“I thought I was a rock star”

I thought I was a rock star...until they let me go.This month’s dysfunction deals with an all too common problem: not being told where you stand at work often resulting in being blind-sided with bad news. Do you know where you stand at work today? Are you seen as a rock star? A loose cannon? A future leader? No longer relevant to the organization? Too often, our position changes and we aren’t even aware of it. For many of us, there was a time when we were rock stars. We had a loyal fan base and sold out venues. But, as it happens with most rock stars, over time people stop coming to our shows until one day, to our surprise, our fans are gone. The worst part – no one bothered to tell us along the way.

This month, we will tackle this dysfunction: not being told where you stand at work often resulting in being blind-sided with bad news. Throughout the month we’ll cover, amongst other things:

  • What are the warning signs that I’m losing my fans?
  • What are the land mines I need to avoid?
  • What can I do proactively to get a read on where I stand today?
  • How can I “sell more tickets” and keep myself relevant?

Every Monday, I’ll kick off our conversation for the week by addressing one of these big questions. Throughout the week I’ll share stories, examples and other opinions as we dig in. By the end of the month, if we haven’t cured this dysfunction, we’ll do a darn good job treating it!

So, write to me with your stories, examples or opinions on the subject. I promise to protect the innocent (and guilty!).

…And off we go!

“I don’t have any goals”

nogoals_graphic‘Tis the season of resolutions and goal-setting. First, let me come clean and tell you that I am a big fan of setting goals, both personally and professionally. And I’m not just your average fan. I’m one of those face-painting, rabid kinda fans. Goals keep us on track and focused. And to be frank, had I not set some ridiculously crazy goals in my life (some might argue delusional), I wouldn’t have accomplished half of what I’ve accomplished. While I may be a bit on the extreme side as comes to goal-setting, I would want for you the same satisfaction of setting a vision and realizing it. This month is about filling the “no goal” void with some aggressive and focused goals in order to get you closer to your picture of perfect.

The School of No Goals

Before we go too far down the path of goal-setting, I need to attend to the recent trend of anti-goals. Many of you might have encountered this school of thought. This doctrine posits that both individuals and organizations shouldn’t set goals because in this new fast-paced world, too much is out of one’s control and thus failure and frustration are inevitable. They argue that the real way to approach growth and progress is to focus on one’s behaviors and hope for the best. My opinion on this particular school of thought? Simply put it is wrong-headed “excuse-making” clap-trap. Garbage. Junk. Not much better than some cheap “feel good” fix you might buy off the street. Of course, I can clearly see the appeal of the “no goals” philosophy. It frees one from guilt and failure. Why? Because one never sets a bar(a goal) so naturally there’s no “falling short.” On the flip side, “accomplishment” never happens because “success” is never defined. Without goals, we are simply buying lottery tickets hoping “something good” happens. What that “something good” is we aren’t sure but we hope we’ll like it. I don’t need to remind us of the odds of winning the lottery.

The Tip of the Spear

As I alluded to earlier, goals serve a very important role. They give us a direction. They provide the tip of our spear as we move forward personally and professionally. They paint a picture of the world we are trying to create. Without goals we are just taking action without a clear expectation or vision of where we want to be and the life we want.

This month we are going to talk about goal setting. My job in this is twofold:

  1. Give you a menu of differing types of goals for your consideration (a rich menu of personal and professional)
  2. Get you to pick one (the fewer the goals, the easier it is to focus and to guarantee progress)

Packing for Next Year

One final perspective on goal-setting: it is not about achieving the goal you set in the timeframe you define (Ex: goals for 2013, etc…). The objective is to make as much progress as you can toward the goal in the time in which you allot. For example, if you set out that your goal is to make $1M next year and unfortunately, you fall short and only make $800K or perhaps you decide to lose 50lbs. and you only lose 40lbs., those are not failures simply because you didn’t hit your goal. Those are clear successes because you moved far down the path toward your desired end state. Contrary to popular belief, in reality most goals are realistic. It is the timeframe we define in which to achieve them that is arbitrary. Our “goal” for next year is to use goals to focus our actions and see how much we can get accomplished. So, as we get ready to pack our goals for the coming year, guilt and fear of failure are not allowed in your suitcase (nor are they permitted in your carry-on bag). They won’t get past any TSA check-points. Leave ‘em both at home… with the lottery tickets. We’ve got too much to do.


