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This week on Let’s Fix Work, I welcome Dr. Julena M. Bonner. She’s an Assistant Professor in the Management Department of the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University. That’s right everyone, this week we’ve got an academic in the house!

Dr. Bonner received her Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University and her research interests include behavioral ethics, ethical leadership, emotions, and workplace deviance. Recently, Dr. Bonner wrote a research paper on employee unethical behavior, which we’ll cover in this episode.

So if you’re interested in learning why employees spit in people’s food (you betcha’, we’re going there) and how to mitigate this kind of bad behavior, sit tight and listen to this episode of Let’s Fix Work.

In this episode you’ll hear:

  1. Dr. Bonner share why she began her research on customer and employee hostile interactions
  2. Some types of lashing out behaviors employees displayed that Dr. Bonner observed during her research; including assault, sabotaging food, and more
  3. Given the risks and consequences of employee bad behavior against customers, employees still do it and we explore some reasons why
  4. Where emotional responses originate
  5. Ways to mitigate employee bad behavior or stop it in its tracks
  6. What a culture of ethical behavior and ethical leadership looks like

“When a work environment has a strong culture of ethical behavior to your formal policies and informal values exemplified by other employees and managers, employees are more likely to control their reactions and behave professionally when they’re mistreated by the customer.” ~ Dr. Julena M. Bonner

Resources from this episode:
Dr. Julena M. Bonner:

Laurie on LinkedIn:

Let’s Fix Work on LinkedIn:


Did you know that a woman gives up an average of four times her salary every year she is out of the workforce? That’s a staggering statistic, isn’t it?  Well, it is just one of the many insights Kathryn Sollman, speaker, career coach, and author, shared with me on a recent episode of Let’s Fix Work. Kathryn is on a mission to show women that there is flexibility to be found in the workforce. And that you can find a work-life balance that suits your lifestyle, one in which you don’t feel the necessity to step away from work completely while you raise a family, care for elderly parents, or live life, just a little.

Women who are newly stepping into the workforce are doing so in an era where the messaging regarding ambition is redefined. Kathryn explains, “Young women, as they are graduating from college, business school, or law school, are thinking about how they can have flexibility down the road and choosing carefully the jobs that are more likely to offer them that.”

Kathryn went on to say this, “When you talk about women and work, there seems to be a bias that you’re only ambitious if you’re aiming for the C-Suite. I took issue with that because I think that there are lots of smart and talented and ambitious women who are looking for a different kind of work paradigm and one that allows them to more capably blend work and life.”

But what happens if you are already in the workforce and now want a more flexible schedule? You can either find a job that offers a schedule that fits your lifestyle or broach the subject with your boss. Kathryn has some advice for women who do want to bring up the topic of work-life balance to a boss or superior.

First, rather than ask to telecommute 2-3 days a week in a casual tone, craft a proposal instead. “Create an actual proposal like you would pitch a client.  You have to really cover all the bases, anticipate all of the challenges and the obstacles that your boss will put in front of you,” Kathryn says.

Kathryn also urges women to be clear. Describe what kind of flexibility you’re looking for and avoid stating murky phrases like, “I just want to work in a more flexible way.” That could mean a million things. You’ve got to really describe what you’re looking to do and outline how things are going to get done.

Finally, Kathryn says, “The last thing to include in your proposal is an offer for a trial period. Put that out there that you’re willing to give the new working schedule a trial for three months and then see how it goes.”

If we take a step back or rather a bird’s eye view of what Kathryn is saying, she is asking women to be a little introspective, to think about what they really want and what they really need and then devise a plan to take action and make it happen.

And of course, you may be thinking, “Well, what do I do if my proposal gets rejected?” You can, of course, decide whether you still need a full-time job (one that offers benefits and salary). If you do, there are many options. You can still have a full-time job, but one that’s more flexible (somewhere else). You could also work to become a full-time freelancer. In fact, Kathryn shared with me that, “There are studies that say within a year, most freelancers earn more than they did when they were working full time.” There are options. Think about what you want in your life, create a plan, take action, and let’s fix work.

To listen to my complete conversation with Kathryn about flexibility in work to fit your life, click here.


