Never Forget

Today marks the 13th anniversary of the horrific events of 9/11/01.  This day always serves as a much-needed reminder for those of us in America to honor and respect the service men and women (and first responders or members of public service outlets such as police, paramedics, and firefighters) that we depend on for safety, strength, and a sense of security.

To all those who lost life or have loved ones who lost life on that day, please know that they will never be forgotten.  And we thank them for fighting to keep liberty and justice for all.

Til Next Time,



Happy Labor Day


To me, this day is a great time to take a step back and consider the social and economic achievements of the American worker.  I still firmly believe in the American Dream and am doing everything I can to make sure we are enabling all of our fellow Americans the opportunity to participate and prosper.  I would challenge you to do the same.  And if we all work together – through enough ingenuity and innovation – America will continue to prosper and lead the world into whatever tomorrow may bring!

Happy Labor Day!

Til Next Time,


Let’s Go USA!

Clearly the World Cup has handicapped my ability to write new blog posts nearly as much as I intend to way-back-when.  Sorry about that.  It’s ok though – this too shall pass and we’ll soon be in the summer lull with no sports (aside form midseason baseball, whoopee).  In the mean time, though, the boys in Red/White/Blue play today and I couldn’t be more excited.  I am actually in Scottsdale for work although I am taking some impromptu PTO hours to make sure I can watch the game!

I believe that we will win!

Til Next Time,


World Cup Roster – USMNT


Just a fair warning: I’ll probably let soccer take over my blog a bit during the World Cup.  As of yesterday, Jurgen Klinsmann announced the final roster.  What do you think of it?  Was keeping Donovan off a big deal to you?  He never did much for me so I’m kind of glad to see a roster spot opened up for new young bucks.

I’m pumped either way – just over three weeks (23 days) til kickoff in Brazil!

Til Next Time,


Regrettable Majors


I’ll spare you the reminder on why I think choosing your college major is extremely important and not something that should be done on a whim…  But I did want to share this article from Monster I saw a few weeks back on the top 5 most regretted majors (based upon graduates’ perception as well as initial salary).  I think we all owe it to ourselves and society to start to drive some more actionable dialogue with our nation’s youth around what their academic career typically means long term from an income earning potential perspective.

Til Next Time,


Getting Fit

I know I have already harked a lot on dressing for success and outward appearance as a means to minimize your risk of people not taking you seriously – but felt compelled to kick off this Monday with a quick post about fitness.

Being fit and living a healthy lifestyle obviously has its health benefits.  But even more, the psychological and work-appearance benefits are huge as well.  It is my opinion that there is zero excuse not to be fit (or at least as fit as your body type allows for you to be).  It’s a shame when I see obese people being wheeled through the airport because they simply do not care enough to dig themselves out of the massive (pun intended) hole they have built for themselves by opting for fried chicken instead of the treadmill one (read: hundreds) too many times.

I understand there are many diseases and conditions (e.g. thyroid problems) which cause people to not be able to maintain normal weights.  And this post is in no way directed at those individuals.  It’s for the people who show up to the office bursting at the seams and in no way exude any sort of professional presence because they claim to “not have time” to get to the gym.  That answer has been and always will be BS to me.  Stop being lazy or reprioritize some of your existing agenda in order to get some sort of physical activity in 3 to 5 times a week.  Your nightly date with the “Family Guy” reruns on local television don’t count either.

For the rest of us that (at least try to) stay in shape – we need to be better about policing this throughout our work environment.  We should organize “Biggest Loser” competitions, support charities/fundraisers to fitness, and contact our healthcare providers to maximize the benefits we may have already with them through their wellness programs.  Or at a minimum, next time we work late and have to cater food in, let’s try not to choose the China Express Delivery option.  After all, we are all powerless over Kung Pao Chicken and Fried Rice…

Just my little rant to kick off the week 🙂

Til Next Time,


Incentives & Professional Athletic Contracts

I’m reading a great book right now titled The Why Axis, which explores the concepts of causality versus correlation, the role of nurture in modern society, and generally how incentives can (and should) be used or revisited to garner the maximum effect.  Anyway, it has started making me look at things like incentives in a different way.  I think the lessons, theories, and conversations they expose are extremely useful for us to consider even in our own lives on the micro level.

