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Tuesday, April 2, 2024

⚡️ April 2024: Big News, Building Habits, Being Better

๐Ÿ—ฃ️ BIG NEWS! I'm happy to report that I have been asked by Madecraft to create a video training series for them this spring on how to provide encouraging and empowering #leadership and #management to #GenZ employees! ๐ŸŽ‰ I will keep you posted on when and where it will be released -- some time this summer. So excited for this new opportunity.

I don't know if it's Daylight Savings or a decrease in the heavy Southern California rains, but my energy level has picked up and I have encountered an absolute boatload (ton, oodles, slew, plethora, the whole enchilada, you name it!) of resources that I've used with clients, so this month's post is going to be a ⚡️ round of suggestions for you to check out. Here goes!

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๐Ÿšผ Investing in the Development of Young, Remote EmployeesI have started to develop the video course on managing Gen Z employees in the midst of teaching an internship course this semester for 20-22 year olds preparing to enter the workplace. Let's just say that #GenZ is #nojoke! I found this article practical and pertinent.

๐Ÿงฑ Building New Habits in Small StepsHere’s a worksheet from that reflects some of the coaching I often do with clients around implementing a needed change. What do you think?

๐ŸŒŽ The World Can Be BetterThis came up during an #EqualPay zoom discussion with one of my clients. I really liked it - it compels me to reflect, accept reality, and work for more, all at the same time.

๐Ÿช“ Task ChunkingHere's a great newsletter from my hero, Oliver Burkeman, about taking on HUGE, intimidating #projects in small increments. I refer to it by the highly technical term of “task chunking.” #15minutes **#timechunking **#anxiety #timemanagement

๐Ÿ‘€ How to Make Sure Your Resume Gets Seen. #fightthebots #keywords #cleardesign

๐Ÿค– Using AI to Prep for Job InterviewsYIKES: it is hard to keep up with how AI is changing the work landscape. But here are some KEY tips to using AI to prep for a job interview.

๐Ÿ”ฎ 21st Century Workplace PredictionsI know, I know, everyone is making #predictions about the 21st century #workplace, but this conversation reflects what I am seeing in real time with my clients. Take 36 minutes to listen, especially if you’re considering a #careerpivot.

๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ How to Engage & Retain Tenured EmployeesWhat I liked about this article:

  • It validates the importance of wellbeing, something organizations endorse but do not always implement in a consistent or strategic way;
  • It validates the need for employee engagement and pulse surveys;
  • However, it also endorses the importance of selecting the right questions for engagement surveys, and provides key categories that need to be covered;
  • It confirms the value of a sabbatical program.

This article is a good jumpstart for companies who need to figure out how to hang on to their most experienced people. So much energy is put into recruiting and hiring and for some reason I tend to see far less investment in #retention. A big “front door” is no good if you have a big “back door” of turnover as well.

❝ ❞ Final Thoughts. I'm going for existential today as I finish up. The world is incredibly complicated and overwhelming. I found solace (and motivation) in these words:

“Today it is not nearly enough merely to be a saint; but we must have the saintliness demanded by the present moment, a new saintliness.”  
Twentieth-century mystic and philosopher Simone Weil

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

๐ŸŒผ March 2024: Transitions, Tips, Tasks and Top 5

One of the many things I enjoy about my work is the variety of clients and situations I get to work with. In any given day I may get to work with Gen Z college students, a higher ed executive, a team working on ecological preservation and restoration, and leaders creating opportunities for first-time home buyers from marginalized populations. And then the next day I'm hearing from engineers navigating the ever-changing landscape of AI, coaching a founder of a non-profit teaching code to refugees, and following up with a former student needing some insight on a career pivot. I learn something from each one of them, and deeply value their trust and willingness to consider challenging questions.

I'm currently reading Generations: The Real Differences between Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, Boomers and Silents -- and What They Mean for America's Future by Jean Twenge in preparation for some presentations I've been asked to give on what it takes to manage Gen Z'ers. While I have lived long enough to know that each generation has its own unique qualities and challenges, what is standing out to me the most about the book so far is that there are some very unique dynamics that we are currently facing in the world today. Between teaching a college class of 20-22 year olds and recently celebrating another birthday that gets me that much closer to the classic age of retirement, what is standing out to me the most is this trend described by Twenge as "taking longer to grow up, and longer to grow older." In other words, people are reaching milestones like driver's license, getting married and retiring at far different ages than they did in the past. In turn, that is changing a lot of sociological dynamics. And I am seeing and experiencing those in real time.

So perhaps that is the lens through which I especially noticed this month's recommendations. Let me know if any of them spark your interest. Thanks for reading.