Let’s Fix Work is underwritten by WorkHuman, sponsored by Globoforce.​ Visit and use code WorkHumanLFW for a $100 off discount.

This week on Let’s Fix Work, I am happy to introduce you to Hung Lee. Hung is the founder of – the revolutionary recruiting platform for software engineers. He’s also an editor of the leading industry newsletter called Recruiting Brainfood. I love the newsletter, and I know you will too!

Today, Hung and I are talking about the real currency and real truths of business and relationships. Hung and I also have an honest chat about work, mental health, entrepreneurship, and what it takes to actually make a sale.  And spoiler alert: it’s really hard to sell stuff.

Whether you’re an entrepreneur just starting out or a seasoned careerist who’s curious about hanging a shingle, know this: business relationships are important. We’re talking about that and more, in this episode of Let’s Fix Work.

In this episode you’ll hear:

  1. Hung share his entrepreneurial journey
  2. The stereotypes and myths of entrepreneurship
  3. Hung’s unique take on being an entrepreneur and on role models
  4. The risks and downsides of being in business
  5. How the steps to customer acquisition differ when you are an employee vs. an entrepreneur
  6. Make it easy for people to buy from you: How the hell do you do that?
  7. Recruiting Brainfood newsletter, Hung’s thoughts and thinking behind creating it
  8. The real currency of life, relationships, and how Hung developed his own relationship skills for business

“In a connected world, people need to be very conscious of where the flow of information is and if you’re a businessperson or an entrepreneur, you need to be standing at the confluence where that information flows for your particular market or industry.  You know you can have flaws in every single thing you’re doing. But if you stand in the right place, you’re going to be alright.” ~ Hung Lee

Resources from this episode:





Recruiting Brainfood is a 3 Course Meal

  1. Sunday newsletter
  2. Mon-Thurs – group discussion on the shared content
  3. Friday – livestream the best thoughts + bringing in the original content creators to share their insight.

How to participate:

  1. Join the newsletter here (
  2. Join the community here ( )
  3. Save your seat for the livecast here (

Jason Greer, founder of Greer Consulting Inc. and labor relations expert, recently joined me on an episode of Let’s Fix Work. We discussed the state of labor relations and unions in the United States today. While we covered many facets of labor relations, I wanted to bring to light, in a blog post, what it takes to decertify a union. For some background on Jason and why we were talking about decertifying unions; Jason is a Gen-Xer with a slightly different take on unions. He believes in protecting the working class. He also believes a union is the wrong way to protect your interests.

First, the technical stuff: If you have a union that is certified under the National Labor Relations Board, employees have the right to do a Decertification Campaign. With this type of campaign there is a window of 90 to 100 days before the end of a collective bargaining agreement by which a Decertification petition can be filed with the NLRB.

Decertification refers to the process where the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) allows employees to call for a special election to get rid of the union as their “exclusive representative.” (1)

And now here’s a common sticking point for many employees:  Jason explains if an employee goes to their human resources manager and tells them they want to decertify the union, HR cannot get involved. HR can point the employee to several resources, but that’s where their assistance ends (at least for now).

The next phase of the Decertification process is that the employee (let’s call him the petitioner) will have his fellow employees (of at least 30 percent) sign the petition saying that they want to decertify the union.

Generally speaking, the employee is going to want to get about 60 to 70 percent of those employees on board before he actually files the Decertification petition with the NLRB. Once he has that, he can file the Decertification petition.

Following the petition submission, the secret ballot election can take place. This is when employees will determine whether or not they want to remain part of the union.

But it’s not all rainbows and unicorns…

Here is what is going to happen to the petitioner that started the campaign: The Union is going to do everything in their power to dig up dirt on his or her personal history. Jason explains that he has seen unions locate cell phone records, computer information, and do all the groundwork in terms of hiring private detectives to dig up all the dirt on the petitioner. Why? Well, because now they want to do a smear campaign, because said petitioner is at the heart of the Decertification campaign. The union will do whatever they can to make the petitioner lose all credibility.

And that is terribly depressing.

Remember, the employer can’t get involved and can’t protect the employee. The employees just want to be heard and have a voice. And, the Union is doing whatever they can to make the employees running the campaign look bad.  