Truth be told, I have always been extremely fascinated by incentive structures (both positive and negative incentives).  I think the ability to drive performance, productivity, and throughput through variable means  (financial or otherwise) is something that is extremely fascinating and something that many industries are honestly doing a really poor job with currently.  Take my own contract for instance – I largely do not have any major incentives tied to my performance so there is not a major fire beneath me to go wildly above and beyond the call of duty.  The only “carrot” so to speak is the opportunity to advance my career/position quicker (but, at many companies, the body of work completed or performance against target is far from a guarantee of quicker advancement).  Otherwise, the variable compensation tied to my role is largely in line with most professional services firms and won’t sway my overall income more than 5-10% in a given year.  I have long held, though, that the professional services industry has a tremendous opportunity to model itself more closely to the contracts of professional athletes from an incentives and compensation package structure perspective.  Think about it – how great would that be?

If my contract were more similar to a professional athlete, it would open up so many doors.  Namely, I would be able to:

  • Participate in a “corporate combine” which would allow me to display my skills and work to prospective suitors
  • Attend “draft day” events which would allow for “teams” (i.e. companies) and “prospects” (i.e. college graduates, those who are in-between contracts, etc) to mingle and celebrate leading up to the “draft” where teams fill out roster spots for open needs
  • Negotiate a guaranteed salary figure that I know I would receive independent of performance (except for gross negligence of conducting myself in a manner expected by my company/contract – similar to when athletes can nullify contracts by getting into motorcycle accidents which prevent them from being in the lineup)
  • Have a larger variable component of my salary that is provided as an incentive for hitting certain performance targets or kickers listed in my contract (i.e. spot bonuses or incentives when I exceed a given target, metric, or goal)
  • Select an agent that would help negotiate my contracts and define performance incentives that drive my own productivity (presuming they are proper motivation for me – money or otherwise)
  • Enter contract years (i.e. the years where my contract is set to expire) with a renewed passion because I know my next contract is on the line
  • Propose or take part in trades or package deals in order to align myself and my performance with colleagues/teams/companies I work well with (or to simply navigate myself to a different part of my company or another company altogether)
  • Implement a “No Trade” clause which would allow me to have a right of refusal on my company trading me to another location/company that was not preferable
  • Obtain endorsements or sponsors (third party) that would back myself, my team, or my company (i.e. Lenovo chooses to pick up my team for our next three-year deal and provide us with latest laptops in exchange for our brand ambassadorship)
  • Allow for companies to participate in a waiver process where “dropped” resources could be claimed off the wire and given short term deals
I will let you know if The Why Axis leaves me with any groundbreaking discoveries in the Incentives space.  I thought it appropriate to share one of my own compensation/incentive schemes with you in the short term though as food for thought.  What’s holding us back from modeling salaries and contracts in Corporate America more like athletes’?  I do believe that it is way too risky for most people, but there are always those players that take a substantially less amount of money to ensure that they are guaranteed and locked up for a long time.  I really think it is something that could work and start to create a renewed sense of competition for the modern age.
Til Next Time,

Reinventing the Wheel

I hate reinventing the wheel.  Rework.  Whatever you want to call it.  Anyways, the thought came to me today to post this because we have recently been informed that yet another consultancy will be coming in to our neck of the woods within the organization to do some “transformation work”.  While the vendor will remain nameless, I will say that I have very closely followed their track record in this type of work, within this industry, in similar environments, for quite some time now.  It is far from stellar.

Regardless, someone probably slept with someone or has a dirty picture lying around (just kidding – or am I?), so we’re forced to work with them.  So we will probably be called upon to completely reinvent all traditional forms of project governance, communications management, and program reporting.  Sounds like fun, eh?  Except for one thing – we already have all of those things.  So why reinvent the wheel?