“I’m meant for more”

meant-for-more-400I have to confess, I’m an itchy dude. As my kids will attest, dad is always looking for a good back scratch.  But my itchiness doesn’t stop with back scratches.  It seems like I’ve always got an itch that I am trying to scratch. Sometimes that itch is a feeling that I’m running out of time. Chalk it up to attending way too many funerals before I turned 10. Other times the itch is just a desire to do more of something that I seemed to only get just a taste.  And then sometimes the itch is more difficult to isolate. I can feel it but I can’t quite tell where it is and how to get at it.

Years ago I had knee surgery to repair a torn ligament I suffered playing basketball (an example of what happens when a non-athlete thinks he’s a champ). After the surgery, I had a bulky brace that I was instructed to wear for several weeks without removal (showers were a blast, let me tell you). As anyone who’s ever had a cast or a semi-permanent brace can attest, when you’ve got an itch underneath the thing, there is nothing worse (other than perhaps the smell when you finally do take it off. Whew.). All you want to do is scratch the itch but you are neither sure quite where it is nor how to reach it. Your anxiety spikes. You become fidgety. You shake. You wiggle. You yell out in frustration. You’ll do anything to get that feeling of discomfort to simply go away.

Sometimes we have those kinds of itches in life. The kind of itch that sits just under the surface that slowly and persistently needles us until we do something about it.

The itch prods, nudges and irritates. The problem is that we usually don’t know quite where it is or how to scratch it. All we know is that where we are in life is not where we want to be. The itch tells us that something is out of place, that this is not how it is supposed to be.  This is not how we are supposed to be. Maybe it’s the relationships we are in or the career we’ve chose? Maybe it is where we live? And sometimes it is what we are not doing that we should be that is the cause of the itch. Regardless of the reason, we know deep down that the itch is trying to tell us that we are meant for more. “But what?” is the question.

I got the itch last year.

On the surface, you would never have been able to tell. Things were rockin’ and rollin’. I was as busy as I had ever been and work was just coming. But something just didn’t feel right. Something was missing. While I enjoyed the work I was doing, it didn’t feel like I was making the progress I wanted to make on my mission and purpose to cure workplace dysfunction. I had an itch that I needed and wanted to scratch, but I didn’t know exactly where the itch was or how to scratch it. So what did I do?

Over the next month, I’m going to share with you my journey of scratching the “meant for more” itch. To get the itch to go away, I am doing some crazy things. Namely, the following:

  • Taking some big chances and walking away from guaranteed work
  • Depleting my savings to build something better for my mission
  • Learning how to ask for help
  • Working on myself and who I want and need to be

Will it be inspiring? I don’t know.

Entertaining? Probably. Watching others do potentially embarrassing things usually is.

A cautionary tale? Only time will tell.



“I’ve lost my confidence”

lostconfidence_graphic317Theresa was a workplace rock star. For over a decade, it seemed like everything Theresa touched turned to gold. Her golden touch became legendary within her organization. Her company would routinely parachute her into a turnaround situation and despite the odds, she would somehow find a way out. That summed up the first 15 years of Theresa’s career.

Then one day, it all changed. During a particularly challenging turnaround situation, things blew up on Theresa. She, for the first time in her career, had failed. Now, to any objective outsider it was obvious that the failure was not the result of Theresa’s actions. The failure was simply a product of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. But to Theresa, the defeat was devastating. That failure lingered with Theresa to the point that for the last 5 years, she hasn’t been the same. She questions her own decisions. She is reluctant to speak up in leadership meetings and fears that she has fallen out of favor with corporate. Theresa has lost her confidence in a big and bad way.

This month, we are going to address this debilitating dysfunction: “I’ve lost my confidence.” The side effects can be catastrophic. When the voice inside our head that tells us we can “do anything” hits the road for a long vacation, self-doubt creeps in and camps out. Others sense there is a new resident in town and over time our brand changes. We may end up with any or all of these unfortunate labels:

  • He / she lacks confidence
  • He / she doesn’t have executive presence
  • He / she over thinks things
  • He / she is not decisive
  • He / she works hard but not smart
  • He / she is not strategic
  • He / she is not leadership potential
  • Who is he / she? I’ve never heard of them…

There are numerous events can send our confidence packing. Consider any of the following “confidence busters”:

Laid off – We are let go for perhaps the first time in our careers. The message is clearly sent that we are no longer wanted.

