Illustrated blog Help grieving colleagues by adding a word to your greeting One in five of our colleagues are returning with the workplace carrying the pain of having lost a loved one during this pandemic. The Purposeful Palm’s suggestion is one simple way to aid healthy workplace grieving. But there are many others. See, for example, “Facing Grief at Work” by SusanRead More A wonderful perk for working mothers In the United States, women are five times more likely to do the majority of household cleaning and laundry (not to mention seven times more likely to do the majority of childcare), according to Gallup. The tech company Akraya already follows the Purposeful Palm‘s tip. They offer employees free housekeeping twiceRead More A fast Earth Day celebration PS: The tip is from the Purposeful Palm that is outside my home office. It suggested it when I looked out my window wondering how we could honor Earth Day during our constrained yet busy era.Read More For goodness sake, be repetitive We are living in complex times. It’s fine to repeat proven ways to do good at work. Not everything worthwhile is an innovation. PS: If you’re just learning of the Purposeful Palm, it’s the tree outside my office window that my gaze lands on when I’m stuck, looking for ideas or tryingRead More The Purposeful Palm takes a surprising turn The above Purposeful Palm tip was shared by Dr. Angela Demaree when she interviewed me (Bea Boccalandro) on her Beyond the Stethoscope podcast. If you doubt that your surprises will make a difference, know that the book Compassionomics by Anthony Mazzarelli and Stephen Trzeciak found that a 40-second caring interaction improves the wellbeing ofRead More A lesson from the Chinese Ox To welcome the year of the Ox this Chinese New Year, the Purposeful Palm is sharing what it learned from studying the 10 Ox Herding pictures, a series of drawings and short poems that describe the stages of progress toward Zen enlightenment.Read More A shameless plug for Bea’s HBR Article This week, the Purposeful Palm is apparently suggesting you read an article I wrote for Harvard Business Review last week. I hope you find it inspiring, informative or otherwise of value. Go to article.Read More A simple New Year’s resolution that delivers high return It’s that simple! At the time of the appointment, start exploring what you might contribute and then go do it. Half the effort —and fun — will be selecting the good deed of the week. Consider searching for options in your company’s volunteer program, resource groups or other employee programs.Read More Be very tender-hearted this holiday season Yes, the Purposeful Palm is right: A report published by the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen suggests that the 2020 global decline in happiness is as sharp as if all eight billion of us were divorcing. The study also found that for every 100 new COVID-19 cases another 7,200 people, on average, become anxious.Read More Don’t expect too much from money In honor of Tuesday’s launch of Do Good At Work: How Simple Acts of Social Purpose Drive Success and Wellbeing, the above tip from the Purposeful Palm is a quote from the book that is apropos of Black Friday.Read More Vote. Don’t Gloat. Above is the election-week advice the Purposeful Palm, which lives outside my office window, offered us.Read More Talk your way into a greater ingroup The above tip from the Purposeful Palm outside my office window builds on last week’s tip. Last week it suggested we reflect on the similarities we have with those we work with. As you see, this week it suggests we go one step further. If you haven’t already, please review last week’s post toRead More Think your way to a greater ingroup The Purposeful Palm’s advice might seem frivolous, but repositioning how we think of others could very well improve our relationships. It can bring people who aren’t in our ingroup, which consists of those who give us a sense of belonging and we are inclined to support, into it. Research has discovered, for example, that after fansRead More Work less for democracy When I gazed at the palm outside my office window searching for inspiration, it offered the above advice. Together we can ensure that all Americans with the right to vote have a safe opportunity to do so. Here are several organizations that offer volunteer opportunities to support a fair andRead More Buy good As you might remember, last week’s tip for a meaningful workweek from the Purposeful Palm was to forgo meat. My favorite reader response was from Ernesto: “No way, Bea. I love parrilla [bar-b-q]! Try to get your little plant to give me some other advice.” After the Palm stopped chuckling,Read More What our beef has to do with our children’s future homes When I recently looked at the smoke-shrouded palm outside my California office wondering what to do about the raging global wildfires, it offered the above suggestion. Try it out and see how you feel!Read More Shine the limelight on others When I stared at the Purposeful Palm outside my office window this week, it suggested we help with the other pandemic afflicting us: social isolation. In our work-at-home reality, many of our