What Are Leadership Skills? And What Is a “Leader”?

"In 1938... the year's #1 newsmaker was not FDR, Hitler, or Mussolini. Nor was it Lou Gehrig or Clark Gable. The subject of the most newspaper column inches in 1938 wasn't even a person. It was an undersized, crooked-legged racehorse named Seabiscuit." ~ Laura Hillenbrand, Seabiscuit: An American Legend For some the term, "leadership" raises anxiety and for others it … Continue reading What Are Leadership Skills? And What Is a “Leader”?

Workplace Confidential


"Confidentiality is an ancient and well-warranted social value."
~ Kay Redfield Jamison

Today's blog entry is a companion piece to last week's,
Be A Superhero Employee: Block Workplace Cyber Security Breaches


Workplace confidentiality is not just refraining from spreading the latest gossip, keeping a secret a coworker has asked you to keep or protecting the confidences of your boss. Those are certainly important, but I'd like to focus on those confidences that are required by law -- the ones that protect the privacy of students, patients, consumers, clients and customers. These regulations are meant to strengthen the protections of Americans' right to privacy that is implied in the U.S. Constitution. It is crucial that these privacy laws that protect all of us be enforced in every workplace that is affected. And because these laws are complex employees should check with their respective company's legal and compliance sources for answers to specific questions and solutions to complicated issues.

Be A Superhero Employee: Block Workplace Cyber Security Breaches

clker.com free clipart

"A company can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on firewalls,
intrusion detection systems and encryption
and other security technologies,
 but if an attacker can call one trusted person within the company,
 and that person complies, and if the attacker gets in,
then all that money spent on technology is essentially wasted."
~ Kevin Mitnick


Before the birth of the Internet, security breaches involving social engineering were in full force via the telephone and fax machines.

One well-known ongoing scam has involved telephone con artists posing as company-approved vendors. They'll call various departments in organizations until they reach someone willing to cooperate by providing equipment serial numbers, allegedly for repair or supply-ordering purposes. The scammers will obtain the name of the person who provided them with the information and then send invoices to the company for phony supply or equipment repair orders with fingers crossed that no one will check and simply pay them. Another scam involves obtaining those serial numbers and employee's name again, shipping below-standard supplies "authorized" by the employee, and then sending an invoice, usually for a charge far above what the supplies are worth. These scams don't work in every case, but they work often enough to keep them going.


Our struggle today is not to have a female Einstein get appointed as an assistant professor. It is for a woman schlemiel to get as quickly promoted as a male schlemiel. ~ Bella Abzug, 1977


"Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily this is not difficult," said Charlotte Whitton in Canada Month, 1963. 

I agree with Charlotte Whitton's famous statement except for the part that it is not difficult! And to phrase the late, great Congresswoman Abzug's statement more delicately, ordinary women should be able to compete with ordinary men for the same jobs without having to outperform at Einstein's level. Women have always been and continue to be held to a different standard than men when vying for the same opportunities. That's not only a lack of equality, it's a lack of fairness. 


The Office Romance Minefield

Birds do it
Bees do it
With each other employees do it
They do it, they fall in love.

The Obamas did it. The Gateses did it. Even Michael Kors and Lance LaPere did it. They fell in love while working together. And, everything seems to have worked out well for these former workplace lovebirds. 

At the other end of the spectrum lives and careers have been left in ruins. Remember NASA astronauts Lisa Nowak and William Oefelein? Or the sensational criminal case involving former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his former top aide Christine Beatty, who were involved in an extramarital workplace affair? And the equally sensational end to former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevy's administration due to an extra-marital affair with a subordinate.  

Coping With The Workplace Bully – Part 2

Bullies want to abuse you.
Instead of allowing that, you can use them as your personal motivators. 
Power up and let the bully eat your dust. ~ Nick Vujicic

The last two entries, Scoping Out the Political Landscape and Coping With The Workplace Bully - Part 1 of 2, addressed the related topics of workplace politics and bullying and focused on background and statistics on bullying as well as current efforts to eliminate bullying.  According to the Workplace Bullying Institute, here are a few more insights:

Pregnant Women in Business

"The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) forbids discrimination
based on pregnancy when it comes to any aspect of employment...

In the early 1950s, Betty Friedan was fired from her job because she was pregnant. A decade later her book, The Feminine Mystique, launched the second wave of feminism and the Women’s Movement of the 1960s and ‘70s, which resulted in many advances for women on the home front and in the workplace, including the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) of 1978. (The first wave of feminism culminated in the 1920 landmark passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which granted women the right to vote.)

But despite women's advancements in the workplace over the past half-century discrimination persists, especially against pregnant women.