A new role – We are put into a new role that is so foreign to us that we over think things in an effort to not screw up.

A new boss – We get a boss that fails to appreciate us like prior bosses. For the first time we have a boss who seems to see all the things wrong with us versus all the things that are right.

A new company or industry – We join a new company or industry that is completely outside of our comfort zone. Toto, we aren’t in Kansas anymore.

Battle scars – Like the story of Theresa, we are too close to an explosion and the PTSD has caused us to second guess ourselves in every way.

This month, we are going to take on this debilitating dysfunction. I have one simple objective, to get your mojo, your groove, your swagger, your (insert confidence word here) back.

Time to give self-doubt the boot and bring confidence back from its long hiatus.


“It’s not fair”

notfair_graphic256It was dinnertime at my house and like every night, it had begun. As the meals landed in front of their intended recipients, the cries of injustice began. My 8 year old, Noah was complaining that it wasn’t fair that his 11 year old sister, Abby, went back and got the final spoonful of rice from the stove. Abby was complaining that it wasn’t fair that Noah got his favorite meal twice in the same week. And Aaron, their 6 year old brother, complained that it wasn’t fair that he had to eat all of his dinner before he could be excused from the table. Eventually dinner came to an end and the cries died down. Unfortunately, it just so happened that on that particular night we had ice cream in the freezer. Upon its discovery, the finger pointed resumed its frantic pace. “Why does she get 2 scoops of ice cream?” “How come he gets the chocolate syrup first?” Etc…

It’s Not Fair

Hearing “it’s not fair,” is unfortunately a normal occurrence when you are surrounded by human beings under the age of 18. While I wish I could say that the only time I ever hear “it’s not fair” is at home with my kids, I cannot. We can all attest to hearing grown adults utter those painful words. From complaining about not getting a promotion at work to lamenting about how life has turned out, “It’s not fair” is a debilitating disease that if allowed to creep into one’s mind, it weakens resolve, sours the spirit and poisons one’s attitude.

This month, we are going to take on this self-limiting dysfunction. Taking an “it’s not fair” attitude holds us back from the life we could have. Whether it’s you that needs to change or it’s someone else, getting past “it’s not fair” unlocks two treasures everyone wants in life: opportunity and empowerment. It allows one to write his or her own personal scorecard for what’s important versus complaining about the one he or she is dealt. Before we go too far down this path, it’s only fair (no pun intended… o.k. maybe a small one) that I share my own personal philosophy on this particular dysfunction:

  • Life is NOT fair – I’m sorry you aren’t Donald Trump, Beyonce, or a member of the Royal Couple (if you are, welcome to my blog! Send me a note. We’ll do lunch.). Get real.
  • “It’s not fair” is about complaining and critiquing what life has sent you from the kitchen. Life rewards authors, not editors. Get cooking and creating, not complaining and editing.
  • “It’s not fair” is about waiting, sitting and receiving. It’s not about moving, exploring and doing. Get moving.
  • “It’s not fair” assumes someone else has all of the cards and I must sit and accept what I am dealt. Get empowered.
  • Life can be wonderful. Regardless of the circumstances someone faces in life, with a healthy daily dose of personal responsibility, empowerment and appreciation, life can be a daily gift. Get appreciating.

So you have a job you don’t like? Leave it. You are unhappy with the path you chose? Change it. I have a mantra in my house that my kids know all too well. “Decision-makers pay.” If one of them begins to complain about dinner, I announce to the table that that particular offspring of mine has decided to pay for dinner. It is a not-so-subtle reminder to them that complaining cannot be served up without a side of action and ownership. They have to choose: stop complaining or change the meal any way they like by forking over the cash.

The choice for us this month is simple:

Accept and appreciate what we have or take action to change it. Either path is healthy and empowering. Complaining about life’s unfairness is not an option.

Trust me, there is plenty of ice cream for everyone.


“I don’t love my job”

nolove_graphicAre you in love with your job? Perhaps you are simply in “like” with your job. Then again, you might just be hanging around until something better comes along secretly hating every soul-killing moment your at the office.  This month we are tackling the topic of finding the right job that you can “fall in love with” and stay with for years to come. I know what you are thinking. This sounds overly romantic for something as staid as work. Not to mention, this idea stands in stark contrast to the cultural trends of “no loyalty” and “job-hopping” we’ve seen increase over the last several decades. I hear you, but my question to you is simple: “why not?” Why not fall in love with your job?

