After a lifetime of working with thousands of incredible people, I created a place to share what I’ve learned and interactively pay it forward. It is my hope that others join me.

There have been so many lessons along the way during my adult life, and they continue still. I was paying attention. Obviously, not all lessons were positive, but even bad experiences can be invaluable. The worst boss ever and the best boss ever both leave you with important lessons if you’re paying attention. Anyway, the main thing about my journey was how much I needed to figure out and learn that my schooling and college didn’t cover. For most people, It turns out there’s a lot we’re not prepared for as we enter our working phase of life. This site is dedicated to providing a place for people to share their challenges and for others who’ve been there to help with advice and example solutions. Everything from basic career advice to dealing with your first supervisory or team lead promotion, to creating a budget, or getting through firing or laying off a subordinate. There are literally thousands of complicated, highly stressful scenarios that people must face in the workplace. It is my hope that this can become a place that can assist you and help support you and get through it successfully. If you don’t have something positive and helpful to say, then please keep it to yourself. This is safe haven. That doesn’t mean we cannot offer constructive criticism when invited to provide it, just do so with dignity and grace. Please.

This story begins with a paper route in the 1970’s

You could say this was my first “job” during a bygone era when kids folded a stack of daily newspapers, stuffed them into a bag fastened to the handlebars of a bicycle, then rode around tossing them to subscriber yards, driveways, and porches. During collection time, we’d knock on the door and get paid, always hoping for a tip (which could be a warm cookie!).

Next, I learned about selling. Every now and then, we would get picked up by the district supervisor and go canvassing door to door within nearby areas soliciting new subscribers. I can still remember my sales pitch in my head after all these years. I perfected my approach and never worried about the no’s. There was always the next door to knock on. The supervisor would usually have a prize for the person with the most new subscribers, and I won that prize a lot!

I learned a lot during those early days as a paperboy. I parlayed some of that early entrepreneurial enthusiasm into another part-time venture selling Christmas Cards. During nearby summer camp, I learned I could stand outside the local “nice” restaurant and catch a fair share of buyers, including many professional football players playing for the LA Rams. One guy in particular, a future Hall of Fame Announcer named Dick Enberg, gave me some good tips for optimizing my business venture.

And so it went, year after year, venturing into something new without hesitation if it seemed a productive challenge with some rewards for results. Every step of the way, I would figure out whose coat-tails I should grab onto and learn from, mimic, and imitate. Sometimes I’d choose too quickly, realizing I chose the wrong person, and quickly make a needed course correction. Once I felt I had learned all I could and there was no longer a rewarding path or growth challenge, it was time to move on.

Sometimes, this whirlwind took me to completely different places, figuratively and literally! I had several rules: I must love what I was doing, I don’t ever want to apologize or feel shame because of my job or role, and finally, when I got bored or ceased to learn anything new or useful and important, it was time to move along.

I learned to embrace change early in life. I know that change is hard for many, if not most, people. But, change was exciting and invigorating for me, and always will remain so.

Paying Attention and Carpe Diem!

Most of my friends and acquaintances seemed to operate on the premise of waiting for an opportunity to come knocking at their door. Many simply settled in, either satisfied with their station in life and their choices or extremely bitter that life is or has passed them by and that change is unthinkable or even impossible for them to consider. Frankly, I could never relate to such a notion. Sometimes, I would mildly push back and try to encourage them to consider alternatives, but it became apparent that I was only wasting my time, with rare exceptions.

I ended up making enormous career changes early in life. Full throttle. Before kids and family, it’s easiest to make sweeping changes and take more risks in your career. These are the years when you can move more freely without worrying too much about others who depend on you.

I really had no idea what I ultimately wanted to do other than be excellent at whatever it was. I didn’t know what I didn’t know, and so I kept moving, learning, and getting better until it was time to move along again. The final rule I’ll share here is to leave a job in better condition than I found it and for me to be better and smarter than when I arrived – never burn any bridges.

Many cities, countries, continents, and industries later, I can say now that I love what I do, but that’s only because it encompasses literally everything and anything at any given time. I’ve met and managed thousands of people and called many ex-bosses friends. I’ve experienced making business history and walking a friend out the door as a manager during a layoff—the highest of highs and the lowest of disappointments. I learned that company culture is very real and powerful. I learned that “visionaries” are usually just extremely smart and talented opportunists. And I learned from all of it!

There is precious little as satisfying as pulling together a group of people and achieving something great through them. And then doing it again and again.

The Vision For Management-101

To be perfectly honest, I’m trying to keep a very flexible mind open about this site’s mission. As such, I have no idea exactly what it will look like in 5 years other than some people found it helpful and a source of good advice or counsel.

Ultimately, I envision a person who is good at their job. They’ve been so good that the company boss wants to reward them. All too often, this means a status reward and a pay raise. The status reward frequently means being promoted to oversee the work of one or more other employees. Frequently the promotion comes without preparation or training. The star performer must now figure out how to be a good leader and meet or exceed the boss’s expectations too. There is a world of information that must be found and processed that may include financial, personnel, safety, employment laws, sexual harassment in the workplace, office etiquette, performance management, written communication, oral presentations, IT, budgeting, matrix management, organizational dynamics, sensitivity training, office politics, etc. This is just one profile out of a possible million or more out there that need help. They need a resource from level heads who’ve been there and done that. They need somebody to hold the door ajar for them. Make sense?

Thousands of people are promoted and tasked to lead others daily, and they are completely unprepared for their duties.

Most of the time, the new responsibilities surprise the newly promoted supervisor or manager.

Even some of the best business schools, colleges, and universities fail to prepare a new manager for success with leading people.

Finding a reliable, discreet, and trustworthy source of real-world advice for new managers at all levels, from Team Leader to Chairman of the Board, can be awkward.

Management level or scale does not always equate to a higher stress level. The need to handle a Fortune 100 corporate stockholder conference call is no more nerve-wracking than a first-time staff meeting for a new supervisor of 5 people.

However, these two situations do require some structure and organization in order to best match up the experienced managers with the relevant situations and make the best use of everybody’s time. It’s not that one’s problem is more stressful or essential; it’s more a matter of practicality that we segregate management levels. To post contributions or commentary in certain areas of the site, we require more verifiable proof of your career accomplishments as you seek to post in positions of higher responsibility.

Advice must be by your own hand and mind, and not AI or artificially or robotically generated.

Advice must be based on your own personal first-hand experience and know-how and not some theory you regurgitate from someone or someplace else. This is why this resource is unique.


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