracious, and articulate—speaking his mind without being in anyone’s face, urging respect for different values and opinions.

His message of tolerance went unheeded. As the threads of conversation began anew, anyone who disagreed with the majority opinion was belittled and harshly criticized.

3 Ways for Boomers to Stay in the Game

Today’s guest contributor is Steve Kayser, an award-winning writer, editor, publisher, former radio host, founder of Kayser Media, and author of The Greatest Words You’ve Never Heard. 

too much timeBoomers may want to recall one of the poets they grew up reading, Dylan Thomas, and his most famous poem, named for its first line, “Do not go gentle into that good night,” a desperate appeal to resist the trappings of old age.

As they retire, baby boomers need to stay true to their reputation for grand statements, and to mobilize their skill set in the business world.

If a humblebrag isn’t the answer, what is?

confidence humilityMany individuals, especially women, struggle with achieving equilibrium between confidence and humility—another one of those life, love, and leadership challenges of getting it just right by avoiding too much or too little of the extremes.

A bit like Goldilocks…

Self-promotion advice I recently read in a leadership enewletter post zoomed right past confidence and into hubris. It’s a busy, noisy world where being heard or being top of mind are precious commodities. Yet tips for creating a five-part strategic plan to showcase winning an award feels to me like over-the-top, calculated conceit.

11 on the 11th: Musing on weakness

Some recent events and conversations have spurred a newfound interest in looking at how we approach our personal weaknesses. They can trip us up if we’re not thoughtful and compassionate in how we approach them:

  • we can focus too much on trying to turn a weakness into a strength and lose sight of what we’re really good at
  • we can let an obsession with a real or perceived weakness become a road block that holds us back
  • we can let others use our weaknesses against us or to control us
  • we can be blind to our weaknesses, harming ourselves and those around us by our failure to see and accept

Our weaknesses are an essential part of who we are. Perhaps you’ll find some inspiration in one of those quotes for effectively managing yours.

6 Tips for Women in Managing Business and Family

wisdom for womenToday’s guest contributor is Renae Christine, business owner, journalist, Mompreneur,author and speaker.

Being young and inexperienced can be intimidating for stay-at-home entrepreneurs, but that doesn’t mean you’re making mistakes.

Fresh out of college at 23, I thought I’d done something wrong when the wholesaler for my stationery company assigned me a personal representative. I was the busy mom of a 2-year-old and had just returned home to the mess left in the wake of last-minute packing when the rep showed up.

A legacy of noodles isn’t enough

Abe remembereds family conversations sometimes go, out of the blue someone mentioned Aunt Dolly’s noodles. You could tell by the lull in the conversation and the smiles on faces that people were remembering how soul-satisfyingly delicious her noodles were.

I’ll never forget the eulogy delivered by the pastor at her funeral.