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Thursday, May 4, 2023

May 2023: Motivation, Management and Multiple Time Zones

I have had a great month with clients, and the song "I've Been Everywhere, Man" is currently running through my head as I think about them! I have virtually visited the countries of Kuala Lumpur, Thailand, and Bosnia, while also touring all over the US too, meeting online with clients from Chicago, Phoenix, NYC, Minneapolis, Pasadena, Baltimore, Boise, Boston, Sacramento, Houston, Pittsburgh, Seattle and Richmond... I am grateful for the opportunities to listen, learn, and share. P.S. Speaking of world travel, here's a new hack for managing multiple time zones on your Google Calendar - a lifesaver!)

Here are some of the things we discussed... I hope they provide some new insights to you as well!


🎨 Leadership is an Art by Max DePree. I made a goal this year to go back and skim through at least 25 of the books on leadership that I have acquired over the years. And this one caught me a bit by surprise... I realized I had actually never read it, and had only heard it recommended. DePree was the CEO of Herman Miller furniture, and renowned as a gifted leader. Personally, I found the insights within this little book to be unique and thought-provoking -- in other words, it didn't sound like every other book on leadership. Sure, it is occasionally quaint and uses "he" more than I would like; after all, it was originally written in 1989, and the edition I read was reprinted in 2011. But its humility, emotional intelligence and generosity really stood out to me. It is a quick read, but will stay with you. (Ironically, the current CEO of DePree's former company was in the news recently, and not in a positive way. Not sure this CEO got around to reading DePree's book!)

Here's one quote from the start: The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between the two, the leader must become a servant and a debtor. That sums up the progress of an artful leader.

🤓 How to be a Good Manager in 2023. I am guiding #managementdevelopment for three different clients right now and here's a good summary of what is needed in a #manager in 2023: 5 ways to be a manager that people don’t want to quit. If you liked this one, this is worthwhile as well: “Help, I’m an accidental manager.” These are the management secrets you are never taught.

💪🏽 How Do I Stay Motivated After Surviving Layoffs? This entire podcast series is excellent and if you are looking for a new one to subscribe to, jump on this one. This particular episode captures the raw emotions that I hear in some of my clients after layoffs, and the host, Muriel Wilkins, a tremendously gifted executive coach, conducts a master class in walking someone through next steps.

And here's an extra... if you have been laid off, or need a boost as you consider a job change, this one caught my attention: This is how ChatGPT can level up your job search. I am barely wading in the waters of Generative AI (and some of it concerns me a lot), but this particular topic proved fruitful.

😵‍💫 How to talk to a problem employee about their poor job performance. You may be just finishing up performance reviews, but this issue bubbles up year-round. In fact, there is perhaps no other topic I receive from leaders and managers more than this one. We seem to be uniquely terrible at giving constructive, substantive, clear, direct feedback. Let’s stack hands on this and commit to getting better at it!! It is always better to address things early to avoid confusion and complexity. If you want another resource, I often send out this one: 14 questions to ask an underperforming employee during a one-on-one meeting.

⚕️Washington Post Opinion: ADHD is an illness, not a lifestyle. Don’t punish people for it. As I have shared here before, I am encountering more and more clients who have been diagnosed as neurodivergent: this includes ADHD, dyslexia, OCD, and autism, to name a few. The increase in diagnoses can be attributed to advances in neuroscience, greater awareness, and the stresses of the last 3+ years on our mental health and stress management. This article is behind a paywall, so I'm giving you the PDF I downloaded. I can almost guarantee you know a neurodivergent person, even if you don't realize it. Please take a few moments to learn a bit more about how it feels for those going through some significant challenges. (Additionally, the opinion writer followed up with a column on readers' responses to her column, including negative reactions to her use of the word "illness." You can find those reactions here.)

🐾 This Week in WildlifeThis is a fun photo gallery to follow...  animal photos lift my spirits every time. The muddy puffin this week is ridiculously cute.

Thanks for reading... reach out with questions or feedback (or even a complimentary 30-minute coaching session for new clients) at


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