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๐Ÿผ ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿฝ‍๐Ÿฆณ Parents, Young Adult Children and the Transition to Adulthood. This comes from Pew Research and provides some fascinating and robust data. Here's a teaser statistic: Parents are very involved in their young adult children’s lives. Majorities say they text (73%) or talk on the phone (54%) with a young adult child at least a few times a week. Given that I talked to my parents once a week on the phone while I was in college because long distance was so expensive, I cannot even imagine this! Scroll down further in the article and you will see 5 additional "chapters" to this report that are worth paying special attention to.

๐Ÿงฐ 9 Tips for Landing a Job if You're Over 50. Several of my #careercoaching clients are in that #midlife time of reassessing their professional and life #goals. Many of our conversations touch on several of the strategies suggested here. 

๐ŸŽ‰ How to Create Your Own "Year in Review." I am having multiple conversations with #clients about #annualreviews and I am trying to equip them to be able to talk about themselves in energetic and engaging ways. If you are struggling to get started, I think this article from #HBR can stir the creative juices.

5️⃣ New and Improved CliftonStrengths Top 5 reportAs of January 20, Gallup has created a new and improved Top Five results report. I encourage you to log back in to the Gallup website, then look on the right side and click on “CliftonStrengths Top 5 Report.” It’s 19 pages and shows how each of your top 5 pairs with your #1, among other things. This is providing really NEW and valuable insights to the clients I have used it with so far. PRO TIP: Use this expanded info to prepare for job interviews and performance reviews. Tell me what you think!

๐Ÿ˜ต‍๐Ÿ’ซ A List of Soul-Sucking Tasks and How They Affect You According to Your StrengthsMore than likely, you have done CliftonStrengths at least once with me and know that I like to talk about the Balcony and the Basement. Here's another interesting list of situations that you might encounter at work and why they can be frustrating for you. If anything, it will provide a good laugh.

๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿฝ‍๐Ÿ’ผ Executive Presence for WomenGreat discussion with very specific advice on how to carry yourself professionally, especially in a remote context. I’ve already used it with two clients.

๐Ÿ‘ต๐Ÿฝ Redesigning Retirement. So I'm a little closer to the classic #retirement age than I'd like to admit... yet this article will surprise you as to the growing trends among 65-75 year olds. Check this out: "Seventy-one percent of Americans who are 65 or older say that the best time of their lives is not in the past but right now or still in front of them. And 83% say that feeling 'useful' is more important to them than feeling 'youthful.'”

๐ŸŽง If you want or need a healthy distraction... Maybe it is just me, but between world events and national politics, I am already getting overwhelmed and stressed out. If you want a fun and relatively productive distraction, I recommend this new podcast called WikiHole. A bit hard to explain, but it's a weekly collection of comedians falling down Wikipedia rabbit holes. Give it a try!

Thanks for reading -- feel free to pass this along to a friend or coworker. And I love hearing from you all with questions, comments and feedback at Cheers!

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

☔️ February 2024: Fulfilling Work, Giving Feedback, Finding Flow State

Yesterday I met with a client whom I had not met with since late December, so we greeted each other with "Happy New Year!" and then both laughed at the realization that that greeting feels a little goofy now that it is February. But I feel like I blinked and January was somehow over -- how did it speed by so quickly??

Living in Santa Barbara, we are on day 4 of very heavy rains... I am feeling some deep cabin fever, but instead of giving into it, I'll dig out my latest recommendations for you instead. Perhaps part of why January flew by for me is that I had so many enjoyable and substantial conversations with clients and teams. If you fall into either category, consider yourself appreciated! Here are some resources I have used recently...


๐Ÿ”› Questions for 1:1 meetings. Some of my clients are slowly revving up for performance reviews, or perhaps just digging themselves out of winter doldrums. Wherever you find yourself, here are some questions from Harvard Business Review:

From “5 Questions Every Manager Needs to Ask Their Direct Reports

  • How would you like to grow within this organization?

  • Do you feel a sense of purpose in your job?

  • What do you need from me to do your best work?

  • What are we currently not doing as a company that you feel we should do?

  • Do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day?

From “It’s Time to Reimagine Employee Retention

  • What motivates you most about the work you do today?

  • What are the talents you want to build a reputation for?

  • What career possibilities would you like to learn more about?

๐Ÿฅช Stop serving the compliment sandwich. Coupled with thoughtful feedback during those 1:1's are often some constructive suggestions for improvement. At all costs, avoid the temptation to "put a slice of praise on the top and the bottom, and stick the meat of your criticism in between." This article will give you the tools to provide the "radical candor" needed, but in a manageable and palatable way.

