May I Help You?


The scene was from a must watch TV series for anyone interested in workplace effectiveness:
Undercover Boss. For those unfamiliar with the show, each episode features a CEO or other C Suite executive who works in disguise as a new employee. The objective is for the senior leader to experience the organization from a much different perspective.

The episode that stays with me features the CEO of a heavy equipment manufacturer who went to work on the assembly line in one of his organization’s lean, high tech manufacturing facilities. The trainer assigned to the CEO was a knowledgeable and skilled veteran working in the precision engine station. The associate was also patient, as the CEO found it difficult to keep up with the pace and standards of the job.

The CEO noticed that his co-worker kept photos of his grandchildren at his station. The associate explained that these children were the bright lights of his life. Sadly, both suffered from a rare medical condition that would shorten their lives. In the meantime, the children’s care took a heavy toll from the family’s emotional and financial resources. The associate explained that providing strength and stability to his family and being the “go to guy” at work was overwhelming. Then this rock of a man teared up. “Sometimes,” he said, ” I just want to wear a Help Me! button.”

How many of us can relate to his plea? How many of us carry burdens silently that overwhelm our energy and talent? How often could we perform much better with a little training, advice or support, yet are afraid to ask? Who among us doesn’t long for a “Help Me!” button once in a while?

Why is it so difficult to ask for the help we need? If you doubt this, think of how often someone has tripped, then loudly proclaim“I’m O.K.” before anyone asks? Or, have you watched someone with both arms and hands full deny an offer of assistance with a door? If we can’t allow ourselves the vulnerability of accepting help in these obvious and low risk situations, how can we open our fortress to accept help when we really need it?

I’d argue we have our view of accepting help upside down. Accepting help is a sign of strength. Necessary and appropriate help eases our burden, lightens our load, and allows us to contribute to our fullest potential. Denial of necessary and appropriate help is a sign of weakness. It sends false signs that we can handle more than we can or know more than we do; both puts us and our colleagues at risk.

What about you? Are you able to ask for help at work? What advice to you have for those who struggle with asking? Let’s help each other. In my next post, I’ll recap your advice with ideas from others.

In the meantime, does anyone know where I can get one of those “Help Me!” buttons?

Interview With Best Selling Author Kevin Sheridan: Building a Magnetic Culture


“Culture” is frequently cited as either the “secret sauce” of organizational success or the cause of institutional decline. Every executive I’ve ever spoken with has an opinion about his or her organization’s culture. It’s either something to carefully nourish as an asset or a success barrier to fix. Everyone seems to agree that a great culture with highly engaged employees is an advantage worth striving for.  The “What” seems settled; “How” is the question.

Well, we are in for a treat today! I recently interviewed Kevin Sheridan, author of Building a Magnetic Culture: How to Attract and Retain Top Talent to Create an Engaged, Productive Workforce.   His book has been on six bestseller lists, including the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. If you want to improve your organization’s culture through employee engagement, Kevin knows how!  His years of experience in leading and advising organizations are reflected in his incisive yet practical insights. Kevin generously shared his perspective on commonly asked questions about building a great culture through employee engagement. My questions are in italics; his responses follow.

The “Yes, But…” Leader

Imagine that you are meeting with a CEO who is leading an organizational turn around within a turbulent industry. She “gets” that employee engagement is important, but is something to focus upon when the organization is on more stable ground. How would you make the case to focus on engagement as part of a turn around strategy?

One of the things I’d say to that CEO is “Employee engagement equals performance. If you knew that engagement is a vital tool to turnaround the organization and avert future turnarounds, why wouldn’t you use it?” I’d share the Wharton Business School study, which shows that organizations with best in class employee engagement (i.e. top 10%) make 3.5 times more money than organizations with average employee engagement. Would she say that it’s not the right time to make more money? (Comment: Building a Magnetic Culture is loaded with data that proves the relationship between employee engagement levels and organizational performance.)

The other thing I’d ask about is employee turnover.  If she were in a turnaround and always fighting fires, I’d wonder if the organization is hemorrhaging people. Turnover costs the U.S. economy $300 billion each year. For each person who voluntarily leaves, estimate the annual salary of the departing person to find and hire his or her replacement. So, I’d ask her to look at the number of employee departures and multiply by their annual salaries to estimate her turnover cost. Then, I’d tell her that (in the U.S.), 59% of all new employees are gone within a year and 79% are gone within 18 months. So unless engagement is addressed, including how to hire for cultural fit and engage early, the cycle just repeats.

