Archives For Management

“The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don’t go back to sleep.” and so Rumi aptly advises us.

But, who is this breeze?
What if the breeze could be you?

Leadership can take the form of the breeze in Rumi's quote (i.e. Being the Messenger)

If you had the chance to be the breeze in someone’s dawn, would you take it?
Image courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography at

In the garden,

a lone unusual flower blossomed at the end of a branch.

Snapping a shot, I tweeted:

“TakeThisMoment #Leadership #Thought:
Go ahead, go out on a limb. Something good will blossom.”

This tweet about leadership resonated and was retweeted, but held a secret. Photo credit: Jackie Yun |

This tweet about leadership resonated and was retweeted, but held a secret.
Photo credit: Jackie Yun |

Then a breeze blew in

from @szark_1 , not a follower of mine but a follower of @ghani_b who follows me and I him.  Quietly responding to me and @ghani_b, @szark_1 tweeted:

what looks so beautifully is a strong poison ‘Datura’“.

Continue Reading…

My old college roomie, years ago, sent me a book called:

“What Would Jackie Do?”

Image courtesy of stockimages at

Don’t Get Stuck When A Difficult Leadership Situation Pops Up!
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subtitled: “An Inspired Guide to Distinctive Living”.  If I were to follow the wisdom of Jackie O as outlined in the book, I could know what to do and bloom!

My old roomie would raise her eyebrow if she knew that some on my team asked that same question: “What Would Jackie Do?” — thinking Jackie Y instead of Jackie O — not for “distinctive living” but rather to figure out how to handle difficult work situations.

It was an effective crutch for their leadership (glad it worked!) and an ego boost for me (we all need that sometimes! ~ thank you, team!!), but …

As a leader, you don’t want to be the crutch for people long term. 

You want people to graduate from You! 

You want to see the core values you set for the organization become their own — internalizing these so they become leaders in their own right and make decisions from their minds and hearts.

Mission statements can be a helpful guide, but how memorable and inspiring is yours? (If yours is like mine was, it’s time to review and update. Some tips in this article from Business News Daily.)

For a simple approach with needed internal heart fueling power …

Try the “3 Words Exercise” 

Chris Brogan, CEO of Owner Media Group and NY TImes Best Selling Author, created this exercise for personal growth and as “something that would work within our thought process daily”.

Here’s how to get started.

Continue Reading…

The Work Sharknado gnashes your good intentions to bits!

An unrelenting torrent of projects needs your guidance, a storm of less than delighted (i.e. irate) customers expects answers from you, and a pile up of high priority demands from your boss and the executive suite screams for your attention.

When can you find the time to thank your hard working team?

Don’t let the Work Sharknado blow your appreciation intentions into disarray!

You don’t have to let Team Appreciation fall into the jaws of the Work Sharknado!
Image courtesy of iosphere at

Don’t let the Work Sharknado blow your appreciation intentions into disarray.

Counterattack with this simple one-word approach:


3 Imminently Do-Able Ideas To Find Time For Appreciation

Re-purpose Your Time! Execute on Showing Your Appreciation.
Image courtesy of KROMKRATHOG at

Execute on this and you’ll be able to give yourself back the time you need to show gratitude to your team. Here are 3 imminently do-able suggestions — these will also net some side benefits that’ll take you and your team’s effectiveness sky high.

1. Turn Your Office Hour into A “Thank-You” Office Hour

Turn Your Office Hour into a "Thank You" Office Hour

Your Office Hour: Perfect Venue to Show Your Appreciation!
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at

For your stream of office hour visitors, start each conversation with a word of appreciation. Don’t let the issue of the day cloud over and make you forget to express your appreciation!

On the flip side, (yes, hard to admit) there were quiet times during my weekly drop-in office hour when I wasn’t reeling anyone from the team in. Maybe this happens to you, too?

Don’t succumb to temptation to use that time to attend to your own work (I know the temptation myself!). Re-purpose those minutes into productive staff appreciation time.