There is some good news, a silver lining. Once the petition is filed with the NLRB, the management team can get involved. That’s when consultants, like Jason, can come in and help. In fact, Jason and his team oftentimes will act as an intermediary between the employees and unions – doing what they can to build back up relationships while protecting employees’ best interests at heart.

If you are unsure as to whether decertifying a union is right for you, or you simply want to start to have a conversation with your employer or union, here is some sage advice: Start the conversation early about what you want and voice your expectations. If you do so, maybe you won’t need a union, need to decertify an existing union, or even bring on an intermediary. What you need most is to have a voice, to be brave, and to begin the conversation.

“There is strength in being proactive,” says Jason. And ultimately, you want to recover (or even circumvent) a broken relationship following a union or employee dispute.

Jason and I both agree that we fix work by fixing ourselves, so if you’re interested in the state of unions in 2019 or you want to hear from an African American man who talks about civil rights and busting unions from a slightly different perspective, listen to our full conversation here.

(1) How to decertify a union, Labor Relations Institute, Inc.


Let’s Fix Work is underwritten by WorkHuman, sponsored by Globoforce. Visit and use code WorkHumanLFW for a $100 off discount.

When I think of today’s guest, I think of her as a superb expert in career advice. I am happy to welcome to Let’s Fix Work, Kathryn Sollmann. Kathryn is a speaker, coach, and author.  In her new book, Ambition Redefined, she encourages independence from “lean-in” and “break the glass ceiling” language. She wants you to find your own brand of ambition and success, take advantage of today’s more flexible workplace, and chart alternative career paths that accommodate and fund the life that you want and you deserve.

One of Kathryn’s missions is to show women that there is a lot of flexibility to be found in the workforce today. So if you want to find balance but don’t know where to start, and if you deal with childcare issues or aging parents and you’re sick of the way the rat race doesn’t take care of you, then sit back and listen to this episode of Let’s Fix Work.  

In this episode you’ll hear:

  1. Kathryn’s work as a career coach to women over the last 15 years
  2. What the book, Ambition Redefined, is all about
  3. Finding flexible work that fits your life
  4. How the message around side hustles and aggressive entrepreneurship is hurting the workforce
  5. Kathryn shares an example of a client who was told to lean into the system, just couldn’t swing it, and eventually found a great mix of flexible work, but rewarding work as well
  6. Opting out of Corporate America and the dangers of not working
  7. How to broach the topic of work-life balance with a boss
  8. The six different kinds of work flexibility

Kathryn said it best when she said, “There are lots of smart, talented, and ambitious women who are looking for a different kind of work paradigm. One that allows them to more capably blend work and life.”  If you come away with anything from this episode, I hope you come away with knowing that you can find some kind of flexible work that fits your life!

Resources from this episode:





Book: Ambition Redefined: Why the Corner Office Doesn’t Work for Every Woman & What to Do Instead


From a reader:

Have a quick question for you…how in the heck did you learn to market the way you do? I’ve been studying your Twitter feed and it’s like you take people on a journey of your life both professional/personal. You make people feel like they know you. How do you do this?

That’s not a quick question, but here was my quick answer:

I’m talented. 😘

The reader is asking two questions about himself:

1. Can I learn to do what Laurie is doing?
2. How do I create a sense of authenticity and intimacy like Laurie?

The first question is very easy. Sure, you can do what I do. I’m storytelling via digital media, and I learned how to do this from watching other people and copying their methods. The tools are out there. The roadmaps are built. You can even outsource your social media and still get away with storytelling.

But the second question — the one about authenticity and intimacy — is much harder to answer. I’ve had to negotiate my way through relationships and endeavors to land at the place where I am now: interesting enough that key people pay attention but not interesting enough where I’m stalked and harassed online.

The only people who pay attention to me are the individuals who go out of their way to look, which means that I’m relatively safe. My fan base is 52% male, mostly over the age of 35, and they earn more than $100,000/year. I can share details and perspectives without being assailed.

I love the fact that it’s easy to live my middle-aged life in public and without much hassle. There are some people who don’t care for me — and it’s for respectable reasons — but nobody wants to destroy or defame me. They just ignore me, dismiss me, block me, or disregard me when my name comes up in their social media feeds.