The key to this conversation is to make the business case that a focus on improving employee engagement, in particular the numbers of highly engaged employees, is a critical component to her turnaround strategy.

The Ambivalent Majority

Much of the engagement research has a focus on actively engaged or actively disengaged employees. You emphasize the importance of attending to ambivalent employees. Why? And, how might organizations do that?

Tend to the ambivalent employee population because that’s the biggest category.  There is a huge financial reward for getting the ambivalent population re-engaged. 60% of all U.S. employees approach their job with a “time to make the donuts” mentality. They have little vigor or passion in their work. They get by, but do not expend extra effort. Ambivalent employees display lower energy levels and lackluster performance.

There are three good ways to reignite ambivalent employees.  Ambivalent employees are the most easily influenced by their coworker’s engagement levels. So, match them with actively engaged, positive employees for a project. If they don’t volunteer, have them “voluntold.”  Tell them you can’t wait to see the awesome results this team will produce. Second, assign a mentor. Actively engaged employees tend to enjoy being mentors and can set a great examples for ambivalent employees to take charge of their engagement. Finally, examine the job fit for the ambivalent employee. Many are simply in the wrong jobs. People want to do meaningful work in ways that match their skills and interests. When possible, recast ambivalent employees in better-suited jobs and watch their engagement level rise.  As Jim Collins advises: “It’s not jut getting people on the right bus, but in the right seat.”

A very common error by managers is to spend too much time with the actively disengaged. The chances of turning the “water cooler malcontent” or the “workplace terrorist” around are slim. Either coach people up or coach people out. The solution for actively disengaged employees is to transition them out. They are toxic. If you want to build a highly engaged, magnetic culture, you must bring those willing to be highly engaged in and escort harmful, actively disengaged people out.   (Comment: Kevin shares an instructive story from his own experience to support this advice in his book.)

The Two-Way Street

You make the case for “shared ownership” of engagement between leaders and employees. How does a “shared ownership” model work? What’s the responsibility of leadership? Of employees?

Among the things of which I am most proud is that my firm was the first to advocate the concept of “shared ownership” for employee engagement.  Why are we setting up this model that engagement is only the responsibility of the leadership team? Shared ownership does not absolve the organization’s leadership for owning employee engagement and caring about it. In fact, in best in class companies, CEO’s and senior teams are intimately involved with improving engagement.  With that said, the predominant model is still: Do the survey, and then point your fingers at the leadership team to fix the issues. Employee engagement without the employee is the ultimate oxymoron. When the responsibility for increasing engagement is shared, outcomes are much more favorable for both the employee and the employer.

What’s the responsibility of management? Care about what employees think. Ask them.  Quantify it. Address the real issues with employees. Those companies who don’t do employee surveys  and work on opportunities with employees manage by the “squeaky wheel” effect; always responding to the loudest voice.

What’s the responsibility of employees? Be responsible for your engagement. Reflect upon what you can do to be your best in jour job and to help co workers be at their best. Discuss obstacles with your manager and suggest solutions. If you manage others, discuss engagement  in informal occasions like “one on ones” or formal ones such as performance reviews. Only 5% of managers discuss engagement with employees . Most aren’t asking questions like: “What makes you excited about your job? How can I help you do more of it? Is there anything disengaging you in your job?” (Comment: Kevin has a list of 20 questions that managers and employees, or employees on their own, can use as the basis of an engagement discussion. If you’d like a copy, email Kevin at

A Great Investment

The hour I spent with Kevin Sheridan about employee engagement was the best hour I spent at work last week. I was excited and energized just from our conversation. My only regret is that it came a few years too late for me to make a difference from within an organization. But it may not be too late for you. If you are responsible for building a dynamic culture through employee engagement (and if you work in an organization, you are), Building a Magnetic Culture is your Bible and “How To” Guide all in one resource. There is so much more that I could not include in a blog post: Engagement Drivers, Overcoming “De-Magnetizers”, Recruiting, Diversity, Engagement Trends, etc, etc. etc. If you’d like to know more about Kevin or order a discounted and personally signed copy of his New York Times and Wall Street Journal Best Seller, please visit his website: bamc_cover_small

Work In Progress



If you read The Development Sherpa for the first time, or are a regular reader, thank you! Your time is valuable and you have many other options, so your interest in this site, even if fleeting, is important to me.