๐Ÿงฐ The Need for Professional Development. OK, so the title embedded in this link is actually, "Most of your employees don’t want to be managers. Here’s how to support what they do want." Apparently studies have shown that only 1 out of 10 employees want to be managers! But here lies the conundrum: "Nevertheless, the statistic reflects the reality that organizations need to consider how to help employees chart a path of longevity that does not necessarily include management. When employees do not want to become managers yet lack a viable alternative, they can be left unsatisfied, reducing employee engagement and retention for the organization." The solution? Investing in the professional development of your employees! Look to the right side of today's post -- I've included a new block of the most requested trainings I can provide to you or your team. Let's get started.

๐Ÿง˜๐Ÿฝ‍♂️ Finding Your Flow State. I sure am seeing a bunch of articles about how to focus, cut down on distractions, go into “monk mode,” schedule times for “deep work,” etc. But do I actually KNOW my best conditions for getting into the zone and cranking out creative, energetic, productive stuff? Do you? Here’s an exercise to help you define how you might get there.

Thank you for reading -- please share it with a friend or co-worker. And reach out at with questions or inquiries as to how we can work together. Ciao!

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

January 2024: Focus, Five Questions, and a Fun Book

I hope your 2024 is getting off to a good start. I just finished a two-week natural detox to reboot my immune system, this week I started teaching an internship course for the semester to fourteen undergrads, and I've gained three new individual coaching clients in the last two weeks. Other than trying to avoid Covid bubbling around me, I'm feeling energized. Enjoy my latest recommendations and tell me how you are doing.

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๐Ÿฅณ Word of the Year! This is a fun exercise I do every year and send it to my friends. Does it mean anything? Not really... but it's a fun way to spark some energy and creativity to kick off your new year. Give it a spin -- and if you don't like your first word, try again ๐Ÿ˜†

๐Ÿ˜ฑ The Dark Side of the Obsession With Focus. One of my favorite authors, Oliver Burkeman, author of my favorite book of 2022, Four Thousand Weeks, is back with more valuable content. Take 45 minutes to listen to this interview. I'm pretty confident you won't regret it.

​5️⃣ 1:1 Questions for the New Year. I got these from Lisa Cummings at Answer these 5 prompts for yourself first -- they are clues to your top natural talents:

  • I’ve always nerded out on these topics and types of activities:
  • This comes easily to me, yet not to others (things you do or the way you think):
  • I get a jolt of energy when I’m...
  • I lost track of time the last time I was…
  • Someone told me I’m good at...

THEN, if you lead a team at work, ​ask the 5 questions to each team member in a 1:1. Some of them will be tough to answer on-the-spot, yet get what you can in-person. Then have them come back with insights on the difficult ones. This will give you new ideas about what projects to assign each person in the future.

๐Ÿง˜๐Ÿฝ‍♂️ From Inner Critic to Inner Coach. I am so intrigued at how certain issues come in waves in my work with clients. Naturally, I'm speaking in huge generalities here, but before the pandemic, much of my coaching requests revolved around learning how to #lead and #manage. Then during the pandemic, the majority of my work centered on #stressmanagement and overall #wellbeing. Now, even though COVID seems to be showing up for yet another wave and there are two big wars happening, I'm finding that client conversations tend to be swirling around #career trajectory and #jobsatisfaction. I have more individual clients than I've ever had, and many of them are wondering what could be next... yet at the same time they are really hard on themselves and think they cannot compete in today's job market. If this sounds at all familiar, take a few minutes to look over this worksheet. Contact me if you want to talk about it!

๐Ÿ”ญ Getting In Front of AI. I'm sharing this podcast episode as much as this particular contributor. I am consistently finding Ethan Mollick to be calm, reliable, helpful resource when it comes to understanding AI. When I randomly ask friends or clients whether they have been using AI, I'm finding that's it about 50/50 -- some are excited by it, others haven't tried it (and a couple weren't even sure what it is!). By no means am I an expert, but I have found it useful in a variety of interesting ways so far. Tell me what your experience has been.

๐Ÿ“– Getting There: A Book of Mentors. I started this last week and I'm enjoying it. Do I admire every single person profiled? Nope. But enough of them are worth learning from, and I always love a good story, to make it worthwhile. If you need a good reminder of how much life is "1% inspiration and 99% perspiration," and is also easy to pick up and out down in 10 minutes at a time, this book is for you.

Thanks for reading -- feel free to pass this along to a friend or coworker. And send me questions and feedback at Onward and upward!

Thursday, December 21, 2023

My Top Posts for 2023: Do they tell us anything?

