The Day of Love

Today is the ubiquitous Valentine’s Day. Hearts and flowers and candy are everywhere to commemorate this day of love.

Although the focus of Valentine’s Day is personal, it’s also an appropriate occasion to show appreciation for employees, clients, vendors and other service providers – in other words, the people who help us do our best every day.

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It’s OK to Move On

I attended a reception with senior leaders of a major global institution. One of the things that piqued my curiosity was that a few people I talked to seemed to be suffering from malaise. It’s not unusual to experience this attitude from “the troops” but this was a surprise given the level of the people in the room.

Of course, one or two of them may have been having a bad day. But that wasn’t what I observed. These people have risen in their careers, are successful in their endeavors, and are receiving recognition for many accomplishments.

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Support, Don’t Reject


It’s normal for leaders to become frustrated by employee performance when employees disappoint. Obviously, you need to be judicious in how you handle these situations and to evaluate the root cause of the less than stellar performance.

You need to look behind the obvious to determine what’s going on with the disappointing employees, especially if their performance is normally positive.

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No Surprises


My friend Andrea recently gave performance reviews to her staff. She was pleased with their responses, and I offered kudos on how she delivered these reviews.

She replied, “You owe the people below you as much as you do those above you.”

What a great comment! Andrea provides regular feedback and treats her team with professional courtesy and respect. Her statement embodies these values. The positive response from her team is a consequence of this ongoing, regular dialogue.

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Have You Taken Vacation?


What happened to summer? Do you realize that next weekend is Labor Day? Aside from most people enjoying a three-day weekend, Labor Day is bittersweet because it marks the unofficial end to summer.

So. Have you taken vacation?

Americans still leave millions of dollars of unclaimed vacation benefits on the table. According to Project Time Off’s State of the American Vacation, 52% of Americans had unused vacation at the end of 2017. This translates to 212 million days of forfeited vacation, or $62.2 billion in lost benefits.

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Pause for the Summer Solstice

Today marks the beginning of summer (and if you didn’t know this, you need to take a day off). By the time you read this, the actual summer solstice will have passed (6:07 am EDT), and we’ll be well into the longest day of daylight (in the northern hemisphere) this year.

This is the time of the year when I “gently remind” leaders to make sure that they embrace and enjoy the season, and don’t let it zoom by without taking time to enjoy it. For years, clients have resolved to lighten their schedule to enjoy the summer only to reach September and wonder what happened to those plans.

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Back to School

Ah, it’s the time of the year when millions of students in the US return to school. On my morning walk, I’ve seen everything from fresh new uniforms to the latest colorful backpacks. The students express both excitement and trepidation as they enter the unknown of new teachers and experiences.

Teaching has changed dramatically in recent years as technology complements conventional methodology. I was intrigued by a recent article in The New York Times which described yet another new dimension, which is how the sharing economy has been applied to the world of teaching.

The web site TeachersPayTeachers.com is a virtual market place where instructors can buy and sell course materials (most for less than $5) ranging from lesson plans to course-specific activities to quizzes. The materials are created by teachers, for teachers.