There is some remodeling work happening with this site. My human capital practice, SBK & Associates, has grown to be large enough to deserve its own dedicated site. Yeah! One of the things this means is that the talented web site designers building the SBK & Associates site are working behind the scenes to move things from here to there. The folks at Andrew Lehman Design are really good, so hopefully most of the changes occur in the black box behind your screen. But there are a few  weird things temporarily on some of the pages that will be there until all systems are go.

The Development Sherpa blog will stay; it’s just getting a new neighbor. Pardon any messiness while we pack and unpack our digital boxes.

For Robin. For Me.


Tuscan Path. SBK Personal Collection.

Robin Conyers was my friend. This is not an exclusive set; most people who met Robin thought she was their friend. They were right. I don’t remember exactly when we became friends other than it was many years ago when we were work colleagues. Robin and I ended up on several teams together as a result of volunteering or an act of voluntold.

I struggle to introduce you to Robin with grace and brevity. The grace part is easy; the brevity part not so much. Here’s my best shot.  Robin was the kind of women you’d want your daughter to grow up to be like. She was whip smart, but you didn’t know that until you got past her charisma and her curiosity. She always wanted to know about you before you knew about her. Robin was determined. Long before we were talking about “Lean In,” Robin was jumping in. As a Black woman in corporate America, in Sales no less, Robin knew she had to work twice as hard to be considered half as good. So she worked three times as hard. She took on the tough assignments, the tough customers, and the tough teams. She moved so frequently I wonder if she ever unpacked. Robin was beautiful; stunningly beautiful. She’d always looked like the “Do” list from the fashion pages. When Robin was in the room, you knew she was there. But she cared more that you were there.

Robin was not perfect. She had a highly sensitive “B.S.” meter that went off like a smoke alarm. Robin didn’t suffer fools. But you had to act a fool to draw her fire. She had high standards for herself and high standards for you. No one got a pass.

The Walk

One October, Robin invited me to participate in a fund raising walk for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I said “Yes,”knowing somewhere in my heart that she’d ask until I agreed so got it out of the way early. Then I messed up. On the day of the walk, I failed to leave enough time to travel to the start site. Upon arrival, I was stunned to see thousands of people arriving. Finding a place to park was a nightmare because street after street was blocked off (duh, it was a walk).

After I finally parked and got to the launch site, I was well over an hour late. Frantic, I asked the grounds crew cleaning up which way they went. It was like an old “they went thatta way” scene from a Western, as I ran from person to person for help. Some were clueless and others pointed in different directions. I started off, but soon realized how fruitless it was to follow a crowd when they knew where they were going and I didn’t. “Next time,” I told myself. “ I’ll explain what happened to Robin and promise to walk next time.” I always think there is a next time.

Robin told others on the walk that day that her cancer had returned for round three. No one knew then that it would be the round she’d lose.  I didn’t know that it would have been the last time I’d see her alive. Robin passed about ten weeks later. 

The Promise

This weekend is my “next time.” I’ll join in the 40 mile Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in Chicago.  I’ll resist the temptation to carry a sign reading “Shouldn’t this be a walk against Breast Cancer?,” because that’s what it is.

Other walkers do this for magnificent reasons: research grants, support of the medically underserved with the disease, and family support. (We forget families suffer from this diagnosis, too.) I also walk for those reasons.  But the main reason I walk is to keep a promise. I walk for Robin. And for me.

Two Requests

I am walking with a list of people I know who have been affected by breast cancer. They are survivors, currently in a fight or a victim. This list will remind me to keep going when I’m tired.  If they can fight, I can fight. If you have anyone you want to add to my list, send it to me on Twitter at @SBKandAssoc using #onemorestep by Saturday morning, June 1. Or, leave the name in the Reply section at the bottom of this post.

Also, I will need inspiration at about mile 20. (Oh, who am I kidding? I need inspiration at mile 5 on.) So, if you can use Twitter to send me encouragement, I will be very grateful. My husband will advise you from his marathon experience with me that I don’t necessarily act gratefully starting at about mile 14. Forgive any grouchiness. I will be grateful. Use @SBKandAssoc and  #onemorestep. 

It’s About Living


My friend, Brynn Harrington, tuned me into this amazing video via her blog, wellfesto.  It’s about Zach Sobiech, a 17 year old who died on May 20, 2013 – about a week ago. But Zach wasn’t about dying. He was about living.