Your Work Soul Mate

You can “poo poo” me all you want, but deep down I know the truth: you really want a job that feels like your soul mate. And just like romantic love, wouldn’t you love to be able to say your job had all of the following characteristics:

  • Appreciates your uniqueness – your talents and skills
  • Feels “easy”
  • Challenges you to be better
  • Feels like you are headed somewhere each and every day – on a mission
  • Feels productive
  • Meets your needs
  • A perfect reflection of who you are and what you stand for

You’re sold aren’t you? I do teach persuasion and influence classes after all.

Your Excuses

Assuming my masterful persuasion skillz (with a “z”) have gotten you to see the light, the next big question standing in the way is clear:  What’s holding you back from finding the ONE (the right job)? It turns out that we use all of the same excuses whether we are looking for the perfect job or the perfect partner:

  • I don’t know what the ONE looks like
  • I have a history / pattern of unhealthy jobs (I’m attracted to dysfunction. Sorry.)
  • I can change this one to be the ONE
  • I’ve come to the realization that the ONE is just not out there
  • I missed my chance
  • I need to settle (after all, real “love” is overrated, an immature concept, etc…)
  • I’m meant to be “single”
  • I’m not smart enough, qualified enough, (insert your version of) enough, etc…
  • I’m too old
  • I prefer to live with lots and lots of cats (cats can be pretty time consuming)

Consider this month as a funky combination of relationship therapy, career builder, match.com and the angry trainer at the gym. I don’t know how it’s gonna turn out but who can resist that mix? Even train wrecks have a certain appeal. And who knows, I might just throw in a dozen cats for good measure.

Speaking of cats, here is someone who really, really loves cats.  While I would not recommend this approach to either dating or interviewing, I’m going to let you be the judge…



“I’m negative”

negative_graphic256Are you suffering from a severe case of negativity? Are you a “glass half empty” kinda person? Do people generally tell you that you are a total “buzz-kill” to be around? If the answer to those questions is “yes,” then this month is for you. And unlike many past dysfunctions we’ve taken on, negativity is a different type of dysfunction for many reasons. First, with most traditional workplace dysfunctions, the problem is often someone else (my boss, my coworker, my company, etc…). With negativity, the problem lies squarely in the mirror. Second, no one is immune from this particular dysfunction. Whether it’s getting passed over for a promotion or the general feeling that nothing we do is ever “good enough,” we all go through bouts of negativity. The distinction between healthy levels of negativity and dysfunctional levels of negativity is directly tied to the length in which you stay stuck in that nasty place. Do you pull yourself out quickly or do you make yourself comfortable and hang out in the land of discontent for months on end? Visiting for a night is fine. Staying for an extended period is catastrophic.

Negativity kills

You may be saying to yourself, “Brandon, you make this out to be such a big deal. Is this really all that bad? After all, some people view my negativity as a good thing. They see me as a realist.” If that’s you, here’s my answer for you: you’re kidding yourself. Negativity kills. It kills relationships with direct reports, it kills relationships with coworkers, it kills relationships with the boss and most importantly, it kills relationships at home (spouse and children). But we kid ourselves and don’t see negativity for what it is. Individuals that bring persistently high levels of negativity to their job and life often veil it under the guise of being a “critical thinker.” While focused doses of “critical” can be necessary and productive, unbridled criticism and negativity breeds disaster. Don’t believe me? Stay tuned. I’m bringin’ the research. From Bob Sutton at Stanford and his research on effective / ineffective managers, to the folks at the Gottman Institute studying marriage, negativity comes with heavy costs.

On tap for this month

This month we will be tackling negativity. Amongst others, some of our topics will include:

  • Some of the greatest triggers of negativity in our lives (common negativity-producing occupations, scenarios, and events)
  • Signs your negativity has tipped from normal levels to highly destructive / nuclear
  • Ways to counter negativity at work
  • Ways to counter negativity at home


At the end of the month, I’ve got two goals for each of us (myself included):

  1. For each of us to find ways to manage our negativity more effectively.
  2. For each of us to come out feeling more thankful of what we have than when we started the month. Not a bad tie into November 22 (Thanksgiving) if I do say so myself.

