Long before the pandemic, I learned not all bosses trust “work from anywhere”

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“Remember that time Jane got pissed because your relative had cancer?” Jane was a former boss (not her real name), but the cancer was real. An old coworker reminded me of this recently, and as much as I attempted to wipe that experience from my memory, it floods back to me regularly.

I’ve had some transformative, wonderful bosses over the past 20 years, and I’ve also had the opposite. Jane was the opposite, and the experience was notable, and a nod to the struggles that might lay ahead as the workforce considers going hybrid.

Organizational Culture Can Be Attractive

A big part of my interest…


In Westeros and the workroom, we all know these colleagues

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By no means is this an exhaustive list, but I would venture we’ve all worked with most — if not all — of these Game of Thrones characters.

Admittedly, if you didn’t lose yourself wholly in the series’ eight seasons, the details that follow will be nothing more than a lexical Rubik’s Cube. But you might just enjoy it anyway, so read on!

Chief Strategy Officer: Bran Stark

Bran is the quintessential chief strategy officer (CSO). Doesn’t say a lot in meetings, pretty much zones out in every conversation, and where exactly was he before coming to the company? No one knows.

On the other…


Patience is both an art and a virtue

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A thing can be right or right now, though very rarely both.

Those 12 words have followed me from job to job for nearly a dozen years. They are printed on a sheet of paper (see below) and taped visibly in every office I’ve occupied since 2010.

If one motto could explain my thoughts about life, it would be that, and it works well in our jobs and everywhere else. I share it aloud with people who are trying to hasten through something haphazardly — and say it quietly in my mind if I find myself rushing.

Time is money, right?

This philosophy of…


I would argue that you shouldn’t, and I really hope you don’t

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Here’s a fun fact — you’ll spend about 13 collective years of your life working. Other than simply being alive, the only other thing you’ll do more than work is sleep. (About 26 collective years nodded off.)

If that stresses you out, it shouldn’t. On the contrary, it should be inspiring to know how much road there is ahead in your career.

Sure, time is a non-renewable resource, but if you’re amenable, time has a lot to offer. You will spend a lot of life working, so there are plenty of opportunities to get it right. Your professional life is…


It’s the new ‘umm’

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I remember my first car — an almost mint condition, black, 1989 Volkswagen Jetta. Her name was “Loretta.”

A few weeks before I made the purchase, I had Jettas on my mind. Specifically black Jettas. And the weirdest thing happened — I started seeing late-80s black Jettas on the road all over the place. Every day, everywhere I went. In a world full of other cars, I was only seeing the quintessential boxy Volkswagen.

I had no idea there were so many of them out there! Spoiler alert: there weren’t, I was simply experiencing the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon or frequency illusion.


Bonus points go to the ones whose answers have nothing to do with work

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As the global health crisis slowly begins its wind down, everyone under the sun is hiring, at least here in the U.S. Between April 2020-2021, the number of job openings more than doubled from 4.6 million to 9.3 million.

As an employer, filling these roles will keep you busy. The team at TalentWorks have suggested, “[It] takes 10-20 applications to get one interview. And… it takes 10-15 interviews to get one job offer.”

Over the past 20 years, I’ve hired north of 300 people, having interviewed two- or three times that many. …


It’s an honest question — how would you answer it?

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How much are your employees worth?

It’s a practical question for budgeting and staffing, sure. It might also be a useful exercise in considering your employees’ true value as you look forward to their future at your company.

This is an interesting time for such inquiries. It has been a deeply challenging period for organizations of all kinds, to be sure, but it’s also somewhat fascinating from an academic bent. The global health crisis has spawned “the great resignation” of workers. The reasons are myriad, and it’s definitely happening. NPR’s Andrea Hsu reports:

“As pandemic life recedes in the U.S…


A textbook lesson in practicing what you preach

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In the world of research, some of the earliest leadership scholarship centers on “great man” traits. You don’t have to stretch your imagination to know what this research focused on — charisma, bravado, charm.

Historically, these were the behaviors we attributed to the great men of yesteryear. (And, no, they weren’t all men.) We’ve evolved beyond this in some ways. But the “great whatevers” are still something of a monolith. We have these in fields from business to sports to entertainment. I work in academia and you certainly have the “greats” among the Ph.D. crowd.

Ellen DeGeneres is a different…

Evan Wildstein

Small southpaw writing about organizational life, kindness, and creativity.

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