Perhaps in the spirit of Spotify Wrapped, I decided to check my most viewed posts on LinkedIn for 2023. It helps me to see what gets people's attention, but it also instructs me as a coach, consultant, teacher, mentor, and information nerd!

So here are my five most frequently viewed posts on LinkedIn -- I sense a theme... ๐Ÿค”:

① How (and why) you should create a backup plan for your career. This was not only most viewed post, but it was viewed more than the next nine posts added together!! And I will confirm that job dissatisfaction / frustration / boredom was a repeated theme with a sizable number of my clients. In a recent conversation with one of my clients, where I encouraged him to update his LinkedIn profile, he said, "I thought you only needed LinkedIn when you needed to look for a job." I quickly responded with several points related to the power of #networking, #visibility and #professionaldevelopment. Those are all reasons as well for why I recommended this article. So if you haven't read it yet, join the thousands who did!

② How to handle feeling overworkedI led a discussion on this #podcast with a team earlier this fall. The title describes it well. If you're feeling #overwhelmed and/or #overworked, take 40 minutes to listen to it. 

③ No one taught me the importance of managing up—here’s why you may need to be your boss’ boss. I just had three conversations this week about this very topic. Shaping the expectations of your supervisor is so important to how you are managed and perceived. Key quote: "So, now, I don’t shy away from managing up. I no longer think of 'managing up' as impolite. I think about it as advocating for my #career."

④ What Color Is Your Parachute? 2022: Your Guide to a Lifetime of Meaningful Work and Career Success. (See the #1 most frequently viewed post!) This book gets updated every year, so no doubt the new 2024 edition should be released soon. Again, it just cannot hurt to lay the groundwork for a career change before you need one.

⑤ A compelling quote. My "LinkedIn Wrapped" review will end with this tremendous thought: 

“I sit here, and I know where I am. This is very important. We tend to be alive in the future, not now." Thich Nhat Hanh #selfcare #presence

Thanks for reading, and for joining me on the journey this year. See you in 2024!

Thursday, December 7, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ December 2023: Time Management, Teams, Toolkits and More

I am hearing from many clients that they are scrambling as they juggle quarter-end, year-end, project-end deadlines, also hoping they can somehow get it all done so they can have a true break during the holidays. May some of these resources help you reach the finish line!

๐ŸŽ„ * ❄️ * ๐Ÿ•Ž * ๐ŸŽ…๐Ÿฝ * ☮️ * ๐ŸŽ * ๐ŸฆŒ

๐Ÿ•ฐ️ Time management: A guide to more sanity and less anxiety. This is an interview of my FAVORITE resource regarding time management, Oliver Burkeman. When I posted this on LinkedIn, a client commented, "I started listening to this podcast expecting time management techniques and realized it’s all about mindset. ๐Ÿคฏ i need to listen to this one again." I've recommended Burkeman's book here more than once. Give yourself this book for the holidays.

⛑️ A Refresher on Psychological SafetyAt minimum, include this video in your management training; additionally, maybe even watch it with your team and discuss it? It's only 7.5 minutes long but also packed with useful insights.

๐ŸŒ ๐Ÿ—ฃ️ Getting Feedback Right on Diverse Teams. An excellent half-hour interview with Erin Meyer, the author of the Culture Map, my go-to resource for optimizing global, intercultural communication. A longer, more in-depth article was provided in the Sept-Oct 2023 issue of Harvard Business Review.

๐Ÿง  Mental Health Toolkit: Tools to Bolster Your Mood & Mental HealthI go in and out of listening to this podcast, but landed on this episode, and found it to be a great collection of things I wanted to be reminded of as I take some time to think about how this year has gone and how I want to step into 2024, especially in terms of mental health, well-being, and stress management. It is two hours long but I do recommend you take the time to listen to it.

๐Ÿชซ Energy Audit (Introvert vs Extrovert). Here's a simple (and science-based) worksheet on recognizing draining situations in your daily life and developing strategies to avoid consecutive energy-sapping scenarios that can lead to #overwhelm and #burnout. 

๐ŸŽธ What we learned from our parents' record collections. The title alone got my memories flowing... Simon & Garfunkel, Carole King, Barbra Streisand, the Beatles, the Band were all on repeat (on vinyl, of course) in my elementary school years. This podcast also recounts some delightful stories as well. Enjoy.

๐Ÿคฃ Team-Building Question for the Month. Throw this on to your Teams, Slack, Google Hangout, iMessage thread and have a good laugh.

"What was the best holiday gift you ever received?"