Before we get started, you’ll need the following materials: a glass half filled with water, a mirror, and a picture of the one’s you love. Once you’ve got ‘em, you’re ready to begin. Further instructions on their way…


“I don’t have work/life balance”

Ah, work/life balance… We all want it and very few of us actually have it. To make matters worse, the strain of the economy has forced most of us to “do more with less.”  Many of us are underpaid and overworked. In the end, our work/life balance ultimately pays the price. And depending on what is out of balance, we may end up seriously and permanently hurting aspects of our lives that mean everything to us. From our most valued relationships to our physical health, work/life unbalance has definite costs.


This month, we’re talking about work/life balance. We’ll be covering the following as I help you think about how to get and keep your life in balance:

  • What are the signs I’m out of balance?
  • Where do I start if I want to get balance back?
  • How do I set boundaries and say NO?
  • Your prescription for getting and keeping work/life balance


Before you strap yourselves in, know that it could be a bumpy and uncomfortable ride. A few caveats about work/life balance:

1. There is no “one-size-fits-all” answer. Work/life balance differs from individual to individual

2. It’s always changing. You may find balance, and then something in your life changes and “bam!,” you are out of balance. From getting married to having children and then seeing them leave you with an empty nest, seasons change and so does balance.

3. Some professions are more difficult to get balanced than others. If you are an investment banker, traveling consultant, high-paid attorney, a young resident physician, (insert your profession here), etc… balance does not exist in the traditional sense. It’s really a question of what is unbalance costing you and for how long are you willing to pay the price?

So before you strap in, ask yourself: “what’s out of balance and how am I going to start to get balance back?”  It’s gonna be bumpy but with some effort and intentionality, we may just land smoothly and a little more balanced in the end.


“I don’t know what I’m good at”

Do you know what you are good at? And I don’t mean “kinda” good at or “sorta” good at. I am also not referring to the things you “think” you are good at (like driving) when in reality, you are merely average (sorry to break it to you – your driving isn’t really that good). I’m referring to what you are really good at. I’m talking about those abilities or skills that you possess that are rooted in your hard-wiring giftedness and your hard work – that wonderful combination of talents and time translating into what we call strengths. More importantly, are you using the things you are good at (your strengths and talents) at your job?

Strengths matter. If we know what it is we are good at and we use those abilities every day, in addition to leading to greater success, it also leads to greater efficiency and greater enjoyment of what we do. Work feels “easy.” In other words, if you ever want satisfaction on the job AND work / life balance, you can’t get there without knowing and maximizing your strengths.

Over the next month, we’ll be tackling the following big questions as it relates to discovering one’s strengths:

  • Are you using your strengths at your job? What are the signs?
  • Do you know what your strengths are? How do you find your strengths?
  • How do you plan your work and your life based on your strengths?

Over the years of working with thousands of individuals in both clinical and professional settings, what’s become clear to me are the following:

  1. Everyone has talents and most of us have discovered some our talents and translated those into strengths (through time, effort and hard work) but few of us have discovered all of our talents
  2. Most people aren’t consciously aware of or able to label their talents and strengths. We use them, but we are largely unaware of their presence and never call them out by name
  3. Most people don’t use their strengths on the job
  4. As a result of #2 and #3, many of us take jobs, or worse, get promoted into jobs that actually prohibit us from using our strengths (the roles require daily tasks that aren’t our strengths)
  5. Work doesn’t have to be as hard as we make it if we intentionally use our strengths every day

So, get your thinking caps on. Discovering and maximizing the usage of your strengths is a tough but worthy puzzle to attempt to solve. After all, who doesn’t want happiness, enjoyment, fulfillment, efficiency and work / life balance? If you answered “No” to that question, we’ve got bigger problems on our hands.

“I need some inspiration”

What better way to end a year than with a little inspiration. After all, who doesn’t want to be inspired?  I was working with a client recently who said to me: “I just feel flat. Nothing in work excites me, my personal life is just ‘blah’ and I don’t see anything changing. When I was younger, this was not how I pictured my life turning out.” Can you relate? Have you ever felt as though there was an enormous wet blanket draped over your shoulders, dampening any spark you might have once had? Have you ever felt you were just going through the motions, wondering “what is the point?” …Is this you right now?

This month is about inspiration.  Getting it and keeping it.  Amongst other things, we’ll be tackling the following important questions:

    • Have you forgotten who you are?
    • Why does the world need you more today than ever?
    • What if you had only one year left to live? What would you do?
    • What are you going to start saying “no” to?