colleagues feel as though they have faded into the background, neither heard nor seen. The resulting loneliness canRead More Save the world while you eat lunch or take a yoga break Above is the advice the palm outside my office window provided when I pondered how people could find time to do good at work during these demanding times. Hope it helps!Read More Meaning through gratitude I spend a lot of time gazing out my office window at a palm tree wondering how to ignite a sense of purpose in whatever work team I’m trying to help. It turns out the tall palm often has surprisingly helpful, simple and broadly applicable ideas. Above is one. TheRead More A truly productive business response to racial injustice: Conversing with Fred Keeton Because I advise brands on social purpose, many business leaders have asked me how their companies can meaningfully respond to the racial injustice that afflicts U.S. society. To best answer this question, I’ve enlisted one of the country’s leading experts on corporate diversity, equity and inclusion, Fred Keeton. Fred isRead More How to turn our idle team into a post-pandemic powerhouse Is there a productive assignment we can give our work-at-home team members who don’t have enough to do? I believe there is. And it happens to also serve the world. For many managers, COVID-19 is an opportunity to invite idle or semi-idle employees to develop social-purpose skills (defined as theirRead More Something in our midst is more contagious than COVID-19 To help people turn COVID-19 “sadness into song,” as his website put it, a music composer gave away $20 downloads in March. This action inspired a musician in Massachusetts who benefitted from a $20 freebie to establish a collaborative music website “to promote peace, understanding, healing and happiness.” This, in turn, nudged aRead More From small talk to significant talk I climb into Kevin’s Lyft vehicle. It has holes in the seat and reeks of day-old tuna fish. “How is it possible that he has a perfect five-star rating?” I wonder. After a few minutes of chit chat, Kevin asks if I know anybody with Down’s Syndrome. When I tellRead More Top CSR academic study of 2019 What happens when your company shares information on its corporate social responsibility (CSR) with potential hires? I’m glad you asked! Daniel Hedblom and John List from the University of Chicago and Brent Hickman from Washington University in St. Louis have a stunning evidence-based answer. In fact, their research is myRead More How to de-stress in five friendly minutes I’m on stage in Atlanta facing 350 awards-banquet attendees. I start my keynote by asking participants to assess how anxious they are on a scale of one to ten, with one being “not at all” and ten being “extremely.” Then I ask them to do a work-related charitable act thatRead More Job purposing makes you a better leader I spent nine hours crafting a metrics plan for a job-purposing project. The client responded that it was so “random and disjointed” that it gave her a headache. I typically think, if not say, something like “the heck with you” to criticism like this. (Were I capable of profanity, myRead More So sorry for your inversion I arrived home from college one summer to find newspaper strewn between my parents’ teak furniture.  Atop each sheet was a different hunk of greasy machinery. My sixteen-year-old brother, Alfredo, had bought and disassembled a derelict Volkswagen beetle with the intent of transforming it into a functioning vehicle. As theRead More Should you follow your passion? Chopping chives, frying fish, beating batter, or otherwise preparing food makes me borderline homicidal. I dislike the feeling of sticky hands, of splattering oil, of puffs of flour, and of seemingly every culinary sensation. What if my kitchen duties were part of a job that was “purposed,” meaning it made aRead More The underbelly of job purposing I have a confession. I’ve written and spoken, some might say ad nauseam, about the evidence-based benefits of job purposing. I’ve shared that job purposing, defined as helping others or a charitable cause through work, improves your job satisfaction, work performance, and mental health. It even makes you wealthier! Yet, job purposing isRead More Is your team sick of purpose? Audience members sometimes ask to hire me to deliver the “the exact” speech they heard me give. I typically agree. Then I fail. I add a story, fold in new data, twist the ending or otherwise change the presentation I’m supposed to leave untouched. When reviewing my slides ahead ofRead More It’s not just work University of Illinois professor, Archie Green, spent a lifetime studying the modern folklore of work. He listened to the songs, recited the poems and read the novels that related to labor. What did he conclude is our fundamental belief about work? “I work, therefore I am.”