Sunday, March 29, 2020

WFH 2.0, Almost April 2020 Edition: Stages of Grief, Social Distancing, Shifting to Online, & Searching for Work

Oh friends... so many words. There is much that could be said, but I don't want to casually throw out meaningless platitudes or shallow sentimentalities. Rather, I will simply pass along some resources that helped me get through this month a little more easily. Please know I am thinking often about everyone I've worked with. Let's stay in touch...

That Discomfort You're Feeling is Grief. If you read nothing else on this post today, please read this. Simply put, it is poignant and powerful. It says all the right things about what it feels like to be living through this crisis. Save it and read it more than once in the next few weeks (months?). Pass along to others.

8 Ways to Manage Your Team While Social Distancing. Earlier this month I shared a resource that highlighted seven things to keep in mind while working from home. Several of my clients passed them along to their teams. Here is another useful article that is geared especially for managers and leaders. Here is the inviting introduction: "To help managers who are new to this – or even experienced managers who need additional guidance in these trying times – here are my best recommendations for supporting continued learning and the emotional well-being of your employees."

How to Shift to Remote Learning. I am well aware that there are so many articles flying around as higher ed instructors scramble to shift entirely to online learning for every local community college, private school and public university. But I found this article especially instructive. And even if you are teaching lower grades then college, I think there is some outstanding and applicable information to be had here.

Looking for a job during coronavirus? I have already had more than one conversation with someone who is looking for a job right now, either because they got laid off or simply because they had the misfortune of deciding to leave their old job right before this all hit. Where do they start? This link is a good place to start. And let's be honest, if you are at home with time on your hands because of quarantine, perhaps you should take some time to update your LinkedIn profile and resurrect your resume. If that rings true for you, I would go here first.

Unlocking Us ~ Brene Brown Podcast. I don't feel like I have to say much here. Just cue it up and listen. She has immaculate timing. This podcast could not be coming out at a better time. Please listen. And if you're looking for another good one, I would also download this one titled Terrible, Thanks for Asking. The episode from March 17 titled "9 Things" is extraordinarily good, but every episode is worthwhile.

Final Thoughts...

“Being able to feel safe with other people is probably the single most important aspect of mental health; safe connections are fundamental to meaningful and satisfying lives.”

Bessel A. van der Kolk, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

Please send feedback or questions to me at And peruse more leadership development resources at KSLD Resources. Thanks for reading... and take care.

Monday, March 16, 2020

WFH Update, March 2020: Coronapocalype Edition

Well friends.... wow. As we all crawl, struggle, panic, prep and persevere through this #coronapocalypse, I find myself straining to maintain some level of normalcy, while at the same time recognizing that we are all living in an incredibly unique moment in world history. Some of us are sheltering in place and the rest of us are doing our best to practice social distancing (two words I'd never paired together until a week ago...). In the midst of so many unknowns, at least we can seek each other out for support and friendship.

So here are some things I've been reading and reflecting on...

Working from home? 7 smart tips to help you get more done. Believe it or not, I have worked from home since 1995. In other words, I have some practice at this remote working thing. There are lots of articles flying around that pretend to offer input on this, but this article has some VALID tips on how to work remotely if this is new for you. I have already had a few clients send this along to all of their employees. AND... here are some simple but useful reminders on how to best run a virtual meetingAs someone who does roughly 2/3 of her work virtually, I can verify that these are excellent tips. I would only expand on tip #3, "Test the technology ahead of time": I recommend signing on with someone ten minutes early to confirm the technology (audio/video, wifi bandwidth, screen-sharing capabilities, etc), and I HIGHLY recommend that people use headsets with boom mics, especially for multi-person meetings. You can hear each person more clearly with headsets, and you cut down on ambient noise with a boom mic. My own headset cost $18, including tax #notdifficult

On Twitter @julesforrest: "Can we do a WFH workspace setup thread, unglamorous edition? My partner and I are both working from our studio apartment. My setup is a chair in front of the front door and my desk is our clothes hamper." I don't know Jules, but my heavens this threads KILLS me. I prescribe a 5-minute break every hour you work from home to refresh this thread and see the various WFH hacks that people are rigging up (which includes the cute little pupper in the photo). And should you want/need more funny memes on working from home, go hereNew favorite hashtag of mine: #wfh 

"Real Leaders" podcast series on HBR IdeaCast. This is 4 episodes, and episode 1 is about one of my absolute heroes, Sir Ernest Shackelton, Antarctic explorer. Episode 2 is about Rachel Carson, a key pioneer in the environmental movement. DO NOT MISS THESE! They are equal parts inspiration, motivation and tremendous storytelling.

