If only

I imagine a workplace that invites you to speak freely; without fear of repercussions and from the turmoil of molded workplace norms.

It’s where I dream of being everyday; where I never have to guard who I am, or refrain from speaking for fear of judgement. It’s where my creativity will never be extinguished.

This space I speak of is one free from the boundaries of the archaic hierarchy. Why are doors and the titles displayed on them a license for limiting others thoughts and communication? if someone has a ‘lesser important title’ it instantly negates others value and creates inferiority.

Eliminate the 8am-5pm barricades, created in 1938 with the Model T Ford. Invite the workforce to set the where and the how they will be the most successful. You will find that with flexibility comes drive. Bring the responsible and mature individuals to your team that are driven to this philosophy. They will set the example. Baby sitting employees through their days is long outdated, wasted time and not necessary. A far better use of time instead? teaching and modeling accountability.

Don’t confuse the ability to speak and be heard with a lack of respect. On the contrary, strengthen an unending respect with acceptance of diversity; orientation, age, race, gender, and beliefs. What if you woke up looking forward to going to work? That’s a state of being foreign to many.

The equation is simple. Happy people (+) happy workspaces (+) (=) healthy accomplishments & business nirvana with yields of booming successes at a much greater pace.

Dare to think and believe that oppression can melt away from your working world where you spend 33% or most likely more of your life.

Yeah, you can work work happy.. better yet, you can help others work happy too

Why ‘should’ you?

Should is an awkward word. Often subconsciously we don’t give a lot of fore thought to using it. It is a habit when we feel the need to give out an opinion or spontaneous advice . When used in our internal dialogue, it’s usually heavy with regret, uber negative vibes and some self loathing. Not a healthy move for our self respect. 

How did ‘should’ become such a standard go-to in our vocabulary? 

Dig deeper in thought with ‘should’. It implies that some action or changing of some behavior was necessary.  ‘Should’ is really a cushioned version of shame, judgement or criticism. And why do we want to do that to ourselves or someone else?

Pushing your authority on a subject is most likely use of the ‘bossy’ card and a potentially degrading dose of power; but sharing knowledge instead defuses reasons for defense . You can stand on a pedestal and tell someone what to do or you can share a conversation, give a perspective, ask some really good questions and learn from them. Here’s to mutual learning and guaranteed it will be a better experience. 

Even if we are an authority on a subject, news flash… we don’t know it all……

This is worth remembering at work. Relationships with co-workers mean that putting ‘shoulds’ out there could set you up for some really bad days and lingering judgement hangovers. Same non-should rule applies; take the almighty hat off, stop criticism and replace with great questions.  

‘You could’ versus ‘you should’ is a game changer, but more importantly a life changer.

Be happier

..theatrical performance or authenticity?

‘authenticity is letting go of should; be this, do this and the fake facades……just be you,’

author acw

With the sole purpose of getting ahead, I have seen employees go to great lengths to polish reputations, deliberately push buttons, self cultivate egos, perfect lying and ruthless climbing of the hierarchical ladder. Most in the working world have:

1. experienced

2. witnessed

3. participated

4. all of the above.

Theatrical performances in the workplace tell a complex story. Having a front row seat to many work related performances, doing my homework and research I’ve come to the following conclusions. There is far greater concern for earning more money, than for ones own health, well being and relationship connections to others.

Fundamental needs for ourselves and families are always first. Taking care of responsibility unquestionably the priority. However, in capitalist societies it is about material wealth, status, and the need to have and be better than the person to your right or left. Get more; money, attention, recognition, bigger office, and a much higher place on the org chart with an impressive complicated title. Win the race with the most.

So what does being authentic do for us?

Psychology Today defines authenticity as consciousness of oneself (Smerek, 2019). “Having the ability to look in the mirror and with truth/clarity of your values, share opinions and how you feel with others”.

As workplaces evolve the ability of its members that deliberately practice authenticity will grow with positive impacts to culture. One of the greatest benefits of an open environment is quality of its members communication.

The end result?

Greater knowledge of skill sets, compassion and understanding, deeper and more worthwhile conversations. Increased daily productivity and a balanced, healthier and happier place to be everyday….

viewing the world through gen z lenses….

Working for a public high school has taught me some valuable lessons; unique in multiple ways but because they couldn’t have come from anywhere else. I work and live open minded and progressive. I am an advocate for the future, also because I want to understand.

Why is knowing the characteristics of those born mid 1990’s to mid 2000’s important for the world to know?

It took patience, baby steps to build relationships with high school students. Even though I had years of past experiences from those teetering-on-the-verge of retirement Baby Boomers to Gen X’s and millennials all on a daily basis while working in big corporate America. There was always something to learn. I am curious about visions, need connection and have always been inspired by views of all generations.

