The Atlas

You never learn more than what you learn from your friends

We've made it almost to the end it to the end of Gallup's Elements of Employee Engagement. Today I want to discuss number ten, which is my personal favorite: I have a best friend at work. This one is my favorite because it's been the one that has helped shape the way I think about the role of work in my life more than any other. Not only have I almost always had a best friend at work, but my best friends in life almost all came from work, too. For me, this one is the most personal.

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The 5 criteria in selecting a business partner

A successful partnership can make or break your business. But do you know what matters when it comes to picking someone to go into business with? In my career, I've come down to 5 essential areas that need to be reviewed and discussed in order to forge ahead.

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The quid pro quo of committing to quality

#9 on Gallup's Elements of Employee Engagement: My associates are committed to doing quality work. This is one that I often find bosses try to let themselves off the hook for being able to really influence. No dice. As a boss, your job is to build, develop and manage a strong team -- and then to clear obstacles out of their way so that they can do the job you've charged them with. A team that doesn't respect each other is not going to work as effectively or as efficiently as one that does.

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Career goals, feelings and Valentine's Day

This year marks the 20 year anniversary of my career. It has included ups, downs and pivots I never saw coming. But more than anything else, it has led me to a new way of looking at what matters in how I organize my work and my life.

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Finding your own mission inside your company

One of the most wonderful things about coming to a new city is also one of the hardest: meeting new people. Finding the right places to connect with the right people can be tough in a new location. And thanks to some help from a few fantastic women I've met here, I'm starting to feel like I'm finding my sea legs. And that actually leads me to this week's topic, #8 on Gallup's Elements of Employee Engagement: The mission/purpose of my company makes me feel my job is important.

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The value of goals -- your own, not others

So many of the goals we decide to chase are really defined by others. Life is short. Figure out what you want and what's worth your limited time and finite attention, and then learn to say no to the people who want you to follow their path instead of your own.

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Opinions are like noses...so don't bloody them

The seventh item on Gallup's list of 12 Elements of Employee Engagement is one that I often find triggers a tendency towards counterproductive zero sum thinking: At work, my opinions seem to count. From both leaders and employees, I often see a binary view of this that stops a productive conversation in its tracks.

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Why is coaching a particularly useful management model for the tech industry?

As someone who started her tech career as a project manager, I had no idea that I was learning very specific skills that would ultimately prove to be invaluable in the tech space. Consequently, the way those lessons translated into coaching as a managerial paradigm also never occurred to me at the time -- but now I can't imagine trying to run tech organizations any other way.

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