Isn’t that just great? How blessed am I to live this life of HR fame and fortune?

I’m fully aware that my HR famousness gets renegotiated when I publish my next book and start making media appearances, again. More people will watch, I’ll have new competition, and I’ll have to figure out a new strategy to share important information about my journey while maintaining some level of privacy and safety.

I’m not sure how it will go, but I know this: my relationship with my readers — executives, HR leaders, supervisors, and individual workers — matters to me. Call it influencer marketing or call it storytelling. The only way to take people on a professional and personal journey is to open the damn door and invite them in.

That’s not marketing, that’s manners.


I recently had Dr. Patti Fletcher as a guest on my podcast, Let’s Fix Work, to talk about disrupting the status quo, unconscious bias and gender equity. It was an inspiring and eye-opening conversation. I wanted to share some of our thoughts about women in the workplace and disrupting the status quo.

When we talk about being disrupters, many feel the word is negative. Disrupters are troublemakers. They stand in the way of progress. But this is not so. Here’s why:

  1. Even with “Lean In” and #MeToo, the current system within the workplace benefits men. Work should be a system that encourages gender equity. 
  2. But that system has been in place since the dawn of time. It’s how we are all conditioned. 
  3. If we are high-performing leaders, we must  disrupt a system that’s holding women back. And it turns out the system is holding men back, too.

Patti defined the word disrupter so perfectly and I wanted to share it with you:

“The way I translate the word disruptor is there is a status quo that’s no longer serving the world in which it lives and we have to disrupt it. In disrupting, you unpack it. Some things might still be working, let’s keep those. But let’s disrupt the ones that aren’t.”

When you look at disruption in this way, you can see it’s a tool for change. Change is not a bad thing, either. In the case of women in leadership and in the workplace, being a disrupter is necessary. If you want to lead, you must disrupt.

Patti went on to say, “Every female disruptor understands that disruption starts with the person in the mirror. This does not mean act more like a man. Instead ask yourself, what do you have to bring to the table in order to bring this disruption for it? What do you need to start doing? What do you need to stop doing? What do you need to continue doing or how are you making decisions?”

Disrupting the status quo is needed now more than ever. Start asking those disrupter questions and become a leader in your workplace, the one you are meant to be.

If you want to hear my entire conversation with Dr. Patti Fletcher,  head over here to listen.


Let’s Fix Work is underwritten by WorkHuman, sponsored by Globoforce.​ Visit and use code WorkHumanLFW for a $100 off discount.

Not everyone knows that I am a daughter of a police officer. My mom is retired from the Chicago Police Department. She has a great benefit plan and pension package. That’s because of smart union negotiations. Yes, the union has done right by my family. And speaking of unions, my guest this week is Jason Greer, labor relations expert and founder of Greer Consulting Inc. He is a Gen-Xer with a slightly different take on unions. He believes in protecting the working class and that there is strength in numbers. But yet he also believes a union is the wrong way of protecting your interests.  We talk about all of that and more in this week’s episode of Let’s Fix Work.

In this episode you’ll hear:

  1. Jason’s quick and dirty story of who he is and what he does
  2. The reasons many companies fight unions and work to keep them out
  3. Jason’s thoughts on “getting the union you deserve”
  4. Labor relations and why it’s really shades of grey (and not just black and white)
  5. If employees forgo use of a union, what can they do to protect their benefits and interests?
  6. How to bridge the divide and recover a relationship that’s broken following a union or employee dispute
  7. Unions and the civil rights movement, how the two are connected and whether or not unions have been good for protecting minorities in America
  8. Jason shares one horror story about what a union does and doesn’t do if you don’t play along
  9. How can you decertify a union? Jason shares what you can do, what’s legal, what’s illegal and some next steps you can take

Leaders and employees, if you take anything away from this conversation, take this: You’ve got to start the conversation early about what you want and voice your expectations. If you do so, maybe you won’t need a union or even an intermediary. What you need most is to have a voice, to be brave and to begin the conversation.

Jason said it best when he said, “There is strength in being proactive.”

