Nan S. Russell
Author & Speaker

All posts in December, 2014

As a colleague of Nan’s, I often post here when things grab my attention about today’s workplace and sometimes, life. I worked a good part of my career in a company, where we frequently said the “C” in its name stood for change. It was continuous and constant. And, as odd as it may sound, it was something we could count on, came to expect. No day was the same! Perhaps, a few things didn’t change but most things did. While it kept the work new and exciting, it was often frustrating.

Similarly, there are times of the year where we expect change: as seasons begin and end, and holidaWave_crash_(4695245572)ys come and go; life events like births, weddings and deaths and workplace happenings including new jobs, new bosses and job losses. Plus, many more! These are changes we know and during our life we come to expect. But, what about all those other changes – some we choose, others not so much.

There are thousands of writings on this topic: entire books, articles, blogs and effective models dedicated to dealing, coping or embracing change in life, (continue reading →)


P1120825“All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth; my two tooth front teeth; my two front teeth.” Remember that song? Those words keep popping into my head as Christmas approaches. Released a few years before I was born, the words are a reminder of Christmases past. It’s a song that made its way into our house each year around the holidays. I can picture my father at the organ and my mother singing lyrics to his jazzed up, big band, version of that song.

My father, a musician by heart and an accountant by trade, made sure our home was filled with music, spending most evenings playing one of many mastered instruments – clarinet, saxophone, piano, or organ. And when he could talk me into it, we played duets, with me on flute or piano and him compensating for and enhancing my limited musical talent, so it was fun for both of us.

My mother, a Christmas enthusiast by any measure, insisted that after Thanksgiving the selected song menu in the Schindler house was limited to Christmas, since she couldn’t get them played by Dad the rest of year. Hence, for this limited time, my father turned away from his swing, jazz, and big band favorites and played traditional carols, popular Christmas songs, and holiday medleys, all sprinkled with his interpretation and enhanced musical flair.

But, I digress into warm cocooned memories, when fleeting ones around this particular childhood song still remind me that when I was the age of not having front teeth, I thought this a very silly song. I couldn’t imagine how anyone would only want one thing – to have their permanent teeth grow in – during a magical season when you could wish for something special … something big … something more. And while you might not get what you wanted, you could still believe it might come true.

Decades later, with that tune permanently affixed to my brain, the words I’m filling in aren’t about front teeth. I started this season with “All I want for Christmas is” … (continue reading →)

In the Scheme of Things 

A recent study found that nearly half of us will make New Year’s resolutions in 2015, but only eight percent of us will reach the goals or keep the promises we make for ourselves. Maybe that’s why I’m not a big fan of New Years resolutions.

Sure I’ve made dozens of them, all with good intentions and a bit of magical thinking, believing this time the resolution will stick. Maybe a few have, but generally these wishful self-promises end up broken. And when that happens my self-esteem suffers.

You see, every time you break a self-promise, your self-trust is weakened. Every time you give up on your commitments your self-confidence takes a hit. And every time you look back on broken resolutions, your self-assessment hurts, not helps, your performance future.

By contrast, I am a huge fan of (continue reading →)

Winning at Working 

As a colleague of Nan’s, I regularly post here when things grab my attention about today’s workplace and sometimes, life. A few years ago, I helped a close friend move to a new home. While packing some of her cherished books, I stumbled upon: This I Believe written in Association with NPR. I did my usual quick flip through and then put it aside to read later. Since then, I’ve picked it up a few times. It is a collection of personal philosophies of remarkable men and women, some famous others not; completing the thought that begins the title of the book.

Over the weekend, I noticed it again on my book shelf and it got me thinking – What do I believe? What do others believe? Does it matter? I believe it does. For our beliefs grow from what we see, hear, experience, read and think as we go through life. They guide our actions, attitudes and relationships with ourselves and others. Some we have in common, others are different. I thought I would share several of mine with the desire to spark a dialogue of what you believe.

So, here goes. I BELIEVE

Share what you believe

Share what you believe

We are all connected, what I do, what you do, what strangers do, what folks do in other regions of the world, there is a continuous energy or force connecting all of us.

Some of the most valuable parts of life are not visible.

Giving my word is the same (continue reading →)