Out of the Rut

Have you ever felt like you were in a rut or experiencing a particularly low point in your life? It’s times like these when we feel down, hopeless and stuck. This can run the spectrum of significance, such as being bored at work to grieving the death of a family member or friend, but the…

Revisiting the Meaning of “Vacation”

In the summer months, I often reflect on the idea of “vacation” — what it is, what it means, and often what it has come to mean in our culture. First, vacation means “to vacate” — to leave, to get out of here, to get away from your daily setting and responsibilities.  As my wife has commented,…

What We Can Learn From Rainy Days

July and August in the Midwest are usually the “dog days of summer” — hot, intense sun, and humid. It is uncomfortable and physically draining. But we have had some unusual weather lately — cloudy, cooler and rainy. So, as a result, I’ve had the opportunity to reflect on rainy days, how they represent other…

Reflections on the 4th of July: Our Freedoms and Rights

I love the 4th of July holiday largely because we have a legacy of wonderful family “get together's” that are a lot of fun (and we have done so for several years, which evoke a large number of fond memories for me.) And our family celebrations have involved several traditions that I enjoy: being outside playing…

The Battle between Positive and Toxic Workplaces

An interesting juxtaposition has developed -- the simultaneous focus in the world of work on toxic workplaces and creating positive work environments. Our book on toxic workplaces and the subsequent training we created on how to avoid becoming a toxic workplace (or survive one you are currently in) are growing in popularity and interest.  And…

An Antidote For Disengagement: Being Appreciative For Your Job

Gallup reported on January 13 that only 32% of U.S. employees are actively engaged in their work from a mental, emotional and volitional (a choice of the will) point of view.  Conversely, 50.8% of employees were found to be “not engaged” and 17.2% are “actively disengaged”.  This latter group is a dangerous one — they…

Do 70 Million Workers Really Hate their Jobs?

     This past week headlines of newspapers, website posts, and the talking heads on TV screamed about how U.S. employees hate their jobs (and that it is the fault of their managers).  Here are some actual titles: Millions of Bad Managers Are Killing America's Growth (The Chairman's Blog) Workplace Morale Heads Down: 70% of Americans…

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