Mine was an Easy-Bake oven when I was 7 years old...๐Ÿง ๐Ÿฅฐ 

May your December bring some peace, joy, rest, and good memories. Thanks for reading -- feel free to share this with friends and co-workers. Cheers!

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

November 2023: ๐Ÿ Fall Favorites So Far

I know it sounds ridiculous to some of you, but here in Santa Barbara we were able to shift to sweaters just this week... so now it finally feels like fall. Please enjoy my recommendations for this month!

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๐Ÿ‘ฉWomen at Work. To say the least, this is a topic close to my heart! Despite having just finished a summer with the Barbie movie and multi-million dollar tours for Taylor Swift and Beyoncรฉ, I will verify that women by and large still face unique challenges in the workplace. In light of my 40 years (GULP!) of leadership experience I can say some things have improved, but there are days where I am not so sure...

But I will save that conversation for another day. For this month, I want to share these excellent conversations and articles that focus entirely on specific workplace dynamics for women. Even if you aren't a woman, please check these out -- I can confidently assume you work with women, have significant others who are female, and/or have daughters! These conversations are valuable for everyone:

  • The agents of change: How women are altering the power paradigm. There are so many quotable statements in this discussion, but I'll settle on this one: “'For those of us that have to navigate spaces where we are the minority, [it’s] part of our survival,' she says. 'The way that I'm allowed to be in this room, or in this place, is to make sure that I do not upset anyone around me.' [Nevertheless] Nekvapil teaches her clients that 'power is abundant,' and that one person having it doesn’t by default take it away from someone else." In other words, power is not finite. I have learned from experience that when I give power to others that I do not lose it -- in fact, it can enhance my power. Please take a listen to this episode.
  • ADHD Is Different for WomenPerhaps the best interview I’ve listened to on this topic because it focuses solely on the unique ways that women experience ADHD -- including peri-menopausal and menopausal women.
  • Forget the crisis. The ‘midlife collision’ is real and affecting a large part of the workforce. Many of my #clients tell me about the challenges described here. I appreciate the way the article frames the struggles faced in #midlife in a more granular way, especially as it relates to women's caregiving for multiple generations in their families. Here is another expression of this "collision" women face, described as a "portal." I appreciate that she frames this significant time in women's lives both as a crisis AND an awakening.
๐Ÿ˜ฉ Why Career Transition is So Hard. This must scratch where many people itch because I posted this article from #HBR on LinkedIn this week and it is generating a lot of traffic on my feed. It is by Herminia Ibarra, a wise author I trust, and goes well beyond the basic, obvious "tips" of most articles on this topic. I love this statement from her: "Career change is iterative. You can’t line everything up in advance. You have to figure things out over time and make adjustments as you go." The best part is that she then digs in and gives three strong pieces of advice to get you started on this process. I will be using this article with clients!

๐Ÿ’ฐ US Economy DataI don't normally post links like this (because they are WAY above my paygrade in terms of expertise) but I found this encouraging news from a "right of center" economist at George Mason University.

๐Ÿค LinkedIn exec reveals exactly how AI is changing hiring and recruiting. Before you panic (or skip it because like me you are getting sick of AI hype), take in this quote from the article: "But he agrees with Chamorro-Premuzic that the soft skills that can’t be replaced by AI will continue to be an important differentiator for job seekers, citing the fact that 70% of U. S. executives surveyed by LinkedIn agree that soft skills are more important than AI skills right now."

๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฝ What I'm Enjoying Right Now. All work and no play makes me a dull girl. I'm deeply enjoying:

  • The Great British Baking Show. I never, ever tire of this one. And I'm really enjoying the new host Alison Hammond. She's a hoot!
  • Beckham. Call me a sucker for yet another profile of British "royalty," but it is fascinating to watch.
  • Welcome to Wrexham. Lots of British accents in my life these days, apparently! Each episode tends to give me a good laugh and a heartfelt tear or three.
  • Sufjan Stevens' new album, Javelin. The first song had me at hello, and the whole album has been on repeat. I've also been taking in Seven Psalms by Paul Simon.
  • McCartney: A Life in Lyrics. Oops, more British accents! ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿฝ‍♀️ But I grew up as a child on the Beatles and these episodes recount how Paul McCartney came up with the lyrics to his songs.
  • Leftover Halloween candy. More specifically, mini Swedish fish. An absolute FAVORITE!
Feel free to share this post with others, and reach out to me with feedback or questions at Cheers!


Hearty Bread for the Whole Journey? aka, "What's with the vague subtitle?"

If you have sat through (endured? enjoyed?) one of my Strengths Finder presentations, you know that I often refer back to my life as an eter...