Nothing I can write will improve on this video. Watching may be the best 20 minutes you’ll spend today. Just have tissues ready.


Fighting Ghosts



Loved the column by  Shozan Jack Haubner, A Zen Zealot Comes Home, from the Sept. 2011 issue of The Sun. Here’s an excerpt to show why:

Finally my mind caught up with my mouth…My apoplexy ceased. My fury lost its redness. And, for the first time that trip, I really took them in: Dad’s once- chiseled face, collapsing with age. Mom’s hair, pinned up in a bun, one step closer to hoary and desolate white. How old they’d become. How many more visits would I even be blessed with? How many more chances to make things right?

These were not the same people who raised me. Those people existed only in my head, caged and rotted behind my tight, unhappy grin for decades while my actual parents got older, gentler, wiser; while their bodies fell apart and their souls grew deep.

Those darn Zen monks. They always write the stuff that hits closest to home.

Whatever Gave You That Idea? : The Misinformation Effect


iStock_000023926936XSmallThe story was told and retold at many events throughout my childhood. It came up at every wedding, every wake, most family events in between. It was the story of how my father’s friend, little Ray (Bucky) Dahmen, all 5-8 and 150 lbs of him, scored the dramatic winning touchdown for Notre Dame to snatch a victory away from Ohio State in the closing minutes of the game. The storyteller was always my father, as his buddy Bucky sat proudly by, grinning at the glowing reports of his heroics. Bucky would fill in the details, how he saw the play unfold and took the risks of his daring moves. (If you’re that little, you better be daring on the football field.) The two old men told and retold the story, always ending the same way. Bucky was the hero who won the game.

One day, after decades of hearing this story, my eldest brother came across the history of the infamous Notre Dame – Ohio State game. To his great surprise, the account of the great play was missing. There was no dramatic last-minute score. There were no daring moves down the field. There was no story.

My brother confronted my father. There was no game saving run by good old number 26 from Youngstown, Ohio, as told to us all of these years. My father’s reaction was a pause, then a whispered plea: “Don’t tell Bucky!”

The Misinformation Effect

Maybe this account can be attributed to two old men wanting their glory years to shine brighter in their golden years. Or, maybe, this is an example of the increasing amount of research on how frequently our memories are faulty. Skeptics will attribute faulty memories to confabulation, or plain old making stuff up to put ourselves in the best light. Confabulation certainly accounts for a portion of faulty memories, but not all of it. Consider just a few other reasons under investigation by researchers:

“Post Event Collective Memory Formulation” – This describes memory acquisition by comparing your recall of events with others who experienced the same event. Narrators who undertake the retelling of what happened have an advantage; their personal opinions or interpretations are more likely to be accepted by the larger group as “fact” and adopted as the collective memory. As a personal case study, think back on a conversation about what happened at a group meeting. Did the group’s collective memory reflect what actually happened, or the interpretation of what happened by the loudest voice?

Emotion – Our emotions distort information we take in and increase our susceptibility to post event suggestibility. The impact of emotion on memory is a root cause of why eyewitness testimony is often wrong. In a Canadian research study, participants were assigned to watch one of three events:  one with highly charged negative emotions, one with highly charged positive emotions, and one evoking neutral emotions. Participants took a subsequent survey that included questions about what they witnessed, with false information planted in the questions. Participants who witnessed events evoking highly negative emotions recalled false details 80% of the time. Those who witnessed positive events recalled false details about 40% of the time. Even those who watched the scene that produced no changed emotions got facts wrong 40% of the time. Emotions, especially negative ones, cloud our interpretation of events.

Inattentional Blindness – We miss things that happen in front of us because we were paying attention to something else. If you are among the millions of viewers who’ve watched the “gorilla” video on You Tube, you know what I mean. Viewers are asked to count how many times two people pass a ball. As the ball moves faster, many never see the gorilla that walks into the scene. Viewers don’t remember something never seen in the first place. The problem is that we look for what we expect, and believe we’ve noticed everything. We never know our original interpretation is faulty, so our recall stinks, too.

Memory is a Lousy Tool

Confabulation, post event collective memory formation, emotional impact and inattentional blindness are just a few of topics under research to explain why our crystal clear memories are often wrong.