[1] It sounds ludicrous, asRead More Are your coworkers mostly good or mostly evil? Inner Giver vs Inner Egotist Except for extreme sociopaths, we’re all born with an inclination to contribute to the welfare of others without expectation of a reward (see evidence in prior posts). We have what I call an Inner Giver. And, yes, this includes your coworkers. Unless you recently ingestedRead More The nasty thing that undermines your management Imagine that a vicious competitor secretly installed an evil device in your company’s lobby. Without workers knowing, the contraption zaps away half their motivation and productivity. Perky people approach the building, but wilted workers arrive at your meeting. Guess what? If your company is like most, that nasty demotivating deviceRead More Six ways to ignite purpose at work, starting with the job interview In October 2017, the Boston Red Sox offered Alex Cora the team manager position, a promotion from the second-in-command role he had with the Houston Astros. Cora wanted the job but had one condition. The job candidate asked his prospective employer to provide a plane full of supplies to helpRead More Is this why you’re acting selfishly? A group of students is asked to walk to another building to deliver a speech. They encounter a man slumped in a doorway, coughing and groaning. Unbeknownst to the students, the man is a hired actor. This Princeton University experiment found that students who possessed one particular thing were sixRead More One AWEsome step towards purposeful work   We modern people aren’t quite right Are you willing to mess with your job to make a meaningful difference, or to job purpose, as this practice is called? Are you clueless as to how? If you answered yes twice, this post is for you. Before I share an awesomeRead More Whatever your cause, keep talking I’m finally under the covers, as inert as an overcooked vegetable, in my hotel bed. My mind relaxes into the sleep I’ve pined for all day. Ahhh. Then I hear it. I’m startled awake. Irate. “Ugh. I last slept 3000 air miles and 18 hours ago! I’m too tired toRead More At work, should you keep emotions in check? As soon as I conclude my presentation, the grey-bearded foreman in the first row sprints to the podium. “You were a perfect 10” he tells me. “Until 5 minutes ago. Then you blew it.” He holds his session evaluation up to my face. Under “overall assessment,” the rating on whichRead More DARE to bring purpose to your workday My sister, Iginia, and I are on a mountain ledge peering down a steep slope. We’re gawking instead of skiing this run because of its thick layer of ice. It will rebuff any ski edge and, thus, send us careening down several hundred feet. Backtracking is not an option. IRead More Woman in gorilla suit reveals why you can’t job purpose Job purposing is simple: Do small acts through work to help others or a charitable cause. The garbage worker in Turkey salvages books in good condition for low-income families. The California hairdresser becomes trained in domestic-violence services to aid clients she suspects are victims. The marketing associate in Wisconsin givesRead More A man who loved every job he ever had shares how it’s done The civil engineer leans against his desk. “Want to know the best part of my work?” he asks. I, the only other person in his office, nod vigorously enough for a crowd. The engineer pulls his khaki pants over his sizable belly and walks past his MIT diploma to aRead More Is the season’s spirit of giving a natural thing? [tm_pb_section admin_label=”section”][tm_pb_row admin_label=”row”][tm_pb_column type=”4_4″][tm_pb_text admin_label=”Text” text_orientation=”left” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”] Peony, being elderly and arthritic, moves with difficulty. Fortunately, members of her community fetch what she needs and steady her as she hobbles to social gatherings. Why do these individuals, most of whom are unrelated to Peony, help her without anyRead More If your job is just “OK,” you might not be Most of us will take half our waking breaths at work. As if this hefty contribution of time weren’t enough, we also invest emotionally. We agonize over a conflict with a colleague, obsess over a forthcoming presentation, rejoice in attaining a quarterly goal and otherwise live the ups and downsRead More What’s worse than working while sleep deprived? We’ve all suffered through it. Whether it’s because of a sick child, late-night concert or, in my case, ridiculous vampire novel, we’ve showed up to work sleep deprived. We try to excel but can’t drum up motivation. Caring about the quality of our product or attentively listening to a coworkerRead More Your most undervalued trait Raul is why I changed college majors, attended graduate school, started my business, donated to charity last week and wrote this post. I came across Raul in Caracas, Venezuela, when I was nine years old. I was staring out the passenger-side window of the family air-conditioned sedan trying to tuneRead More White supremacy: What’s a CEO to do? If you’re an American business leader, this week likely threw you into a professional conundrum: Should you take a public stand against white supremacy knowing you’ll jump into treacherous political waters? Brands have traditionally been mute on political issues and active only in apolitical societal causes — reading to children,Read More You won’t believe what increases income Are you motivated to strengthen your community, clean up our environment