If you are interested in the state of unions in 2019 or you want to hear from an African American man who talks about civil rights and busting unions from a different perspective, then give this episode a listen.


Resources from this episode:

Jason’s website:




Danny Ozment’s Podcast Supercharger Course:


I’m just back from 24 hours in Las Vegas where I spent time remembering my friend IJ Gorman.

Ira-John Gorman was an athlete, a coach, and a teacher. He persisted through a rocky childhood and made a place for himself in this world by being an advocate for children, their education, and his faith. Family was everything to him, and his definition of “family” included people who endured less-than-stellar upbringings.

And his definition of a family included me thanks to his lovely wife, China Gorman.

China and I have been friends for a decade. On a trip to Las Vegas in 2010 or 2011, my husband and I joined the Gorman family for dinner at Ceasars Palace. Ken sat to my right, IJ sat to my left, and because I have atrocious table manners, I kept trying to drink IJ’s water.

I grabbed his water a dozen times before IJ laughed and told me, “Look at your hands and make the ‘okay’ sign. See how your left makes a b, and your right makes a d? Bread and drink. Bread and drink. Bread and drink.”

Ken and I still use that to this day!

It’s so funny that IJ Gorman taught me table manners, but he was committed to being a positive influence in my life. When I saw him at HR events, he always asked me if I was doing okay. Were people treating me with respect? Anybody hassling me? Because I should come to him if there was anything I ever needed. Did I hear him? Was he clear? Come to him with anything. He was here for me.

When I had the privilege of seeing IJ in person, our conversations always went to respect and integrity. He believed in the adage that how you do anything is how you do everything. Having a personal brand online and a different set of behaviors in real life was appalling. There should be no daylight between what’s in your heart and how you act in person. Show up for people no matter the medium. Relationships matter.

I went to Cuba with China in 2015, and IJ sent a message on Facebook asking for photos of his lovely bride in Havana. She would never think to post selfies. He wanted to see his wife enjoying herself.

I ask you — How many husbands would do that?

And IJ reached out with support and kind words about my blog posts, speaking events and videos. He’d send cat videos to say hello. And he never missed my birthday.

IJ was such a phenomenal human being, and his memorial service was everything you’d expect for a guy who was so beloved by friends, family, and colleagues. Everybody in the room laughed and cried, and, not that it needed to be confirmed, but it was clear IJ was a powerhouse of a human being who made the world a better place.

We all just got better for knowing him.



Just yesterday, the Coast Guard published a newsletter for its furloughed workers and family members with advice and tips on how to earn fast cash during the government shutdown.

Among the many gems? Have a garage sale or be a mystery shopper.

America has hit a shabby low under Donald Trump. The shutdown isn’t impacting the elite bureaucrats and coastal technocrats who overlegislate our country into a hyperfeminized nanny-state.

The government shutdown touches regular people — parents, neighbors, and even HR professionals.

Hey, Laurie, I’m currently furloughed from work…and looking to make some extra cash. Do you think you can give me some pointers on how to get some speaking/training gigs? I’m looking to expand my portfolio of work. Appreciate any insights you can share!

First of all, I’m sorry you’re caught up in Donald Trump’s hissy fit. Because he’s too stupid to remember the nuances of immigration policy, and because he’s trying to distract us from the constant stream of bad news coming from Mueller investigation — you’re out of work. Thanks, Vladimir Putin.

Second, I’m sorry your job is linked to racist attitudes against brown people, women and children. You work in HR, a department believes in ability and merit, and your livelihood is jeopardized by people who believe in fencing in brown people like zoo animals. That’s gotta sting.

So, how do you earn fast cash during the government shutdown?

Get yourself to a temp agency like Kelly Services. Literally, pick one out and meet with the branch manager. Tell your story to the people in the office, and let them know you’re available immediately for training opportunities — or anything where you can use your brain.

Relationships are the currency of the private sector. Be a name and a face. Be helpful and enthusiastic. They’ll help you out because staffing agencies have been saving lives and monthly household budgets like yours in America for 60 years.

Find a staffing agency ASAP. And I’m going to send another note to my senators, Richard Burr and Thom Tillis, with a link to your story. Good luck, and I’m sorry we aren’t doing better by our government workers.

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