We’ll be looking at some of the most inspirational stories I/we have come across to not only help us answer some of these questions, but to give us the spark and courage to make it happen. My hope is that at the end of this month you can say three things about yourself and the life you are building:

    1. You feel “the spark” of inspiration inside of you
    2. You can see the path towards the life you want to live
    3. You are beginning to act in ways that are inspiring to those around you

Inspiration is contagious. This is one “germ” you need to catch, feed and actively spread.

So, are you living a life full of inspiration? Do you want one? Hop on board and let’s get there together.

As a teaser, If you haven’t seen Steve Jobs’ commencment address at Stanford, it’s a must.


“Burned Out”

“Burned out” – all of us can relate to that feeling at some point in our careers and lives. In those “burned out” periods we feel overwhelmed, exhausted, anxious and stressed. Stick a fork in us, we’re “done And in those moments, all we truly want is for it to stop. We dream of leaving it all and moving to the beach, or worse, we dream of something “happening” to us that forces us off the treadmill. I had a client once tell me that she “dreamed of getting hit by a bus” so her stress would all come to an end. What a horrible and depressing thought.

This month we’ll be tackling this all-too-common and painful dysfunction: “Burned Out.” Not only is it an important and timely topic for each of us today given how much is on each of our plates, but at its core, this topic is actually about realizing one’s potential. It comes down to learning how to develop a healthy relationship with stress and using stress to help us to stretch and grow rather than letting stress get the best of us.

To that end, we’ll be tackling the following questions throughout the month:

  • What are the signs that I am burned out?
  • How can I manage burn out at work?
  • What are ways I can manage burn out away from work (at home, etc…)?
  • If you are the boss, how do you help your employees from getting burned out?
  • What are ways to “fire proof” your life going forward so burn out doesn’t strike again?

Joining us on this journey this month will be a guest expert / columnist, Travis Dommert. Travis is the President of IRUNURUN a performance and accountability system designed to help individuals and organizations achieve their potential and in his words, he’s an “expert in quitting”, or more accurately, understanding why people quit and helping them avoid it. Travis, welcome!

Every week, we’ll kick off the conversation by taking on one of these big questions. By the end of the month, if we haven’t cured this dysfunction, we’ll do a darn good job treating it!

At its core, avoiding and managing burnout is all about developing a healthy relationship with stress. When stress gets the best of us, it is not a pretty picture. If you’ve ever seen the movie “Real Genius” starring Val Kilmer, it has one of the best “burnout” scenes I’ve ever seen. I won’t spoil the surprise, but notice everyone else’s reaction when the “break” happens and watch what happens to the empty seat…



“Am I dysfunctional?”

“Am I dysfunctional?”  How many of us have asked ourselves that question? How many of us should ask ourselves that question?  Instead, we choose to avoid that question at every turn. After all, isn’t it a heck of a lot easier to blame everybody else rather than look at ourselves? Now, I’m not saying that others aren’t to blame from time to time.  I’m sure they are. But if you continue to relive the same unpleasant patterns over and over again in your life (Ex: you consistently have co-worker issues regardless of the job, you’ve never gotten along with any of your bosses throughout your career, you’ve been fired more than a few times, you have a long history of failed personal relationships, etc…) and you are the only common denominator, it’s time to look in the mirror. There comes a time when the answer lies within.

This month we are tackling this career and life derailer: “Am I dysfunctional?” We’ll take on, amongst other things, the following questions:

• Are you dysfunctional? How can you tell?

• What are the most common dysfunctions we suffer from?

• What do those dysfunctions cost us at work… and at home?

• What can we do to recognize those patterns and stop them before it’s too late?

Every week, I’ll kick off our conversation by addressing one of these big questions. Throughout the week I’ll collect and share stories, examples and other opinions as we dig in. By the end of the month, if we haven’t cured this dysfunction, we’ll do a darn good job treating it!  Write to me with your stories, examples or opinions on the subject. I promise to protect the innocent (and guilty!).

So, are you dysfunctional? What’s that costing you and are you willing to pay that price? Your choices are clear: continue to blame others and stay in your own personal version of “Groundhog Day” (a great movie if you haven’t seen it) – reliving the same patterns over and over again, or make the decision to break those patterns and live differently. The choice is simple and yet one of the scariest one’s we’ll ever make. The life you’ve always wanted lives on the other side. Just ask Bill Murray…

“I’m not getting noticed at work”

Can you relate to this experience I had with a client a few weeks ago? Paul crossed his arms and with a frustrated huff said to me, “I’m not going to play politics around here. If I do a good job and keep my head down, things will work out. I just know that eventually I’ll get noticed and rewarded for all of my hard work.”

