There's a reason you're getting more robocalls now: due to the pandemic, many international call centers were shut down. At the same time, the government did its best to reduce COVID-19-related phone scams. All that's over now. Robocall volume is back to pre-pandemic levels, and about 60 percent of these calls are scams or unsolicited telemarketing. Continue Reading →
Manage the Work
The New York Times did a wonderful set of articles last week titled OOO. The articles cover the spectrum of issues we are all facing working from home (WFH). Some of the writings were based on a survey they took of 1,123 remote workers. And because of the polling methodology, the results were unsurprising, so much so that I decided to do our own poll so we could compare responses. The results of our poll were surprising, to say the least. Continue Reading →
staked tree
On one of the toughest days of my childhood, a day that forged much of my world view, my father, as he often did, came up to my room to chat about my day. He offered some advice, some objectivity, and very little comfort. He wasn’t harsh; he was just brutally honest about my “very bad day” and his thoughts about what I could or should do to improve my situation. At the time, all I really wanted was a hug and a more powerful ally to go fix my world for me. What I got was sound advice about choices and ways to think about how to solve my own problem. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, it was one of the most formative days of my life. Continue Reading →
Space
As out of control as everything feels today, we do have control over one thing: how we spend our time. Time is a currency. So much so that we call the use of it “spending” time. Today, while some are forced to put themselves in harm’s way to do what needs to be done, many of us will have the shared experience of being alone. How will you “invest” your alone time? Here are a few ideas. Continue Reading →

Sing What You Mean

music head
You wrote an explanatory email, you sent a PowerPoint deck, you crafted a white paper, you created an infographic, you made a video, and with all that, people in the meeting still had questions. It’s because you didn’t sing what you meant. Continue Reading →
delorean
When I asked a long-standing business acquaintance of mine why he was interested in data literacy, he said, "Data is all anyone is talking about. I don't know anything about it at all. I thought you guys would be a good place to start." In some cases, this would have been a totally reasonable exchange – a mid-level executive seeking continuing professional education. But in this case, the man's title was SVP Marketing. I say "was" because he just updated his LinkedIn profile. Not surprisingly, after three years at his present job, this 18-year corporate marketing veteran is looking for work. Sadly, he is unemployable. While he's under 40 and looks like a Millennial, he has been "inside" too long and lacks the skills to be competitive in this job market. So, in his honor, here are six things he could have done to future-proof his job ... Continue Reading →

Halloween Hacks

John Brennan
Since so many of us like to dress up on Halloween and pretend to be something scary or something we’re not, I thought it would be fun to reflect on the kinds of hacks that are scary, like to dress up in costumes and pretend they are something that they are not. Continue Reading →
Piano
Preview modes are great – they give you an idea of how your work will look or sound in the best possible scenario. The problem is that all such tools are gigantic crutches, and in most cases they will severely limit your creativity and your creative potential. Continue Reading →
During this time of transition, many of my friends are pondering the merits of starting a consulting practice. It seems like a logical career path. It may be. But the transition from corporate executive to successful consultant has more to do with self-knowledge than subject matter expertise or skill. If you have been successful in business, you probably have the skills to become a successful consultant. That said, here are seven things to consider before you start your new, new thing. Continue Reading →