SHRM Leadership Boundaries

A few months ago, SHRM announced that it was holding board elections. I had to laugh because an election at SHRM, a professional human resources membership association, is barely an election. They pre-select a slate of candidates to run unopposed through a very cumbersome ballot process. SHRM leadership reports that it has a quarter-million members…

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Saying No Has Consequences

It is totally possible to say no at work and in life. You have to embrace the consequences like an adult. Sometimes saying no means that people will hate you. Openly. With a passion. My boss once asked me to chip in on a project. I said no because I had perfect work-life balance. Also,…

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How to Say Yes

I’m not a big fan of people who say yes to life. Those are the people who eventually throw themselves onto oncoming traffic because life said no to them. But I could say yes a little more often, especially because so many of my friends have said yes. It’s turned out well. I have two…

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Metrics Mess Up Every Job, Not Just Yours

I was getting my flu shot, the other day, and my pharmacist started complaining about her job. Her parent company is breathing down her neck. “These guys at corporate? They measure everything.” When the phone rings, and it’s a doctor, they want her to answer it in under three rings. Her average is 3.6 rings,…

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The Happiest Guy in Your Office

I don’t hate happy people, but I hate the happiest guy in the office who makes it his life’s mission to make everybody else happy. I think that guy is pathologically sad on the inside. Exhibit A: He always turns his frown upside-down. Is the Keurig machine broken? Did you find a lump in your…

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Yoga is the New Team Building

Something is in the water. Yoga is the new HR teambuilding activity. I say this because I’ve been to several human resources meetings, this year, and leaders are forcing their colleagues and direct reports to wake up early and do yoga. And I use the word “forcing” because attendance is mandatory. You wake up early,…

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3 Logical Fallacies Behind Leadership Literature

Leadership literature is rubbish. I know this because I’m friendly with many of those authors, and they approach the concept of leadership as an elusive, dichotomous quality: either you got it, or you don’t. Paternal Persona The first problem with the discussion around leadership is that it’s rooted in a masculine, fatherly framework. The best…

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