We would all love to believe that if we just do good work, that’s all it really takes to get noticed. Of course, this is contingent on the idea that someone is “scouting talent” at your work 24/7, desperately looking to find someone just like YOU – the diamond in the rough, the next hall-of-famer. This perfect scenario reminds us of those great “discovery” stories like the waitress who would occasionally break out into song during her breaks until one day, a Hollywood agent happened to stumble into her diner. Or the rural farm boy who practiced throwing a baseball out back behind the barn until one day that major league scout’s car ran out of gas and there was a fortuitous knock on the door.

I don’t know about you, but “talent scouts” are few and far between in the world. People are too worried about their own “stuff” to notice what others are up to. There aren’t many fortuitous knocks on our doors. Simply put, if we want to get noticed, the burden is on us to make that happen.

This month we are tackling this career limiting dysfunction: “I’m not getting noticed at work.” We’ll take on, amongst other things, the following questions:

• Are you getting noticed at work?

• What is being overlooked costing you?

• What are the most common ways we prevent ourselves from being noticed?

• What can we do to get the recognition we want and deserve?

Every week, I’ll kick off our conversation by addressing one of these big questions. Throughout the week I’ll collect and share stories, examples and other opinions as we dig in. By the end of the month, if we haven’t cured this dysfunction, we’ll do a darn good job treating it!

Write to me with your stories, examples or opinions on the subject. I promise to protect the innocent (and guilty!).

So, are you getting noticed at work or do you just feel like wallpaper? Help is on the way!


“Is this it? Finding fulfillment at work”

I was having dinner with a client last week and in the middle of dinner, she paused, looked up over her salad and with a steely seriousness she said to me: “Is this it? Is this all there is? I just don’t feel any excitement or fulfillment at work. It feels like I am just going through the motions.” Does that sound like you? Hands down, the most frequently asked question I receive is: “how do I find fulfillment at work?” Everything from passion to meaning and purpose. We’re all looking for it.  So how about you? Are you energized with your work? Do you find meaning in what you do?  Or do you feel as though the work you do is slowly killing you with every key stroke?

This month, we will tackle this dysfunction: “Is this it? Finding fulfillment at work.” Throughout the month we’ll cover, amongst other things:

  • Passion vs. Fulfillment
  • The 5 questions to finding meaning and fulfillment in your work… and life
  • What can you do to start down the path of finding fulfillment in your work?
  • And if you are the leader, what can you do to create a workplace full of fulfillment?

Every week, I’ll kick off our conversation by addressing one of these big questions. Throughout the week I’ll collect and share stories, examples and other opinions as we dig in. By the end of the month, if we haven’t cured this dysfunction, we’ll do a darn good job treating it!

Write to me with your stories, examples or opinions on the subject. I promise to protect the innocent (and guilty!).

So, are you a poster child for fulfillment at work or are you a lost soul? What if this is as good as it gets? Never fear, help is on the way!


(Link) View more Melvin Udall Sound Clips and As Good As It Gets Sound Clips

“This is NOT the right corporate culture for me”

Ah, corporate cultures. We’ve all been there – stuck in a place that just wasn’t us. Whether it’s the overly bureaucratic company whose policies just drive us nuts or the small “mom & pop” family-owned company where we aren’t part of the family, company cultures can either make our lives wonderful or an absolute nightmare. So how about you? Are you stuck in a company culture that’s killing you slowly each and every day? And what can you do about it?

This month, we will tackle this dysfunction: “This is NOT the right corporate culture for me.” Throughout the month we’ll cover, amongst other things:

  • Are you in the wrong corporate culture?
  • What are the ways you can tell what the right culture is for you?
  • What can you do to change the culture you are in… and can you?
  • And if you are the leader, what can you do to change the company culture?

Every Monday, I’ll kick off our conversation for the week by addressing one of these big questions. Throughout the week I’ll collect and share stories, examples and other opinions as we dig in. By the end of the month, if we haven’t cured this dysfunction, we’ll do a darn good job treating it!

Write to me with your stories, examples or opinions on the subject. I promise to protect the innocent (and guilty!).

So, look around. Do you feel like a “fish in water” at work or are you flopping around, gasping for air and don’t know how much longer you can last? Help is coming.