or otherwise make a positive social impact? If so, such a sense of purpose might help your finances. Research by Anthony Burrow and three other academics uncovered a positive causal relationship between purpose and wealth. (I’m naming only Burrow as he’sRead More What gets the Yankees playing their best? During one particular week in each of the last nine seasons, the New York Yankees have won 72% of games. This not only beats their regular record, which is 56% wins, it also beats the best team in baseball on almost any day (for example, the Houston Astros lead theRead More Adam Smith, founder of CSR Last week a Fortune 500 executive told me he was “personally interested in [company name] making a positive social impact.” After a pause he added “But, obviously, economists would caution that corporate social responsibility is financially imprudent.” Like this gentleman, many of us assume the great economic thinkers disapproved ofRead More Want to dig your job? Work like a caveman (or cavewoman) Think your fancy modern job is better than the primitive jobs of our ancestors? Maybe not. It’s unlikely cave dwellers grumbled about the day they endured to put dinner on their stone tables. Anthropologists believe pre-historic humans legitimately enjoyed working. The legacy of these happy laborers appears to survive inRead More Six small acts that ignite purpose at work Does your job feel bland and purposeless? Do you like your work but still yearn for a more meaningful existence? I suggest messing with your job — just a tad — to ignite it with purpose. You can help homeless families, protect the natural environment, support customers battling illness orRead More Why making others yawn is a good thing You’re with your spouse at your favorite restaurant after an arduous workday that started pre-sunrise. Understandably, you yawn while your honey shares an eye-opening LinkedIn post. Before you blurt out an apology, something odd happens. Your spouse yawns! They slept in, had a leisurely afternoon and had so much energyRead More A rebel’s path to fulfilling work It’s probable that right this moment… A valet parking attendant is inspecting tires and, if any are bald, will alert the car’s owner. A fitness-loving construction inspector is writing an internal blog to help her colleagues adopt healthy behaviors. A safety officer at a chemical manufacturing plant is telling workersRead More A surprising prescription for your broken heart My client, Jane, said “This election has turned me into a pathetic soft sack of emotion. I’m so saddened that I can barely function.” The next day I asked if she felt any better. “Not really. I left work early to get a pedicure. It didn’t help.” It doesn’t takeRead More Can menial be meaningful? “You can’t help me. I manage mostly wait staff who only work for the paycheck.” Ron, the owner of several restaurants, tells me this upon hearing that I help companies expand the societal impact of jobs, a practice called job purposing. Ron believes some jobs – like nursing – promoteRead More Does your to-do list put you to sleep? “Ouch, my knee!” I whine into the, mercifully, empty bedroom. Two days post-surgery, I’ve awoken from drug-induced slumber to the sight of my bandaged leg atop several pillows. I wonder if the eight screws the surgeon inserted into my shinbone are tap dancing. As fond as I am of thisRead More Is bribery the best you got? “I was offered a wonderful job promoting ocean restoration!” my beaming Georgetown student, Lisa, tells me. Before I shriek my congratulations, she deflates. “It would be a 30 percent pay cut, so I doubt I can take it.” Lisa was considering a move from a corporate to a nonprofit marketingRead More Stop searching for your life’s purpose “I don’t know what my purpose is,” my friend, Rachel, confesses. She’s uncomfortable admitting this to the person who regularly gives impassioned presentations on workplace purpose. She shouldn’t be. I, a certifiable purpose zealot, don’t know what my life’s purpose is either. And you know what? I’m happy lacking aRead More Man laughs his way to a purposed job Scammer email: I need an investor to invest 300000$ in farming that will yield profit of 6000000$ in eight months [sic] James’ response: What sort of farming are we talking about? Will I need to milk a cow? Scammer: No cow business but snail farm only  James: How are weRead More Are you overlooking this cause of disengagement? “Will this ever end?” Brom’s question, murmured only to himself and maybe the gods, refers to his stonemasonry shift. He studies this cluster of cut stones. It looks meager in the shadow of Dain’s towering pile. This adds to Brom’s frustration from failing the certification test that Dain passed. Dain catches Brom admiring his work, winksRead More The most annoyingly happy workers on earth Imagine tomorrow you walk into your office and your furniture has been replaced with frumpy hand-me-downs and your computer with a slower older model. When your system finally springs to life, an email from your direct superior awaits. It says your compensation has been cut 10 percent. Naturally, this downgraded work situation would dampen yourRead More