Fill out your company stationery or a few blank note cards (which you’ve bought previously and stashed in your desk) with your sincerest “merci” to a team member or two. Then personally deliver these notes straight to the recipient!

No stationery? You forgot to buy note cards? No worries. Text or call instead. Email can do in a pinch, but it can get lost in that ocean of an inbox, even if the email is from “the boss”.

Ready to cast your net wider?

Continue Reading…

 Who Can Resist 

Texas Chewie Pralines from Lammes  


Salted Brown Butter Texas Pecan Brittle Chocolate  

from The Chocolate Makers Studio?

“Yum-O” as Rachel Ray would say.


#100HappyDays: “There’s nothing as cozy as a piece of candy ...” ― Betty MacDonald

“There’s nothing as cozy as a piece of candy …” ― Betty MacDonald
Photo credit: Jackie Yun |

 On Day 2 of #100HappyDays 

Sweets are on my happiness radar.  

I’m the type who asks for the dessert menu before ordering the entree.

My favorite holidays are Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween and  Christmas.  (Chocolate, anyone?)

And My Advice to New Leaders: 

“Lead through a Bowl of Candy”

My candy bowl was filled with Reeses®, Snickers®, 3 Musketeers®, Milky Ways® and more.

A bowl of candy can become one of your best and favorite leadership tools.  Here’s why: 

Continue Reading…

Your leadership will face untenable constraints.

How will you respond to the Tsunami that awaits your Leadership?
Image courtesy of federico stevanin /

T S U N A M I !

Crushing, demolishing, relentless.

Then, miraculous

L I F E !

The son, focused on getting his injured mother to safety amid destruction,

purposely ignores a whimper.

Until his mother speaks.

“What if that boy was Simon or Thomas?

You would want someone to help them…

Even if it’s the last thing we do.”


Those words of extraordinary heart-centered leadership are from Maria Belon, the real-life mother who wrote about surviving the 2004 Tsunami that hit Thailand.  Her book is the basis for the movie: “The Impossible” and the powerful “Even if it’s the last thing we do” scene:



From which a question emerges for us as leaders:

When the tsunami-at-work hits, 

Continue Reading…

Some leaders say that Empowerment is passe, cliched.

I disagree.

There is still power behind empowerment.

Don't forget about Empowerment as a Leadership Tool

Empowerment is still a Bright Idea!
Image courtesy of KROMKRATHOG at

Review this definition from and see for yourself.

“A management practice of sharing information, rewards, and power with employees so that they can take initiative and make decisions to solve problems and improve service and performance.

Empowerment is based on the idea that giving employees skills, resources, authority, opportunity, motivation, as well as holding them responsible and accountable for outcomes of their actions, will contribute to their competence and satisfaction.”

Empowerment is a Basic Tenant of Good Leadership.  

My question to you, as executive to executive, leader to leader, manager to manager —- do you empower your people?

Before you blithely say, “I certainly do!”.  Tell me how you would answer the following 12 questions to see how you fare.

If you still don’t agree about the power of empowerment, please humor me.  Spend just a few minutes to answer these same 12 questions and see if you feel differently.  You might be missing out on having a more effective, efficient and happier team.

12 Questions To Gauge How Much You Empower Your People

1. If someone on your team makes an appointment with your boss for a 1:1 meeting just between the two of them, how do you feel?

Continue Reading…

50 Ways To Kindness At Work

September 30, 2013 — 4 Comments

If we don’t lead with kindness, who will?

S. Max Brown

S. Max Brown makes a good point.  Let’s meet his challenge and raise our hands.  Let’s bring on kindness at work!

With so many hours of our adult lives spent at work, we would all welcome more kindness, but how to do it?

