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Speaking from experience. A publication from Medium about work.


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How to get on the same page before you return to the office

Photo: GettyImages

It’s one thing to have a plan for what you’re going to do when your organization’s office reopens. It’s another thing to have a plan that gets all your colleagues on the same page.

That difference is what drives the questions I hear over and over as I speak with employers, industry associations and journalists about the transition to the hybrid workplace.

For the past sixteen months, many professionals have experienced a common reality in which everyone else on their team, organization and industry is full-time remote. …

When you prioritize seeing people, they’ll follow you to the ends of the earth.

kantver with my friend Paul

The moment I heard the words “Let’s go!” — I froze. It was my second day at my first sales job. The place was Baltimore. The year was 2002. The corporate trainer had instructed us to break off into small groups to do the typical role-plays most sane people dread to get more comfortable on the phone.

“Mike!” I heard my name being shouted from across the room. “Mike!”

After figuring out how to use my legs again, I walked over to my manager in a state of pure panic. …

Multitasking on a call, setting a meeting with no agenda, and inviting the wrong people are great ways to waste everyone’s time

Photo: LinkedinSalesNavigator/Unsplash

A lack of respect can turn small details into big deals, and can cost your company a great deal. Building superior leadership teams means recruiting candidates who are not only qualified, but those who know how to convey respect for their colleagues. This is more critical than ever as we continue to adapt to an increasingly virtual world and increasingly rely on our digital body language skills. Let me explain.

I’ll never forget a 30-minute phone call I once had with four colleagues in which the host waited until approximately the 26th minute to ask, “Does anyone on the line…

Few things influence what we do more than the people we meet

Photo: GettyImages

Despite the pushback from everyone around him and dwindling funds in his bank account, on a lonely spring night, the young man closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and slid the check into the mail.

Weeks later, while walking the pristine campus before the first day of the summer course he splurged for, his mind was riddled with doubt. “Maybe they’re right!” he thought to himself. “Maybe I don’t belong here!”

To make matters worse, at 8 AM the next morning, his red plaid shirt immediately clashed against a sea of tweed jackets that dominated the classroom. …

For many employees, being forced back into the office is now a dealbreaker

Photo: Unsplash

Thanks to the pandemic, we have a once-in-a-lifetime reset on the way we work. After a forced evacuation from workplaces in March of 2020, 50% of employees now say they don’t want to go back to the office full time. The bird is out of the cage. We have tasted freedom — freedom from commutes, freedom from mandated “face time” at the office and too much air travel for work.

We now know what’s possible. We can work and get our jobs done more efficiently working remotely than we ever imagined possible. For many employees, being forced to go into…

Expecting staff to take notes studiously during a meeting is a sign of a boss that wants conformists, not thinkers.

Photo: Gabrielle Henderson/Unsplash

During the course of my career, I’ve had the opportunity to work for various types of bosses — different gender, nationality, industry background and ages. I’ve also started my own businesses and been the boss.

I’ve noticed that some bosses have a habit that risks forming a highly damaging culture within their organizations. Over the long run, the company or team which they lead may become political and non-innovative.

This habit is that of expecting subordinates to gather in meetings with notebooks (or laptops these days) and studiously take down notes when they (the boss) are talking.


Holding on to your every word

Have you…

Actors don’t produce action. Here’s what does.

Photo by Andrew Wise on Unsplash

The business wanted us to reinvent ourselves (again).

“Change how we bill clients.”

All the leaders were in the meeting room listening to the message as if it was the gospel. They were starry-eyed. In love, even. I got out of the meeting and said “this isn’t going to be easy” to one of the operations managers. “Do you think it’s possible?”

“Haha … of course not.”

Me: “Then why the heck were you nodding and promising the world to our country manager?”

“We have to act like we believe even if we don’t agree. …

Let’s get back out there and do great things

Photo: GettyImages

Listen, I’m not your boss. I’m not trying to bludgeon you with a motivational hammer. I’m coming to you as your friend. And I’m telling you the same things I had to tell myself not too long ago.

It’s time to get back to work.

It’s time to personally reintegrate with the professional world and figure out how to operate in the new normal — which, coincidentally, is looking like it’s not going to be too different from the old normal.

That said, one of the main differences between now and then is that there are shards of opportunity scattered…

It‘s hell to so many, but I would have thrived in it

Photo: kate.sade/Unsplash

Water cooler gossip. Small talk at the coffee machine. Meetings about meetings. The office hierarchy. The one obnoxiously loud co-worker. The separate cubicles. The pressure to arrive at the office earlier than you should because everyone else does. The offensively smelly lunches eaten at desks near you. The constant jostling for visibility. Workplace jargon like “drill down.” Work “socials” with workplace-proximity associates.

Those words may be describing your idea of literal hell on earth — the office workplace. It certainly gets a bad reputation, and off the back of the pandemic, many hope never to return again. It has always…

CEOs and senior management too often forget that talented people have choices

Photo: Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images

I worked at two public companies in the same industry that had very different views on how to treat their employees.

The average time employees spent at the first company, Maxim Integrated Products, was over 10 years. The average time employees spent at the second company, Micrel, was around four years.

These were two companies that were direct competitors but had very different employee retention rates. What caused the difference? I believe there were three key reasons Maxim employees stuck around longer than Micrel employees:

1. Great talent wants to be compensated properly

Maxim had a policy of refreshing its employees’ stock options. Every year, Maxim would add…


Speaking from experience. A publication from Medium about work.

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