If you date a job, one day there will be a break up.

Angela ended the conversation with “You’re going to write about this, right?”
My response “Well I am now. But I’ll change the names to protect the innocent.”

What were we talking about? Angela had decided it was time to quit her job, and understandably she was nervous about the conversation with her boss. So nervous that she hadn’t slept much the night before, hence the quick coaching session the following morning.

What was making it hard for Angela was this wasn’t the “I quit!” type situation. Her boss wasn’t being a jerk, the work wasn’t terrible, she loved the company, and she adored her team. She knew, however, that what the company needed and what she had to give weren’t in alignment. It had been that way for a while, and it was time.

We’d talked before about how to approach the conversation. The following is what Angela asked I share with you.

It’s time to be practical but practical from the other person’s perspective. You’re about to mess with someone’s world, so put yourself in her shoes.

We tend to think (or not sleep) a ton about the emotional reaction of the person we’re breaking up with. How will they react? Will they get mad? No one wants an emotional or angry response. I often find the best thing to do is to pretend you’re the person hearing the news. What questions might they have? What are their next steps going to be? What might worry them? Continue reading “If you date a job, one day there will be a break up.”

Sorry, It’s fixed. Here’s why it won’t happen again.

What to do when we mess up

Mistakes happen, I know I’ve made thousands of them. It’s what you do next that matters.

I was reminded of this concept over the holidays. A member of my team made a small mistake. Nothing dramatic and certainly nothing to get worked up about, but it was a mistake. When I shot her a note to confirm there wasn’t information I was missing her response both surprised and delighted me.

  1. She owned the error immediately.
  2. The error is fixed.
  3. She explained what she’d do to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
  4. She gave me a little context to why the mistake happened.

THAT, folks, is basically a perfect response. So why was it surprising? The fact that this type of reaction – own it, fix it, eliminate recurrence, and context (not blame) is not something I usually see. Continue reading “Sorry, It’s fixed. Here’s why it won’t happen again.”

You’re always making investments

Let me start out by giving you some advice. Advice you’ve probably received before if you’ve been around me at all. I was reminded the bajillionth time this week alone that this advice is still warranted. I’m going to say it again and again and again until I can’t speak anymore.

You want to do better in life? Surround yourself with people who challenge your thinking. Ask questions about your beliefs and seek out other opinions. Be open to these views. If their comments don’t make sense, ask again.

Just ask.

That ask, in itself, is quite an investment. Let me explain … Continue reading “You’re always making investments”

Finding Support on the Skinny Branches

A while back a friend of mine texted me, “I need a pep talk.” Less than 24 hours later, I was on her couch. I wasn’t there alone. A text from me to another of our tight, trusted, hilarious, brave, curious, Ladybadass group manifested another shoulder, supporter, nudger, question-er.

I won’t share what we talked about. Share, even with names redacted or changed, any of the information on why I had to hug someone more than three times (this is a big deal for me.) Why both the bottle of wine and the box of kleenex we emptied. That’s not the focus.

Today’s article is about how three strong, brave, professional women found each other.

Six years ago I was invited to be part of an experiment. An experiment that brought together twelve successful women to join forces in an effort to up our individual and collective game. We met monthly for the year with each other and with coaches.

The only rule: Show up.

One of the biggest lessons from this year of ass-kicking: I had no idea how lonely I was. Lonely for people who took similar professional steps that I took. Lonely for people who could see a future for me that was bigger and bolder than I could imagine. Continue reading “Finding Support on the Skinny Branches”

Would you like barbeque or a steak roll?

Adventures in A/B testing

I travel a ridiculous amount. As I write, I’m mid-flight from Charlotte, North Carolina to Miami, Florida. This is only the second of the four flights I’m taking to get to Ushuaia, Argentina. This is my life.

However, it’s the first leg of my journey that inspires this week’s article. To get to the airport, I decided to get a driver.