Implement Those Sandbox Rules To Encourage Kindness at Work

There’s Leadership Wisdom in Those Sandbox Rules!
Image courtesy of Victor Habbick at

Many years ago, our executive leadership and HR rolled out the sandbox campaign. We didn’t realize the good leadership wisdom contained on those wallet-carrying-sized cards sent with fanfare to all employees. We threw the cards away or those of us who were more politically-savvy displayed the cards on our desks, becoming dusty and forgotten until replaced with the next employee engagement initiative.

Laminated on the cards were these simple rules:

  • Throwing sand is never OK.
  • Being mean will eventually result in you playing, unhappily, on your own.
  • No taking of other peoples buckets without asking
  • No kicking or breaking other peoples sandcastles
  • Playing nice with others is best.

If we had only embraced those rules!

We do have a second chance. You have a second chance. Did you catch the HuffPost Healthy Living article about the advice from sage third graders (!) on how to ripple kindness throughout the world? I’m gathering inspiration from them.

How about you?

Would you be willing to apply these 50 ideas for kindness from third graders at your place of work?

Try a few today. See the difference manifest in your work world and then try a few more. Note: Words in brackets [ ] are my additions.

1. Smile at a stranger.

2. Say thank you to the bus driver. […or your project manager]

3. Help someone carry her heavy groceries. [What’s on our plates at work can be heavy if we have to do it alone.]

4. Hold the door open for someone else.

Kindness #5. Leave a kind note for someone whom you usually don't get along with.

A kind note is always appreciated!
Image courtesy of gubgib at

5. Leave a kind note for someone whom you usually don’t get along with.

6. Give your Mom a hug and tell her you appreciate her. [How about a hug for your mentor?]

7. Sing a song to your teacher! [Early in my career, I worked in the “pit”, a communal room full of programmers. We, in the pit, would break out in a pop tune, changing the words to suit our situation. What an energy changer ~ even with songs sung on the dark side! What a relief from the dreariness of the pit.]

8. Let someone else choose the game and play it — even if you don’t like it.

9. Let someone else have a seat on the bus or subway. [Encourage someone else to sit in the good seat at the meeting and let them be heard.]

Continue Reading…

Are You A Character Based Leader?

Are You A Character Based Leader?

It was a kick to the abdomen. Negative energy spiked across the room. The collective shield went up. The message they heard was that they and their work were nothing special. None of their efforts counted. All because THAT word was used at an all-hands meeting to explain the reason for outsourcing.

That word was “commodity”.

Per ~ A reasonably homogeneous good or material, bought and sold freely as an article of commerce.

And yes, this actually happened!

The outcome (even with outsourcing as part of the plan) would’ve been very different, if our executive had followed Jane Perdue’s advice. Continue Reading…

Photo Corporate Warrior ID 10024867 by Sura Nualpradid

Should a Corporate Warrior, with a Cold or Flu, Go to Work or Stay Home?
Photo Credit: by Sura Nualpradid

DayQuil®, Musinex, Kleenex®, orange juice and bottled water – check!  These are your Corporate Warrior’s weapons of choice against the dreaded cold or flu.  Throw them into your brief case and you’re ready for another day at the office.


What if you didn’t go into the office?

What if you looked at the cold or flu as the “gift of a pause”? Continue Reading…

Listen to Your Gut

Hello Leader. Your Gut Is Speaking. Are You Listening?
Photo Credit: by Darren Hester

“I’ve been mandated to shut down the office by next June, after we deliver on our key project this upcoming April”.

All eyes quickly turned my way.  It was as quick as a door slamming shut and I hoped that wasn’t what it would portend.  I knew conventional wisdom would not have approved of what I had just said.  Our HR Generalist’s shocked reaction re-confirmed that.  Instead, I had taken my direction from my gut.

Would my team walk out and make an already terrible project situation disastrous?

Was the Gut Wrong?

Will Lukang graciously encouraged me to write about it at his blog. Please read more.


Leaders in the corporate world are taught to get as much information as possible before making a decision.  What if that information comes from your gut?  What would you do?  I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section.

And remember…

#TakeThisMoment and create a partnership with your gut. – Jackie Yun