Illustrated blog

To support grieving colleagues, ask “How are you today?” Then listen. Sheryl Sandberg discovered that adding “today” transforms the customary “How are you?” from a prompt for a perfunctory “fine” into a caring invitation to share.

Help grieving colleagues by adding a word to your greeting

One in five of our colleagues are returning with the workplace carrying the pain of having lost a loved one during this pandemic. The Purposeful Palm’s suggestion is one simple way to aid healthy workplace grieving. But there are many others. See, for example, “Facing Grief at Work” by Susan

Read More
Give your employees free housecleaning. All employees will love it and those who are mothers might kiss you.

A wonderful perk for working mothers

In the United States, women are five times more likely to do the majority of household cleaning and laundry (not to mention seven times more likely to do the majority of childcare), according to Gallup. The tech company Akraya already follows the Purposeful Palm‘s tip. They offer employees free housekeeping twice

Read More
Step 1: Sit comfortably by a natural feature —a stream, garden or, better yet, talking palm tree. : ) Step 2: Take 8 minutes to look, listen, study, relish it. Step 3: Take 2 minutes to answer: What gift did my slice of nature just give me and how will I use it?

A fast Earth Day celebration

PS: The tip is from the Purposeful Palm that is outside my home office. It suggested it when I looked out my window wondering how we could honor Earth Day during our constrained yet busy era.

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For Goodness Sake, Be Repetitive Whatever you did to merit that heartfelt “thank you!” in your inbox, do it again! This time for someone else.

For goodness sake, be repetitive

We are living in complex times. It’s fine to repeat proven ways to do good at work. Not everything worthwhile is an innovation. PS: If you’re just learning of the Purposeful Palm, it’s the tree outside my office window that my gaze lands on when I’m stuck, looking for ideas or trying

Read More
Ask yourself every work morning, “Who will I pleasantly surprise today?” The Purposeful Palm thanks Dr. Angela Demaree for this job-purposing practice.

The Purposeful Palm takes a surprising turn

The above Purposeful Palm tip was shared by Dr. Angela Demaree when she interviewed me (Bea Boccalandro) on her Beyond the Stethoscope podcast. If you doubt that your surprises will make a difference, know that the book Compassionomics by Anthony Mazzarelli and Stephen Trzeciak found that a 40-second caring interaction improves the wellbeing of

Read More
Be patient when a coworker who had been progressing, regresses. Set backs are part of every growth journey.

A lesson from the Chinese Ox

To welcome the year of the Ox this Chinese New Year, the Purposeful Palm is sharing what it learned from studying the 10 Ox Herding pictures, a series of drawings and short poems that describe the stages of progress toward Zen enlightenment.

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“Lack of workplace purpose is the biggest culprit in job dissatisfaction. ” From “Why Your Values Belong at Work” by Bea Boccalandro Harvard Business Review

A shameless plug for Bea’s HBR Article

This week, the Purposeful Palm is apparently suggesting you read an article I wrote for Harvard Business Review last week. I hope you find it inspiring, informative or otherwise of value. Go to article.

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Purposeful Palm image 1-4-21

A simple New Year’s resolution that delivers high return

It’s that simple! At the time of the appointment, start exploring what you might contribute and then go do it. Half the effort —and fun — will be selecting the good deed of the week. Consider searching for options in your company’s volunteer program, resource groups or other employee programs.

Read More
This holiday season... Show everyone the same tenderness you would a loved one experiencing divorce.

Be very tender-hearted this holiday season

Yes, the Purposeful Palm is right: A report published by the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen suggests that the 2020 global decline in happiness is as sharp as if all eight billion of us were divorcing. The study also found that for every 100 new COVID-19 cases another 7,200 people, on average, become anxious.

Read More

Don’t expect too much from money

In honor of Tuesday’s launch of Do Good At Work: How Simple Acts of Social Purpose Drive Success and Wellbeing, the above tip from the Purposeful Palm is a quote from the book that is apropos of Black Friday.

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Talk Your Way Into a Greater Ingroup. Mention to your work connections what you have in common with them (use list from last week’s tip). “You and I have new supervisors we have not met in person. How’s that going for you?” for example. Now BOTH of you are more likely to benefit from a bigger ingroup.

