Personal Stories of America at Work

Category Archives: Leadership

How One Woman Built a Career Creating Community at Work

Rebecca Brian helps shape the future of the workplace

“I started to find working from home to be insanely isolating and lonely . . . My reality was twelve hours a day of Ally McBeal reruns.”

The happiness formula

I’ve always been a community builder. Though for eight years, I didn’t know it and would have just called myself friendly.

When I got out of college with a degree in graphic design and my internship didn’t pan out into the job I expected, I started a design firm called Tribecca Designs. I didn’t know what I was doing, but the work was exciting. I loved dealing directly with clients and thrived on all the responsibility and creative license, creating logos, branding, websites, and brochures. I was hooked! I talked about design and business and my new venture everywhere I went and was the cheapest designer in the country—or at least New York City—so the work came easily.

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molly | July 26, 2011 | Entrepreneurs, Leadership, Small business | 3

Leadership Guru Jim Kouzes on Soul-Draining Jobs, Leadership and the Millennial Generation

Jim Kouzes and Jamie Woolf

Jim Kouzes is coauthor of the best-selling and award-winning book, The Leadership Challenge, with over 1.8 million copies sold. The Wall Street Journal has recognized Jim as one of the twelve best executive educators in the United States. His new book The Truth About Leadership, was published in August, 2010. Jim spoke about work and leadership with Jamie Woolf of The Working Chronicles.

The Working Chronicles:  Many people today find themselves in soul-draining jobs. What advice do you have for people who are looking to make their work more fulfilling?

Jim Kouzes: In order to grow to become the best you can be, there have to be three conditions: you have to have passion for something, you have to have a purpose on which to focus that passion, and then you have to persist. This is why I don’t like the advice that says, “You are going to have five different careers in your life.” That’s BS. You’re not. You cannot become the best in five different things in your life. You can get good at five things, but you can’t become the best. It will take you five years to get good, and ten years to become world-class competitive. And then, because everything is changing–new technologies, new techniques, new methods, new challenges–you’re going to be learning all over again. So you have to look at what you have passion for, what purpose you want to serve, and how you’re going to persist.

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molly | March 08, 2011 | Education, Innovation, Leadership | 0

The Career Marine

A life in the military makes for high-stakes adventure and management

"I can do any upper management position because of my military training."

“Lieutenant Colonel Pat Jones has served twenty years in the Marine Corps, was educated at the Citadel, and comes from a military family where his father also served twenty years in the Marine Corps. Lt. Col. Jones does not fit my presumption of a career military officer. Yes, his hair is shaved short and he’s in good physical condition, but he’s also soft spoken, modest in how he describes his intense work, and introspective about how his training and experiences have impacted him. I was impressed by his loyalty to the Marine Corps and his unwavering commitment to serve his country.”

- Chronicler Mira Ringler

I thought I was a tough guy

My father is a retired lieutenant colonel from the Marine Corps who served twenty years. He’s mellow and never encouraged me to be a Marine. He wasn’t one of those dads who say, “Hey son, you want to be a Marine like your old man?” I obviously saw my dad in his uniform, and he never purposely shielded me from it, but I wasn’t tied to a particular future in the military. What really intrigued me about the military was a book I read in high school about the Citadel, called Lords of Discipline by Pat Conroy. I really liked the book, and it portrayed the school as tough and demanding. I was a wrestler, so I thought I was a tough guy. I knew I wanted to go to the Citadel but never thought about going into the Marine Corps. My dad had not gone there and thought the school was too expensive; he was not enthusiastic about it.

I went there anyway.

Read the full interview >>

molly | December 07, 2010 | Leadership, Military | 0

The Working Chronicles

  • The Working Chronicles captures an intimate look at work in 21st century America through candid interviews with people from all walks of life and all corners of the country.

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