Get to Know Me, From My Company’s Portal Blog

This month my company featured me on our portal in a blog-style interview. I thought I'd share since I haven't posted much about work lately. Here you go: Get to Know John Demma We all share common goals, but rarely do we have an opportunity to share a cup of coffee and  break the ice. Yet, studies show … Continue reading Get to Know Me, From My Company’s Portal Blog

Management Skills: Create Symbiosis

That's a picture of a cute little clownfish, we'll call him Remo, swimming among sea anemone. Most fish would not be feeling too good right now, because those cool looking tentacles of the anemone are laced with stinging poison. Good thing Remo's ancestors evolved a thin layer of mucus that protects him from the poison. … Continue reading Management Skills: Create Symbiosis

Strategy: Cortez the Killer

In 1519 Hernán Cortés the Conquistador led a flotilla of 11 ships to the eastern shores of Mexico against the direct orders of his superiors. You see, power and hubris had driven Cortés mad, and whether he realized it or not (everyone else did), his mutinous power quest, fueled by bloodlust, was indeed insane. Cortés' fleet would … Continue reading Strategy: Cortez the Killer

Real World, Fake World: How to be a successful manager, leader, and person

As I detailed in this kind of weird article, the work world is not the real world. Work is a made up place, work hierarchies are made up things, and there's really no such thing as bosses and employees. Bosses and employees are just regular people pretending to be these things in a fantasy land … Continue reading Real World, Fake World: How to be a successful manager, leader, and person

Management Skills: Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick

I swore I wasn't going to be one of those parents who would toss empty threats at their kids to try to coerce them into good behavior. You know the old, "If you don't stop I swear we're not going to the park," routine. I can hear my son thinking, "Who you kidding dad? The … Continue reading Management Skills: Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick

Management Skills: There’s No Such Thing As ‘Manager’

Manager is a just a made up word. Supposedly a manager is a person who controls a portion of a business, but you and I know this is silly, and not a real thing. Any control this person has is an illusion. People don't act because the person called their manager told them to. People … Continue reading Management Skills: There’s No Such Thing As ‘Manager’

Born Lucky: Playing Warren Buffett’s Ovarian Lottery

Warren Buffett says he was born lucky. Being born in America, in the 1930s, without having to overcome barriers of race or gender, combined with the power of compound interest, allowed Buffett to amass one of the greatest personal fortunes in the history of mankind (which will be almost entirely given to philanthropy). As Buffett … Continue reading Born Lucky: Playing Warren Buffett’s Ovarian Lottery

Management Skills: Praise and Positive Feedback

The other day I read this Wall Street Journal article called "Smarter Ways to Discipline Children." The article advocates the parent management strategy outlined by Dr. Alan E. Kazdin in his famous book The Kazdin Method. Basically the doctors and researchers discussed in the article have found that the only effective way to get desirable … Continue reading Management Skills: Praise and Positive Feedback

Career Survivalism: A guide to surviving an economic apocalypse

None of the unemployed people I have met over the past few years expected to be unemployed. They didn't think their company would ever go out of business or their boss would actually fire them or the new job they had lined up would fall through after they already burned their bridge behind them. Some … Continue reading Career Survivalism: A guide to surviving an economic apocalypse

Having Kids Won’t Kill Your Career, But Seeking Work/Life Balance Might

Kids are generally thought of as little career killers for their parents. I can understand why. Kids take up a lot of a parent's time with their need for attention and supervision, and time is a manager's most valuable and scarcest resource. Kids can also be unpredictable and cause their mom or dad to miss … Continue reading Having Kids Won’t Kill Your Career, But Seeking Work/Life Balance Might