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Posted by Susan Cramm on 6:18 PM Tuesday March 29, 2016 under

We label people all the time. It’s natural and instinctive. Levi is creative and disorganized. John is disciplined but lacks people skills. Leah’s anxiety impacts her results.  

Labels are useful. But they are often wrong. In her book, No One Understands You and What to Do About It (Harvard Business Review Press, 2015), Heidi Grant Halvorson explains why, and offers some crucial insight into how leaders can move away from instant labeling and instead come to see people for who they are — and for who they can be. To read more, click here.

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Posted by Susan Cramm on 8:25 PM Tuesday March 22, 2016 under ,

Most professors find the insight that leads to new books in pools of data, focus groups, or controlled studies. Adam Grant, the young Wharton professor who made waves with his 2013 book, Give and Take, got the idea for his latest volume in the real world. In a recent interview, Grant told me that several years ago, he passed on an opportunity to invest in Warby Parker, the wildly successful online glasses retailer. Why? He didn’t recognize the potential and originality of the company’s founders and their business model. “I study behavior for a living, and I was still wildly wrong,” Grant said. “What can we learn from that?”  To read more, click here.

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Posted by Susan Cramm on 5:46 PM Tuesday January 26, 2016 under ,

January, and the New Year, inevitably bring resolutions of change, particularly regarding work and productivity. But change can be painful and difficult. As a leadership coach, I find it heartbreaking when the promises of change unfulfilled demoralize people and create the cynicism that breeds inertia-plagued organizations. To read more, click here.

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Posted by Susan Cramm on 5:15 PM Tuesday January 12, 2016 under ,

“You made me a better person.”

It was a sweet moment with a client, offered up at the culmination of our coaching relationship. A man of few words was expressing a sense of peace with the leader — and person — he had become. To read more, click here.

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Posted by Susan Cramm on 8:48 PM Tuesday December 22, 2015 under

There’s a new book that should be on the bookshelf of every parent — and every leader. How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success, by Julie Lythcott-Haims, is a wake-up call for well-off, well-meaning parents to do less for their kids so their kids can do more in life. It also sounds the alarm for leaders who must prepare themselves to finish the parenting that is not occurring in many homes. To read more, click here.

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Posted by Susan Cramm on 1:51 PM Sunday November 22, 2015 under

Amazon has taken a lot of heat over its corporate culture. When I read the initial New York Times article detailing the company’s inner workings (parts of which Amazon has rebutted), I wasn’t shocked — it actually reminded me of some companies I have worked with over the years. Since the Industrial Revolution, we have been taught that work is “just business.” Any elevated expectations for self-actualization should be left at home with our flip-flops.  To read more, click here.

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Posted by Susan Cramm on 1:11 PM Sunday November 08, 2015 under ,

After writing my last column, an overview of the very disheartening book called Leadership BS, I practically had to wipe my tears off of my keyboard. To read more, click here.

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If you haven’t read the book Leadership BS: Fixing Workplaces and Careers One Truth at a Time, by Stanford business school professor Jeffrey Pfeffer, you are missing out. Pfeffer lambasts the leadership development industry — including business schools, human resource departments, authors, and leadership programs and coaches — for being clueless about the harsh political realities of the workplace, and for promoting behaviors that are aspirational rather than practical. To read more, click here.

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Posted by Susan Cramm on 10:52 AM Tuesday October 06, 2015 under ,

More than 15 years ago, I attended a workshop facilitated by Daniel Pink. He was explaining how businesspeople can thrive as free agents, and he stressed the importance of getting comfortable with asking for help. At the time, I was a free agent myself, and although I was already used to seeking help occasionally, Pink’s advice gave me the confidence to make it a more regular part of doing business. To read more, click here.

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Posted by Susan Cramm on 7:56 PM Tuesday September 15, 2015 under ,

A while back, while shopping for clothes, I almost purchased T-shirts that were (most likely) made by slaves. The only thing that stopped me was remembering this video, which popped up while I was scrolling through my social media newsfeed. The video shifted my self-centered perspective, and I realized that what constitutes a good deal for me is, most likely, a bad deal for someone else. To read more, click here.