Memory is a lousy decision-making tool because it is often faulty. The best recommendations from researchers, as well those of us in real life, is not to rely on memory alone. What does seem to help is to write things down, especially at the end of a meeting or conversation. Share with others in current time to check for agreement. If you must rely on memory, rely on more than recollections of one person. These suggestions may seem tedious. But so are endless loops of “ I did/No, you did not” debates.

A Public Service

This blog is a public service to all of us who will attend a reunion or family event this summer. Now you can honestly understand that your favorite aunt does not have the story of your great misadventure quite right. Or your high school prom date does not accurately recall your teenage social skills. If it’s innocent, assume the storytellers mean well, but are stuck in a web of misinformation. Enjoy the fiction. Don’t spoil it for Bucky.


If you’d like to read more research about memory and misinformation, here are 3 places to start:

Ozuru, Yasuhiro (2004). Formation of collective memory through group conversations: Examining the involvement of “Post Information Effect”. New School Psychology Bulletin, 2004.

Porter, Steven. ( 2003). Blinded by emotion? Effects of the emotionality of a scene on susceptibility to false memories. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, July, 2003.

Chabris, C. and Simons, D.J. (2009). The Invisible Gorilla: How Our Intentions Deceive Us. New York: Random House.

Commencement Season Musings



Commencement season is one of my favorite times of the year. I love its spirit of celebration, sense of optimism and the energy of possibility. Who doesn’t get inspired by a well-crafted commencement speech? The vivid descriptions of opportunities and passionate exhortations motivate new graduates and old listeners alike to do just a little better.

My single beef about commencement season and its messages is that the events often fail to connect “the future” with “today.” Too frequently, commencement messages emphasize future achievement at the expense of current reality. As T.S. Elliot reminds us, “There are no endings, only additions.”  That’s how greatness is developed; it’s an accumulation of experiences day after day after day.

Once again this year, no one has invited me to be a commencement speaker. Good thing I have a blog to share The Development Sherpa’s advice to new graduates.

Make the Most of Your First Job

The good news is that as a college graduate, you are more likely to get a job. According to The New York Times, college graduates are the only group that has more members employed today than before the recession began. The bad news is that it may not be the job you expected.  The job market is still very tight and employers are still quite picky. Your first post college job may involve more grunt work than glamour.

You may be tempted to blow off your low skilled job as you wait for your “real one.” Don’t.  As discouraged as you may be to be behind a receptionist desk, filing papers or renting cars, you can learn a lot from any job that requires you to deal directly with customers, work with others and work for someone. You can develop the interpersonal skills necessary for that next, better job when it comes along. According to research by Drs. Joyce Hogan and Kimberly Brinkmeyer, strong interpersonal skills are a requirement for 84% of management jobs, the kind you seek. If your job requires effective client contact and collaboration with associates, you are building skills important in future roles. Practice what you’ve studied about working in groups, conflict resolution and communication. If you want to ditch your low wage, low skill “starter” job, do your best and learn from it.

Use Social Media Skills as a Learning Advantage

You are among the most digitally connected generation so far. Make your exceptional social media skills an advantage to your success. My colleagues Keeley Sorotki and Jeff Merrell might encourage you to build a PLN – Personal Learning Network – using your social media skills. Never before has a generation of workers had access to so many world-class thinkers and every day practitioners in their field. Use this access to build your own network to challenge and inspire you, starting now. Don’t wait until you need a network of experts to build one.

Engage With the Broader World

The world is becoming smaller and faster. You’ve probably had splendid opportunities to travel, learn a second (or third) language and study with people from many cultures.  Remain curious about the world. The May, 2013 edition of the Harvard Business Review describes the advantages of the “global elite” and offers suggestions you (yes, you) can use to become one. Keep up your language skills; a adopted language is a “use it or lose it” proposition. Understand current events from around the world, and understand them from different perspectives. Read world history; the way things “were” explains the way things “are.” If you can, travel.  Your dream job will probably never be isolated and insulated from social and political events. Be ready.

Skin Your Knees

When do you skin your knees? When you’re going somewhere. When you run and trip. When you carry the ball and get tackled. When you fall off a bike. You may focus on the fall. Focus instead on the fact you were trying to get somewhere.

When you do the things necessary to build your layers of greatness, you will skin your knees. You will take a risk and slip. You will try something new and fall. You will make a mistake and feel some pain. Of course, you could avoid all this by staying in the same place. But then you won’t achieve the unique greatness that you are meant to achieve. One of my favorite quotes is from Steve Maraboli: “Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving. We get stronger and more resilient.”

