Picture a leader you admire. What do you think makes her/him tick?
One of my most admired leaders has always been Martin Luther King, Jr. Here’s the problem: I’ve often thought of him as kind of a saint. I have forgotten that he had everyday, mundane decisions to make – small things that added up to the sum total of his life. He ate three meals a day, needed sleep, and had a family. He was just like you and me – except for how he managed to transcend the everyday mundane details, to strive for his highest ideals.Read more
The following blog is by Jared Rendell.
A few weeks ago, I got the chance to offer some closing words to a couple hundred high school kids after their week at BestPrep’s Minnesota Business Venture. I’m a camp guy by heart, so any chance to connect with youth in a focused setting like that is a chance to make an impact. So, naturally, I started off with something really inspiring — I told them they were lied to. “What a great closing speaker,” I thought to myself, “tell them their parents are liars.” Encouragement was dripping from my lapel mic.
But, these ideas continue to roll over and over in my head and heart, and so I’m sharing them with you. Hopefully this doesn’t wreck your day or make you question your parents' motives.Read more
Think of a leader you admire. Do you appreciate their ability to share thoughtful insights based on their experiences and perspectives? To listen with openness and the intent to truly understand? To develop ideas and solutions relying on their instincts and intuition? To be motivated by their personal passions and own visions of what’s possible? To be truly and consistently themselves in whatever settings they find themselves?
That leader you’re thinking of – is it you?Read more
Ever since I read Lindsay Bacher’s blog post about what her dog Sam had to teach her about work, I’ve wondered about what lessons there might be for those of us on the other side of the great pet divide, the cat-owners. And I’ll be honest, I can’t claim to have ever learned anything from a cat about empathy or playing nicely with others.
But you know what? I think cats do still have plenty to teach us while they mercilessly bend us to their will. Here are some life lessons I’ve picked up from my cat Pandora, pictured above. (You can also call her Panda for short, for obvious reasons.)Read more
I feel very fortunate to own my very own, personal gold mine. Now, I don’t mean that literally (though I wouldn’t mind jumping off a diving board into vault full of gold coins and cash like Uncle Scrooge), but I do feel like I’ve accumulated key pieces of advice that have truly been as good as gold to me. So I wanted to share with you all five nuggets of gold that have been given to me over the past few years.Read more
Just days ago, when I was gently reminded of my pending YNPN blog deadline, I undertook the painstaking process of determining a topic. Instinctively I looked inward and began typing up possible ideas. Unsurprisingly, this tactic generated a boring and self-indulgent list along with a nagging feeling of being stuck without a fitting topic or idea for my post.
These uninspired topics included captivating ideas such as ideas for avoiding summer burnout or end-of-fiscal-year crash, ideas for improving communications among teams, and fatigue associated with experimenting with new digital communications platforms in an organization. Thankfully, I've spared you from those potential posts. This afternoon I had the good fortune of learning about the principles of biomimicry and the limitless potential for biological and ecologically inspired design elements from Denny Royal, of Azul 7, a human-centered design firm here in MSP.Read more
Since I’m (sorta) a millennial, I’d like a pool table in the office. I also want “take your parents to work” days, a free pop-tart station, an Atari for kicking back between meetings, and fun, wacky team-building activities where our office slowly becomes family, like in an Aaron Sorkin show (preferably Sports Night, the best tv show ever).
Actually, stop. None of those things are important to me. In fact, I would be mortified and a bit insulted at “take your parents to work” day. Not that my parents aren’t cool, but it’s not like I’m printing out my annual reviews to hang on their fridges.Read more
I’ve gotten used to sounding apologetic when I explain to people what I do for a living. After all, I have a Master’s degree in Public Policy from one of the best policy schools in the nation. How could I possibly just be an assistant? I get defensive and feel like I have to justify my decision to take a job that would not impress any of my peers. Since starting, I had feared this job wouldn't allow me to learn any tangible skills, and I would leave it having accomplished nothing.Read more
I had just put in my two weeks notice at my job and was informing my coworkers I was leaving. As I came around the corner of the cubicle, the grantwriter who sat across the hallway from me said those words to another coworker, shaking his head in admiration.
I’m very rarely stunned. But I was in that moment.
This man, whose personal and professional respect matters immensely to me, thought I was fearless by taking on new, bigger, more challenging work.
It’s not an adjective I’d apply to myself. I’m afraid of a lot of things: Snakes. Dying without saying important things to the important people in my life. My dogs dying. Snakes. Ok, so I’m mostly afraid of snakes and death. But fearless?Read more
We’ve all been there. You sign up for an info session at a conference or an event with a presentation that sounds intriguing and potentially groundbreaking. You sit down for the session, pen in hand, ready to take notes. Throughout the entire session you wait for something noteworthy – something so insightful you just have to tweet it, write it down, and take it back to the office to share with your colleagues or impress your boss. You wait, and you wait, and nothing. Turns out the session isn’t what you thought it would be. The information doesn’t apply to your organization or your job, or it covers information you’ve already heard a million times (social media 101, anyone??).
Recently I attended an event that left me feeling this way. So now what? Did I just waste an hour or two of my time?Read more