Feedback Failure

My Harvard Business Review magazine landed on the kitchen table in the usual pile of junk mail, and as I stood there sorting the bills from the pizza coupons I almost tossed the HBR into the recycle bin. Why? Because the cover story was "Why Feedback Fails." Okay, I thought with a snort, they've finally... Continue Reading →

The Art of Being Wrong

One of the benefits of being being middle-aged is that you've had enough experience of the world that you have answers to lots of questions. Sleepless babies, finals week, bad boyfriends, the anxious wait for test results while shivering in a hospital gown? BTDT. It's true at work, too - strategies, performance reviews, annual reports:... Continue Reading →

Tough as…

Most of my work clothes are hand-me-downs from when my mother retired. She loves clothes and bought nice ones. I really don't care much about clothes and buy whatever I see first when I walk into Marshalls. But every good thing must end, and my wardrobe circa 1999 is starting to look, well, like it... Continue Reading →


Management books don't really thrill me. Maybe that is an odd admission for someone who writes about the world of work, and who reads pretty much anything that comes under her nose. But I am reading one now that does indeed thrill me, and I'd like you to read it too. Would you, please? And... Continue Reading →

My Boss Made Me Do It

At a staff gathering a while ago I led a session on work productivity. I asked people to think of the most important tasks they do regularly, and then asked them to think about what they spend the most time doing. Then we talked a little bit about why people spend so much time doing... Continue Reading →

It’s Complicated

Evolutionary biologist E.O. Wilson was on NPR talking about the behavior of ants. This was on Freakonomics Radio, where Freakonomics authors Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner explore economic and behavioral theory on everyday events. I won't go into ant behavior, but it segued into Levitt saying that evolutionary biologists and economists try to strip things... Continue Reading →


In middle school I had a Trapper Keeper binder, black with a sparkly unicorn on the front. I loved that thing. In my mind I can still see the unicorn among the clouds, feel the smooth vinyl cover and hear the vvrrrpp of the Velcro flap opening. Funny, that, because I don't think I actually... Continue Reading →


When I was eight my dad bought me a punching bag. He thought it was better for me to punch a bag than to punch the wall, or flip my mattress over, or empty my dresser drawers onto the floor. My rages were always sparked by my inability to do something well - make my... Continue Reading →

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