Its about the future and as we all know time never stands still…having an understanding mind set always beats agitation . Instead of dismissing the behavior, making a snarky comment, eye rolling and pointing a finger at ‘defiant’ youth, take time to understand them.

Guranteed it will make everyday better when you can communicate and you willingly try seeing through different lenses.

Five things you can expect from our next generation making their debut into the work force; those either those just post graduation or still learning from junior high and high school.

  1. Gen Z’s are born into technology; it has always been part of their lives; 95% of gen Z’s will always have instant access to a cell phone. They will need to learn to just say no and put the phone down to build the human connection.
  2. ‘Entrepreneur’ is their buzz word; and why? because the computer makes that possible and very low cost for multitudes of opportunities; college is a monumental expense, taxing amount of focus in a ‘ tech-instant world’ and creates long term debt. They also worry about their future financial security. For many it’s a real dilemma.
  3. This generation is the single most openly diverse-thinking of any in history. They are accepting of belief systems, ethnicity, background, sexual preference and are totally open about gender.
  4. Born into a residual recessionary economy , Gen-Z’s are far more frugal than their predecessors, the millennials and less inclined for lavish lifestyles. However, the other extreme is the tendency to be motivated by money; a dangling carrot.
  5. Competition is a much bigger deal to Gen-Z’s. Primarily due to the fact that the fast pace of progression and the changing world is constant competitive pressure . There is the need to keep up with all that is happening and Gen Z’s don’t want to be left behind.

Acceptance and the willingness to adapt is the good news with Z’s. We all need to be willing to open the windows and doors to change and appreciate what each generation can do …but ultimately we all need to work harder at collaboration regardless of the gen.

Working to better understand and build relationships with our youth is well worth the time ..take a Gen Z to lunch (ask them to turn off their phone) and have a conversation…it will be appreciated…


One out of every two employees have surrendered careers due to a bad boss (Gallup, 2017). Ouch, this is a wake-up call statistic.

Do we or even can we resolve why we are walking away from a job or career because there is misery and stress in each work day? We make the decision to walk away when we are no longer willing to live with the agony of poisonous influences; we just need to make the insanity stop.

After the daily battering do we even have a desire to do a deep dive on the details of why?

We all know that we can contribute it to defective, unskilled or grossly outdated management. It will impact the entire biz structure from service personnel to the CEO . Why are we still calling a position with huge potential for transformation and biggest impact to the business bottom line of organizations, ‘BOSS’?

Telling the employees of any business what to do, micro manage how to do it, how to think, act, force perpetual criticism, shut people down and dismiss them, is abusive. The greatest crime is failure to listen; all of these are the most counterproductive actions a business can make.

Creativity is lost in unrealistic and grossly outdatd boundaries; the business will suffer.

So what if we make it as simple as leveling the workplace. Call those who have the gifts of mentoring, championing, and setting healthy/productive examples ‘leaders’ or colleagues. Naturally, they will deliver the messages that our workplaces will respect them and productivity will shift to all time highs. Encourage the creativity, collaboration, relationship and respect. Just say no to bossing.

Working happy is the greatest use of our time.


”no ethos pursued without thought or mercy is considered ethical behavior”

Janet Morris

If you want insight into the culture of a workplace, the place to start is the watering hole; the gathering place where coffee and conversation flows freely and it’s members have taken a temporary haitus from their work.

Ethos by definition is the character or dispostion of a society, however the depth of meaning has far greater importance. First, to each individuals set of values followed by the function of environment in which they work collectively; finally in productivity, critical to the business bottom line.

If you are happy at work you will likely have far greater opportunities to flourish in accomplishments and healthy collaboration.

Workplace diversity is a term that has blossomed in the last two decades. The late ‘Baby Boomers’, Gen X’s, Millennial’s and our growing Gen Z’s generations are feeling the impacts of demands for the acceptance of belief systems, gender differences, sexual orientation, political motivations and values. As time passes fewer are aware of just how in the United States the Civil Rights Act of 1964 began the massive cycle of change.

Globally, the demands to open the minds is equally and critically as prevelant; respect, collaboration, acceptance, open mindedness and willingness to embrace differences is no longer an option for business success.

Understanding and acceptance is what will make the profound impacts on the journey to harmony in the ethos.

Turning a new leaf…

..”great things never came from comfort zones”

author, dau

Its that time of year; a time where new is the theme.

Something in our universes is telling us all that its time to make change and where better to start than with a reflection of how we earn a living.

  1. Am I happy with the work that I am doing?

2.  Is there satisfaction in the effort that I invest daily?

3.  Is it meaningful to myself and others?

4. Where is it that I can progress and dare to make the change to be happier than I  have ever been?

Simply answered, easy beginning for a self changing blueprint.

