On Managing Your Friends

“I’ve had to delete texts lately,” my client said. “I start typing but realize partway through that it isn’t cool to share what annoys me at work with her anymore.” Holy cow, the complexities of promotions in friendly workplaces. You used to be peers. You talked over lunch about your days, you rolled your eyes

Beyoncé vs. Ballads (Know Yourself)

  “So what’s #PluckyWomen?” I was standing at the bar, ready to order. I looked up from the drink menu at the dude next to me and in that second a song started playing over the speakers — the song I listen to when I’m writing big SOWs or prepping ambitious new pitches. Maybe it

How to Quit a Job

My son’s beloved preschool teacher unexpectedly quit before Christmas. We live in an expensive area of the country and, understandably, it turns certain industries into revolving doors of employment. Who can live in the Bay Area on small salaries? Not many. Though this is a really logical problem, her departure was a total shock to

Diversifying the Career Race

I’m training for a 5k. I told my 4-year-old a month ago that I was starting to practice running so I could run a race before the summer.“Are you going to win the race?” he asked. I told him no, that I wasn’t going to win and he looked sad. “Maybe you’ll win, mom! Maybe

Stuff the Envelopes

In my first job out of college, I worked for a non-profit school. As part of my role I had to produce a quarterly newsletter that would be mailed to all 500 families. This meant that once a quarter, I picked up boxes (upon boxes) of the newsletter at our printer, labeled big envelopes and

Retention and Plastic Eggs

I coach employed people all week. I also coach employers. And all those hours of human talking has led me to a fundamental belief about the nature of employment: individuals and companies are like two sides of a plastic Easter egg. Healthy companies use managers to pay attention to the way they CLICK. (Stay with

Announcing: So Now You’re A Manager

“The leadership is flagging.” This is the most common sentence I write in audits. You know why? (Get ready, it’s a shocker…) Being a leader is REALLY EFFING TIRING. Management can be such thrilling work. You are empowering humans to succeed! But it’s challenging work, it never ends and opportunities for training are few and far between. What


I decided to spend Fridays in San Francisco for Q4 in 2016, half in an effort to grow my local network and half to prove that I’m out of ICU and back at work. So I set up a bunch of coffees and lunches. I learned how to ride the BART better and also learned

On Waiting

Recently I was asked to write and speak about the topic of waiting. I thought I’d share it here.  So here’s how it works: each employee gets 30 minutes. I introduce myself as a consultant, we sit down and I assure them confidentiality. I tell them that I’m there to look for patterns across all

Plucky Perspectives: Chef Kelsie Kerr

Kelsie Kerr is a well-known chef. She founded Standard Fare in West Berkeley in 2014 and has been involved with a number of well-known restaurants and projects, including Chez Panisse, cookbooks and designing curriculum for cooking schools. I’m a sucker for the scones, muffins and coffee at Standard Fare, which is one of my favorite

The Press

I’ve been doing yoga two mornings a week for a few months now. At first I wasn’t very good (although any yoga teacher will diplomatically tell you that just showing up and trying is all that’s necessary). I wasn’t super bendy, I didn’t know the difference between warrior poses, I had a hard time remembering

Plucky Perspectives: Defense Paralegal AAron Jones

AAron Jones is the paralegal/office manager/accounting guru for a private defense attorney in West Berkeley. For a long time I thought he was our neighbor because we saw him so often, but then one day I realized that his office is on our block and he’s there so often because he works really, really hard.