Apr 15, 2012

The Rumor and the Vow

In the parking lot, walking into work, Becky heard a juicy rumor. By lunchtime, her department was humming. By close of business, the entire company was talking about it. Just one thing: the rumor was untrue. It’s not easy to rein in runaway gossip , to return workers to work,...Read more +
Apr 8, 2012

The Stain’s the Thing

As a young Raytheon engineer in 1945, Percy Spencer should have been hard at work on military radar. Instead, he was distracted and a bit angry at the spreading stain on his trousers. A candy bar had melted in his pocket. After a moment’s thought, Percy connected two unlikely elements:...Read more +
Apr 1, 2012

Also Dances

He was an immigrant’s kid from Omaha. And from the start, his life was show biz. Vaudeville...then the New York stage. But it took decades to land a Hollywood studio screen test. And the result? The director reviewing him wrote: “Can't sing. Slightly bald. Also dances." No one remembers the...Read more +
Mar 25, 2012

The Work and the Worker

When Isaac took on the family business, it was his shot at redemption. He’d failed in school, and this was his second chance. So what happened? He failed. Again. But Isaac’s story doesn’t stop there. His uncle helped him get a college education, where he did well. How well? Fast-forward...Read more +
Mar 18, 2012

What You Can Do

At work, Matt grew more anxious by the day—his dread was fueled by the fear around him. Matt’s own work was on solid ground. But from every quarter he felt the panic. Deadlines slipping. Quality dropping. Morale in a nosedive. Focused on others losing their grip, Matt was losing his...Read more +
Mar 11, 2012

How to Find Kindness

Mary could get away with being an awful person because she was a killer sales- person. So when Mary leveled outbursts at some poor soul, her bosses just looked away. As for her coworkers, they kept their distance. ...All but Sandra, who could manage a kind attitude for anyone, Mary...Read more +
Mar 4, 2012

Tone and Content

Two things about Carol and her decisions. One, she was usually right. And two, right or wrong, she was always certain. The thing is, Carol’s style left little room for input. And most people gave up trying to give it. Yet one coworker broke through—by being honest...and gentle. “Carol,” she...Read more +
Feb 26, 2012

The Faith of Car Mechanics

The New York Times recently polled American scientists about their belief in God. The majority said “Yes, we do believe in God” and the story got prominent play. Before long, the paper ran this letter to the editor. “Well, la-di-dah, scientists believe in God. I say what affects society more...Read more +
Feb 26, 2012

Hearing Voices

It was a good day when Bill Rasmussen, PR man for the Hartford Whalers hockey team, lost his job. The year was nineteen seventy-eight, and now Bill took aim at his real passion: starting a statewide cable channel dedicated to local sports. It was a better day when Bill’s friend...Read more +
Feb 19, 2012

I Want What They Have

Ben had a job, but two other people on his work team got the perks. And that bugged Ben. So he made up his mind to complain. “Boss,” he said, “Jacob and Sharon get upgrades on flights, upgrades on hotels, upgrades on cars. What gives?” Fortunately for Ben, his manager...Read more +