The Battle Over Casual Work Dress: Declare Victory and Let It Go

BACK IN 1994, I showed up for a job interview in Honolulu wearing a suit and tie. It was the hottest, sweatiest interview I ever had. Fortunately for me, that didn’t matter. I got the job but I never dressed that way again during my three plus years as a newspaper editor in the Aloha

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Why Life and Work Is So Very Different in the Aloha State

IT’S BEEN NEARLY 20 years since I’ve been in Hawaii, but the moment I arrived back in Honolulu last January, it felt like I had never left. My connection with the Aloha State goes back a long way. Not only did my wife and I honeymoon on Waikiki, but we lived on Oahu for three years in

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I Have a Big F***ing Problem With People Who Swear at Work

LAST SEPTEMBER, Fast Company published a story that intrigued me just as it should intrigue anyone who has navigated the day-to-day rants and mutterings of co-workers on the job. The title said it all: Do You Have a F*cking Problem With Swearing at Work? The article was filled with a boatload of statistics about how

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The One Big Question That Great Leaders Always Seem to Ask

I’VE WORKED with a lot of leaders over the years, and I could go on all day about the various qualities that separated the good from the bad, the great from the awful. But as a story in the Harvard Business Review recently reminded me, there is one critical question that all good leaders get around to asking,

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Don’t Forget That Clueless Management Never Goes Out of Style

IT’S LATE SUMMER, everybody out here in the People’s Republic of California seem to be on vacation, and Labor Day is still a couple of weeks away. So, it’s time for some old school clueless management from the good people over at Tronc. Don’t know what “Tronc” is? I’d be surprised if you did, but

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It’s Not Easy, But Here’s How to Deal With Passive-Aggressive Behavior

ALTHOUGH IT PAINS ME to say this I’m somewhat of an expert on passive-aggressive behavior. The good people at Wikipedia describe passive-aggressive behavior as follows: The indirect expression of hostility, such as through procrastination, stubbornness, sullen behavior, or deliberate or repeated failure to accomplish requested tasks for which one is (often explicitly) responsible. That’s a pretty

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The 6 Habits You Find in Effective and Trustworthy Leaders

HOW DO LEADERS truly earn the trust of their teams? It’s an interesting question that gets debated over and over, but the formula is not all that hard for any leader embrace. All it takes is a basic focus on treating people the way people want to be treated — and doing the right thing.

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Big Surprise for IBM: Yes, There IS a Downside to a Remote Workforce

I’M SURPRISED this didn’t happen sooner, but IBM, an early and vocal champion of a remote workforce, finally discovered what any remote worker could have told you years ago. The problem with remote work is that you work remotely. I know, I know — that sounds like double-talk. But as someone who worked in a

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It’s Time to Give Up the Ghost on Employee Engagement

AREN”T WE ALL SICK and tired of employee engagement? I know I am. I’ve been writing about it for years (here’s one from July 2010), and the story never changes. A great many consultants and companies have gotten involved in helping organizations get more engaged employees, and a great deal of time and money has been spent.

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Nobody Gets a Great Idea When They’re Being Chased by a Lion

I SUBSCRIBE TO THE OLD ADAGE that there’s nothing new under the sun. But once in awhile even I get gobsmacked (as the British like to say) by a new insight that’s so thoughtful and incisive that it makes up for all the crap that normally passes for management wisdom these days. The insight that grabbed me comes from

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