How Corporate Cultures Differ Around the World. Just today I had a fantastic conversation with a client in Bangkok about whether they "claim" or "grant" leadership in their culture. Obviously, this is one consideration among many as we engage in global work across cultures. I appreciate this article not only because of the subject matter, but also because it takes a global (AKA, not US-centric) perspective (which is um, more pertinent than ever in light of this global pandemic). One of my growing interests is in the dynamics of leadership development interculturally, as I noted in my December 2019 post regarding Erin Meyers' book The Culture Map. This article is an excellent "Part Two" to that post.

The Difference Between Leadership and Influence. In the same vein, I liked this reflection because it also explores the concept (as opposed to the methods) of leadership. It is concise, but thought-provoking. It would provide a great discussion starter at an executive team meeting or retreat. Here's a teaser: "You can influence without being a leader, and you can lead without influencing, but you can’t be a good leader without influencing."

Final Thoughts...
Stephen Colbert on Twitter, March 11, right before coronavirus was declared a pandemic: 

"What I wouldn't give for a dull moment."

OK, maybe one more photo from that WFH Twitter feed...

Feel free to pass this post to friends, and reach out to me with questions and feedback. Heck, if you've got time, let's schedule a video call! Contact me at And don't forget my resources at Keep calm and use hand sanitizer.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Learning, Living, Listening: March 2020

February was a full month for me… It included trips to Chicago and Boise to work with clients, a garden-variety cold that just would not let go, another birthday (they just keep coming, dang it!), and three new clients.  In the balance, a great month ~ indeed, I am grateful!

Thus with gratitude in mind, I want to share three different resources I came across in the last month that reminded me of the things that really matter. Amidst the chaos of coronavirus and this election season, I am doing my best to focus on further horizons, on what it takes to make a difference over a lifetime. I hope they encourage and challenge you.

LEARNING. A Little Happier: Teacher Anne Sullivan Writes About Helen Keller’s Moment of Profound Realization. Ignore the first 57 seconds of this link and then listen undistracted for the next three minutes. I promise that you will be moved as you listen. Then take some time to recall which teachers had the greatest impact on you, and consider where you can do the same.

LIVING. Third Places. This is a concept that I only learned about a few years ago, but I really resonate with it. As the article says, "Your first place is your home; your second place is your work. Your third places are your regular haunts." He goes on to list the eight qualities of a Third Place. Politics and a potential pandemic will only serve to divide and isolate us further. In contrast, I hope more and more of us can seek to create third places, and also seek to reach into new locations outside of our safe bubbles. Working from home, I am certainly reminded that I need to be more intentional in cultivating third places, and in pursuing deeper and slower conversations wherever I am.

LISTENING. Wild Work Advice with Cheryl Strayed. This comes from one of my favorite podcasts, hosted by Adam Grant, called WorkLife. Grant is an organizational psychologist who studies motivation and meaning in the workplace. This particular episode revolves around whom we seek out for advice regarding work. It's a great conversation.

Bonus Content. The Era of Antisocial Social Media. I'm adding this one because I am so intrigued by it. Just when I thought I had finally figured out how to use social media, I came across this dandy curveball… Trends are showing that  younger people do not like social media as much as private messaging! Read this article for some really interesting new research around a rejection of social media. Which is probably good news for everyone, right?

Final thoughts...

"Hope does not need to silence the rumblings of crisis to be hope."

Walter Brueggemann

Thanks for reading. Please feel free to pass this along to others, and send feedback and questions to You can also find lots of other resources for your work life at  Ciao for now!


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...