Final Words

So, my dear graduates, your greatness doesn’t start “someday.” It starts today. It starts from wherever you are with every day decisions and actions. Don’t waste today dreaming about your opportunities for tomorrow. Be the person you are meant to be. Today.

Too Many Words: Too Little Understanding


Assorted Magnetic Words

Tired of sitting through dozens of Power Point slides hoping that someone gets to the point? Tired of listening to 20 minutes of explanation, then leave wondering, “What was THAT about?” Me, too.  If you’re with me, keep reading.

An associate I met at a training session last week introduced me to a remarkable tool: Six Word Stories. Six Word Stories include the beginning, middle and end of a story in six words. Legend has it that Six Word Stories started with a challenge to Ernest Hemingway: write a story in six words of less. Hemingway responded with:

For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn.

He later claimed this was his best work.

Inspired, I checked out a web site dedicated to Six Word Stories. Here are a few of my favorites:

A thousand wrinkles. A thousand smiles.

Nothing to declare. Much to remember.

Match made in heaven ignited hell.

Inspired, here is the Six Word Story of my life:

Started slow. Found way. Finishing strong.

Six Word Stories can be a call to action, prompt discussion or summarize outcomes. They are so much more creative then yet another slide.

What’s your six word story?


Time With an Old Friend



If old books are like old friends, then the book in the photo is a trusted and dear companion.  My copy of Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change by William Bridges has been with me since 1991.  Its dog-eared pages, highlighted sections and margin notes are like a diary of change over the last 20 plus years.

Proceed down memory lane starting with Chapter One: It Isn’t The Changes That Do You In. How many discussions have happened around this point that the change isn’t finished because a deadline has passed? There were the mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures, all eagerly led by true believers that the change would be over when the deadline came. Look at the first underline: Change is external. Transition is internal. I repeated it so many times that I could have made it into a tattoo.

On to the Neutral Zone chapters. The “Neutral Zone” is the period when the old ways don’t work anymore and the new ways don’t work yet. I wrote “day after deadline” to describe this phase on page 34. The neutral zone is a place where weaknesses emerge because the old compensating systems are gone. Frustration rises because 1) things are moving too fast or 2) things aren’t moving fast enough. It’s the place where people hang on to whatever their identities were because they don’t yet know what their identities are.

Next to a highlighted sentence on page 43: Capitalize on the opportunity the neutral zone provides to do things better.  Here’s one way I remember this concept during real change. My team was responsible for the creation of a combined training and organization development group to support a newly merged sales organization. Representatives of all three former organizations were on the team. Our first goal was to design a first line manager session. We got through all of the key decisions with remarkable swiftness: objectives, participants, content, and follow up engagement. What was the sticking point? The start time. It was a battle between the “come in Sunday night and roll up sleeves Monday morning” group and the “Start mid day Monday group.” Of course, this was a cover for the real issue. The real issue was “ We did it right and it’s my (our) job to prove it.”

It is during the gap between old and new that the organization’s systems of immunity are weak enough to allow new solutions to emerge.  After about a week of bickering, we decided the solution was to survey the participating clients. Their feedback broke through the clenched hands of both groups. Participants had a strong preference for a Thursday/Friday session and a near universal dislike for either a Sunday or a Monday start. All of the old organizations foisted their choice on the participants for years. The neutral zone forced us to consider a better option that was neither of the old choices. Don’t waste the neutral zone in trying to get back to where you were. Use it to get better. The great” start time debate” is a simple reminder of this principle.

Star next to the sentence on page 51: Beginnings are strange things. People want and fear them at the same time. The faces of leaders who sat with me discussing the people behind the names on their organization charts flash before me. How many times did we discuss “Purpose, Picture, Plan, Part?” It’s not whether we say it; it’s whether they get it. Everyone needs a personal message. You said it? Say it again. And again. How do you practice? What gets rewarded?

This trip down memory lane was occasioned by the opportunity I have this week to be certified to use the Bridges Transition Model with my clients. I am so excited, not only to learn something new but also to get the opportunity to use something that I know works.  The materials indicate that I’ll get a new book. That’s fine, but I’m keeping my old one. We’re good friends.


Bridges, William ( 1991). Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change. Cambridge, MA: Persues Books.