Truth be told…  I’m not attempting to claim that our operations in the aforementioned areas are an extremely well-oiled machine.  We probably stand to improve some of our efficiency and throughput in those areas.  But we do the best with what we have right now on a highly-constrained budget (time, energy, headcount, etc).  I just cannot see for the life of me what they-who-shall-remained-namelss will bring to the table that will make any of our existing horsepower (i.e. our relatively small, close-knit team) gain any huge deal of goodness out of their “investigation” (read: 9 month “current state assessment” that will cost about $1M whether or not they choose to bill it to us – sometimes they have been known to offer “free work” on the expectation that they will get reciprocal projects for being so good at their “phase zero”).

So what am I going to do about it you ask?

Simple.  I call it the consulting olympics.  I fully intend to put this team through their paces.  Because, you know what?  They are not an ounce smarter than my team and me, and likely don’t have any deeper subject matter expertise than we do.  I am confident in that and I am happy to admit that I know all of their tricks (and may have even seen them in action before).  I know that the intent is for these guys and girls to come in and shed some crazy light on all of the areas we’ve been underperforming because they sold someone’s boss’s boss’s boss’s boss that they would be able to “help the team realize significant cost savings through more expeditious delivery of the existing programs as well as gain efficiencies in areas previously uncharted” and some blah-blah-blah.  However…  Everything they will come at us with is either A) already available in our existing area, B) something we have already determined doesn’t gain us any efficiency/increased throughput, or C) is something wildly irrational/pie in the sky that will never work based upon our corporate culture and existing landscape/horsepower.  Far too often in Corporate America, I think people let the consultants come in (side note: I am a consultant and realize I am shooting my own foot) and tell everyone how things “should be” without real visibility into the weeds of what is really happening within an organization.  Sure – if you give me a paintball gun and a corporate office, I’m sure I can fire some ink on the walls too.  But it’s time that we started defending the homestead a bit more.  The consultants are not always smarter.

Listen, I’m really not trying to be apathetic, pessimistic, or a poor team player.  I really intend to sit in on their sessions (albeit begrudgingly) and inform them of how we are operating now.  Maybe, in the end, they will indeed point out one or two things that are usable and somewhat logical.  Otherwise, though, they are threatening myself, my team, and our whole corner of the organization.  And I fully intend to fight to defend that turf, even though my client’s name isn’t directly on my paycheck (i.e. I was once the new guy from the outside on this block too).  Also, in case you haven’t seen it, please of watch Office Space sometime.  As funny a movie as it is, it is also a strikingly true satire on day-to-day life in Corporate America.  Don’t let the “Bobs” ruin your shop.

Let the games begin!

Til Next Time,


Happy New Year!

Happy New Year

Cheers to a successful 2013 and looking forward to an even better and more successful 2014!  I wanted to take a quick opportunity to wish you all the best and thank you for being a follower of  When I started out on this journey to develop a site to supplement the traditional resume measures (i.e. what I have managed, where I have worked, who I have worked with), I never could have expected it would be this rewarding.  Thank you to all those who have helped make the site a success and I look forward to (hopefully) continuing to drive relevant dialogue in the matters most important to Corporate America throughout 2014 and beyond.

I feel that far too often we get settled in the traditional templates, processes, and ways of thinking, and I hope sites like mine continue to press the envelope and help everyone ask the difficult questions that will help companies innovate and drive forward to the future with bigger and better ideas.  When we reduce ourselves to a rhetoric of bullet points on a resume, I think we lose a lot of our spirit and our personality.  We throw away our opinions and personal beliefs in order to regurgitate a series of accomplishments that are largely void of original human thought or opinion.  I feel like this is really hurting our society, and I hope that we can all agree to be more mindful of human interaction and personal engagement going forward.  Sometime in the not-too-distant-future, I hope we are all benchmarked not only on what it may say on our resume, but rather, a larger body of opinions and skills that may have previously been brushed under the rug.  This is a topic and conversation that I look forward to adding a lot more color to over the coming months and years, so please don’t hesitate to chime in and let me know if you think I’ve gone off the reservation!

Again, Happy New Year and I look forward to hearing more of your stories and thoughts in 2014!

Til Next Time,


Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas

A very Merry Christmas to you and yours!  It is my hope that you have a relaxing and enjoyable holiday.  May you also find some time to reflect on the year and identify opportunities and growth areas heading into 2014.  Most importantly though, cherish the time you have with your family and try to put some of the typical daily noise on hold.

Best wishes!

Til Next Time,