Want a Healthier Workplace? Sing!

The power of singing became apparent to me in Nepal. My friend Clare and I got lost hiking in the Kathmandu Valley. We stumbled upon a Nepali army outpost and were surrounded by soldiers who aimed their machine guns at us. Long—true—story short, we sang our way out of it. Thinking back, I still cringe at our stupidity, our illiteracy. I marvel at the kindness, and the singing, of Nepal's soliders. They even taught us a Nepalese marching song. It involves stomping one’s feet and yelling something like “Denah, denah, denah haah.” Tramping … [Read more...]

Want to Be an Engaging Leader? Learn Employees’ Love Languages

I love you. You’re fired. Only once in my working life have I heard "I love you" from a CEO. It was during a retreat for a leadership team of about 50 highly mission-driven people. Together, we led tens of thousands of employees and were accountable for tens of billions of dollars. “I love you” from the leader felt remarkable in the moment. It felt disconcerting too. My family doesn't often say I love you. We focus more on showing one another love by little and sometimes super-sized things we do for one another. While I’m a huge hugger … [Read more...]

Hit-and-Run Kindness Game

A dimly-lit, labyrinth of a workplace taught me that being riskily ridiculous may not be such a bad thing, especially if it involves countercultural hit-and-run kindness. Inside along the building’s walls, single-colored stripes are painted about chest high. The stripes serve as a guide to finding the right hallway, the right office, and if you’re directionally astute, to outside air. As a newbie to the building, I look expectantly at people’s faces in the halls, hoping against hope that someone will offer an unsolicited tip about when … [Read more...]

Work Friends, Life Benefits

I’m feeling particularly grateful this week after getting to spend six days, mostly on Route 66 (with a few roads less traveled thrown in), with my dear friend Maureen.  We met nearly three decades ago when I got to interview her for a role at a non-profit. It was the first time I’d been involved with hiring someone. Maureen and I worked together for about a year before we both moved on to other jobs.  What started as a work relationship continues to be one of the most important friendships of my life, one for which I’m eternally … [Read more...]

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