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Posted by Susan Cramm on 9:28 PM Tuesday August 18, 2015 under

Approaching difficult conversations with humility requires embracing curiosity and letting go of conviction.  To read more, click here.

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Posted by Susan Cramm on 9:07 PM Tuesday June 23, 2015 under

I’ve often wondered what goes into creating a company that people are happy to work for — a company that lands, for example, at the top of a Forbes list of best places to work. To gain some insight, I scheduled an interview with... To read more, click here

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Posted by Susan Cramm on 7:25 PM Tuesday May 12, 2015 under

We all know the feeling: You check your calendar and see that you’re scheduled to spend an hour with that guy. You take several deep breaths, and go to a happy place in your mind — all to fortify yourself for what is sure to be another difficult meeting. He’s unpleasant, negative, and bossy; speaks too loud and too often; sucks the air out of the room.

You just don’t like him. To read more, click here.

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Posted by Susan Cramm on 9:09 PM Wednesday April 15, 2015 under

The time I spend lounging around a swimming pool is rarely productive (I’m no Michael Phelps). Pools make sense to me when I am exhausted and lazy, wishing to do something but not much of anything. In my mind, pool time is simply an aquatic version of a nap.

Not so for Stephanie Pollaro, who discovered her life’s purpose while lounging by her backyard pool in 2003. Flipping through a fashion magazine, the 23-year-old spotted an article about human trafficking. For the first time she realized that, all over the world, young girls are sold by their families or lured away under false pretenses only to find themselves trapped in slavery. To read more, click here.

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Posted by Susan Cramm on 7:21 PM Tuesday March 17, 2015 under ,

On a recent Saturday morning, around 2:00 a.m., I toured a corner of hell. It’s a lot closer than I thought it would be—around the corner from an amusement park near my home. To read more, click here.

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Posted by Susan Cramm on 9:57 AM Monday February 09, 2015 under

Most of us agree that the concept of work-life balance is a myth —and that it only reinforces the zero-sum thinking that work is work and life is life. The delayed gratification inherent in the learn-earn-return model of career stages doesn’t resonate with our innate desire to live each day to the fullest. To read more, click here.

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Posted by Susan Cramm on 7:45 AM Monday January 12, 2015 under

Defensiveness. It’s ugly. We don’t want to do it, but we do it nonetheless. Driven by fear and emotion, our brains shut down and we lose the ability to think and relate to others. Being defensive has derailed many careers, as it impedes one’s ability to learn from mistakes, build strong interpersonal relationships, accept and benefit from differing  perspectives, accept accountability for poor outcomes, or take initiative. To read more, click here.

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Posted by Susan Cramm on 11:37 AM Monday December 22, 2014 under ,

For more than 10 years, I worked as an executive in the fast food industry, and during my tenure, I believed that increasing the hourly wages of frontline employees would lead to lower profits. I now know I was wrong. According to Zeynep Ton, a professor of operations management at MIT, companies can provide good, well-paying jobs and drive profits at the same time. Choosing one over the other is, according to Ton, an “unnecessary sacrifice.” During a recent conversation...[to read more click here]

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Posted by Susan Cramm on 10:06 PM Tuesday September 23, 2014 under ,

If you haven’t studied conscious capitalism, you should. Doing so helped me answer a question—actually, the question—that ran through my mind for years while working as a leader in a large corporation: Does it pay off in the long term to focus almost exclusively on improving financial performance, all too often to the detriment of employees, vendors, and customers? My intuition told me that this was no way to run a business. And it turns out that my gut was right.  To read more, click here.

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Posted by Susan Cramm on 11:50 AM Monday August 04, 2014 under , ,

It’s just another day in leadership paradise. An important project is languishing—like a bad houseguest, it’s going nowhere, but no one is calling it out. As the head of your team, do you take the matter into your own hands and get the job done, or continue to slough it off on an unfortunate subordinate?  To read more, click here.

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