Nan S. Russell
Author & Speaker

All posts in August, 2016


As a colleague of Nan’s I regularly post to Current Musings. I look forward to sharing real-world insights, tips and practices about work, life and the constant blending of the two. This one has particular significance for me.

My mom would be 97 years old this month if she were still living.  I’ve been hearing her in my head a lot lately. Most parents have their favorite phrases, specific expressions and caring ways of guiding their children. I had a bit of an attitude as a youngster. A sarcastic quip earned me a seat on the kitchen chair. Or, I knew I was in trouble when I heard my full name, Elizabeth Regina Bryan, being called. And, this frequent instruction,  “It’s not what you’re saying, it is how you are saying it, that bothers me.” Although I didn’t understand that statement then I do now. Often the success of what you’re doing and what you’re saying hinges on the how. You may be thinking, huh?

How You Do What You Do Matters

Think about colleagues and bosses in your career, some use bullying tactics, intimidation and obnoxious styles to manage their workload and teams. They are smart, (continue reading →)

Tips, Today's Workplace 

ProgressIn the late 17th-century, Lord Chesterfield, an English writer and politician, wrote to his son, “Whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing well.” Over three hundred years later, we still heed this advice from the fourth Earl of Chesterfield. Yet, doing something well doesn’t mean doing it perfectly. The 21st-century workplace requires more than doing something well.

Today’s adage should be: “Whatever is worth doing, is worth doing.” That’s the secret people who are winning at working know. It’s action, not inaction, practice not theory, and progress not perfection that builds success, achieves results, and actualizes dreams.

After hearing me speak at a conference, a young woman sought me out. She was struggling with this concept of progress over perfection and asked for advice. “How do you do it?” she asked. “How do you accept something as finished when you know it could be better?” She explained she was (continue reading →)

Winning at Working 

They said she was the “winning-est coach” ever with 38 winning seasons, and more NCAA college basketball games won than any coach, man or woman. Pat Summit, former University of Tennessee women’s basketball coach, died recently at 64 having been diagnosed five years ago with early onset dementia, the Alzheimer’s type.

I’ve always admired her career achievements and ground breaking contributions to women’s sports equality. But, it’s her interview with Robin Roberts after that diagnosis that stays with me. Asked by Roberts about the diagnosis, Pat responded, “It may not be the best thing, but you just gotta make it what it is and keep living your life.”

That is the choice. It is the choice for us, too, even though (continue reading →)

In the Scheme of Things, Life