Impacting the culture and ambiance of our workplace is the responsibility of each of us.  As an employee, one can reverse the effects of the negative with a change in attitude; not easy, but totally doable starting with internal dialog, and small deliberate and repetitive progressive actions. No different for those who lead; leaders who can take these actions, compassionately model them, and reinforce behaviors will indeed transform others.  Those who aspire for different behavior, will be successful, even with the smallest of differences. Those differences are the turning leaves soon replaced with new growth.

Work happy….it will make all the difference in life.


Hollywood worthy…an award for your work life

This is my career; this is my chance to do work that actually means something’

Riggan (Michael Keaton) Oscar nominee for Birdman, 2014

Ok, a bizarre way for reflecting on your working life; or is it? We don’t normally think of it in those terms. Work is work right? Would someone buy theater tickets or order an on demand version of your work adventures? Pretty out of the box thinking.

Work is what we do out of necessity as a means for getting what we want, maintaining social status, avenue for independence, taking care of the family. A critical part of living unless you’ve hit the lottery or are the recipient of a generous inheritance from Aunt May.

Never doubt the basic human requirements. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is reality. This is not however, the total screen play. There is much more to the story; behind the scenes there are stunts, drama, humor, trips/falls, music, romance, hard lessons learned, memories and your genuine story. And why is this important again? Because you will spend 1/3 of your lifetime creating your own script; 8 hours, 1/3 of every work day and quite possibly more a week. This statistic does not account for the time via the thought process, dreams, nightmares and planning you spend processing all the work related stuff outside of the normal work hours either.

We have a tendency to dismiss the importance of all that time, as ‘just work’.

Envision yourself in a movie theater, with a bucket of popcorn and a soda, watching your work journey on the big screen. Is it painful to watch, or maybe your fighting a snooze because of it. Hard to believe at that eye drooping moment that it could qualify as award winning instead. Are you captivated by some excitement or by the storyline twists? Does it have a feel good story or make you laugh? Are you willing to see it unfold on the screen again? What do you walk away with?

Change is always tough..but it makes all the sense in the world to do your meaningful work in an environment that thrives or fosters growth. It will also offer diverse experiences, innovates and celebrates failure & productive conflict as the best learning opportunities.

Explore the work possibilities that make you wonder and create the award winning story.

work happy

Can’t wait for Friday..

It’s true, Friday’s are treasures (doesn’t matter what day of the week your ‘Friday’ falls on). For a huge percentage of the working world, it means relief; a much needed sleep-in, absence of demands, freedom to laugh and get carried away by the wind if you want.

I recently had a conversation with a call center employee. After taking care of biz, I wished her a ‘happy Friday’..as professional as she was, I found a connecting moment with her as she casually said ‘ you don’t know how how glad I am and it’s the happiest day of my week’ It was clear she is unhappy with her work.

While we all need rest and recoup time, this story is sadly common. As Sunday winds down, just around the corner waits another Monday.

We make huge investments of ourself, spend a massive amount of our lifetime at work. Why not make it the best it could be? take all the energy we spend unhappy and unfulfilled, all that we know from our gut is sideways and miserable..or simply wrong and be the change. Change comes in so many different colors. Can profound change happen in the current environment? What will give you a thrill about a Monday?

The truth? We all must take care of responsibility. We must pay the electric bill, take care of our families; we are however, creatures of habit when it comes to work life. Because of our programming to earn and run the hamster wheel, the tendency to explore the shiny new possibility is a lower priority. We accept instead of challenge. In 20 years will you ask yourself why you settled for a sub standard work life.

Monday is a state of mind” auth unknown

work happier……..

serving the customer

Not to be confused in society and our market place today as customer service; at least we all know this in those common terms. What if we simply stop using the phrase ‘customer service’ when we are working with our potential, next or existing customers?

Contemplate what ‘serving the customer’ means…far more personal connection of a statement, and 180 difference degree in meaning. It is also progressive and implies a greater humanisitic sensitivity; proactive versus reactive.  It conjurs a mind visual image due to differences separating the kiosk-ish or call center; the one that shares the space with a complaint department in the brick and mortar store or the automated problem solving system hotline where being on hold is the norm.

Entrepreneur magazine has recently published an article that understandibly says customer metrics are the most important data a business can utilize, maintain and nurture. Ten clear reasons why building the lasting customer relationship is so vital to sustaining and growing healthy businesses.


Being proactive to needs, building bridges, and fostering authentic relationships is the support system that is needed. Know your customer, build the great relationship that creates the natural tendency to select your product or service over the others.

Another way to work happier.