What my drivers never know when I tap the button on the app is I’ll want to chat with them (if they’ll let me) for the entire ride. I’ve found that rideshare drivers stories make for the most interesting conversations. Note that, to date, I’ve only had ONE driver tell me he wanted just to be a driver. They ALL have a dream, they all are using this side hustle as a means to an end. Continue reading “Would you like barbeque or a steak roll?”

Who’s making what decision in which room?

Part of the fun for me in putting ideas and questions out to this #ladybadass community are the conversations following. It’s rare for me not to get pulled into a discussion around a question I posed or a theory I’m developing. Once in a while, I ask people to share their ideas back with you. Share, because I want you to hear different thoughts and ideas. Share because I want you to meet the phenomenal people behind the conversations.

A couple of weeks back I posed the question, “Do you stay in a role longer than you should for the sake of the team?” This particular article garnered several conversations. One, in particular, caught my attention. A conversation I had with a dear friend and co-worker from a part of my life we’ll just call “Adventures in Chicago,” and I asked her to share.

So today, I introduce you to a total #ladybadass Cindy Barry and her thoughts about staying for the team…………..



Through the years I have encountered numerous managers who were nightmares. Having someone in your direct line of management, or a peer inside or outside your division can cause angst, negatively impact morale, and demotivate everyone around them. In the end, they are adversely impacting productivity, which means they are impacting revenue.

They are often the worst kept secret in the company, well known to Human Resources (HR). We can have an entire series of articles on theories as to how and why they are allowed to stay in place. Sadly, they are a reality with which we need to contend. Continue reading “Who’s making what decision in which room?”

Bespoke Bubbles

Lessons in Language and Individuality

Imagine for a moment that you’re invited to discuss with a small group of thought leaders the idea of narrative in the 21st Century. In the invitation informs you that you will give up an entire weekend, there is no agenda, and no other participants are known. The only thing you do know is that the host is this intriguing gentleman whom you’ve had some very thought-provoking conversations with before.

Would you say yes?

Of course, I said yes. Boy, I’m glad I did! Whom I met, what I learned, and my curiosity about what will manifest is still making me ponder almost a week later.

As the other 11 thinkers introduced themselves, I must admit that my IBSC (itty bitty shitty committee) screamed at the top of its lungs. These were people doing tremendous things on a massive scale. I can’t share the invite list, but let’s just say we had social activism, technology, military, politics, global economics, and environmentalism covered. And there I was with my platform of why people need to be able to articulate why they’re awesome.

I won’t go into a long diatribe about the ridiculousness of negative self-talk. We all know that conversation.

Once I got past myself, I listened, I absorbed, I learned. Continue reading “Bespoke Bubbles”

Staying to Protect the Team

I have a question for all the people managers out there. Have you stayed in a job because of the people? A job you know you need to leave, but you just can’t quit the amazing people.

“My boss is a tool but my people are fabulous. I can’t leave them.” I’ve heard this sentence or something like it more times than I can count.

Have you endured a lousy boss because you want to protect or can’t leave the people on your team?

I know I have.

This topic came up while talking with my ladybadass friends recently. Several of them recounted the same scenario:

Atrocious boss + extraordinary people → Difficulty leaving

It got me wondering. Is this a pattern with women leaders or is just a sign of someone who’s a cool person? Continue reading “Staying to Protect the Team”

Do women empty the bank on their relationship capital?

I’ve been floating an idea recently about the concept of “relationship capital.” I honestly want to know if you think I’m nuts or if the idea resonates.

Let me start by explaining what I mean by “relationship capital” and what you do with it.

Someone, usually in a significantly more powerful/senior position to you, decides to put his reputation on the line for you.

For instance:

  • Hiring you when you don’t have the experience and/or someone else isn’t a fan.
  • Giving you opportunities to work on projects that are outside of your usual scope of responsibility.
  • Speaking on your behalf in a room that you’re not in.
  • Pushing someone forward rather than just opening the door.

This is beyond mentoring. This is someone making a bet; a bet on you and your future capabilities. Continue reading “Do women empty the bank on their relationship capital?”