Talk your way into a greater ingroup

The above tip from the Purposeful Palm outside my office window builds on last week’s tip. Last week it suggested we reflect on the similarities we have with those we work with. As you see, this week it suggests we go one step further. If you haven’t already, please review last week’s post to

Read More
Think Your Way to a Greater Ingroup. When you plan your workday, list the individuals with whom you will meet and one thing you have in common with each-college kids at home, a recent promotion or a love for surfing, for example.

Think your way to a greater ingroup

The Purposeful Palm’s advice might seem frivolous, but repositioning how we think of others could very well improve our relationships. It can bring people who aren’t in our ingroup, which consists of those who give us a sense of belonging and we are inclined to support, into it. Research has discovered, for example, that after fans

Read More
#6: Work less for democracy. Whatever work you plan to do over the next month, do less of it and do more for democracy. Why not take vacation on November 3 to staff a poll site or spend Fridays on phone banks instead of sales calls? The saddest words in every language are “If only I had…” Let’s ensure we aren’t saying this to each other in 2O21 or to our children in 2O31.

Work less for democracy

When I gazed at the palm outside my office window searching for inspiration, it offered the above advice. Together we can ensure that all Americans with the right to vote have a safe opportunity to do so. Here are several organizations that offer volunteer opportunities to support a fair and

Read More
Purposeful Palm image 5

Buy good

As you might remember, last week’s tip for a meaningful workweek from the Purposeful Palm was to forgo meat. My favorite reader response was from Ernesto: “No way, Bea. I love parrilla [bar-b-q]! Try to get your little plant to give me some other advice.” After the Palm stopped chuckling,

Read More
Purposeful Palm image 3

Shine the limelight on others

When I stared at the Purposeful Palm outside my office window this week, it suggested we help with the other pandemic afflicting us: social isolation. In our work-at-home reality, many of our colleagues feel as though they have faded into the background, neither heard nor seen. The resulting loneliness can

Read More
Drawing of a palm tree with this message: Look through your work contacts/emails for someone who has been supportive, upbeat, hardworking or otherwise great. Write them a 1-3 sentence thank-you email. Set a reminder to repeat this exercise in 2 days. On the second round, thank someone who has a different racial background from yours. Finally, reflect on and relish your acts of social purpose!

Meaning through gratitude

I spend a lot of time gazing out my office window at a palm tree wondering how to ignite a sense of purpose in whatever work team I’m trying to help. It turns out the tall palm often has surprisingly helpful, simple and broadly applicable ideas. Above is one. The

Read More
Bored worker cartoon

How to turn our idle team into a post-pandemic powerhouse

Is there a productive assignment we can give our work-at-home team members who don’t have enough to do? I believe there is. And it happens to also serve the world. For many managers, COVID-19 is an opportunity to invite idle or semi-idle employees to develop social-purpose skills (defined as their

Read More
Flowers in hand cartoon

Something in our midst is more contagious than COVID-19

To help people turn COVID-19 “sadness into song,” as his website put it, a music composer gave away $20 downloads in March. This action inspired a musician in Massachusetts who benefitted from a $20 freebie to establish a collaborative music website “to promote peace, understanding, healing and happiness.” This, in turn, nudged a

Read More
Lyft driver cartoon

From small talk to significant talk

I climb into Kevin’s Lyft vehicle. It has holes in the seat and reeks of day-old tuna fish. “How is it possible that he has a perfect five-star rating?” I wonder. After a few minutes of chit chat, Kevin asks if I know anybody with Down’s Syndrome. When I tell

Read More
Three Profs cartoon

Top CSR academic study of 2019

What happens when your company shares information on its corporate social responsibility (CSR) with potential hires? I’m glad you asked! Daniel Hedblom and John List from the University of Chicago and Brent Hickman from Washington University in St. Louis have a stunning evidence-based answer. In fact, their research is my

Read More
Alan Rozanski cartoon

How to de-stress in five friendly minutes

I’m on stage in Atlanta facing 350 awards-banquet attendees. I start my keynote by asking participants to assess how anxious they are on a scale of one to ten, with one being “not at all” and ten being “extremely.” Then I ask them to do a work-related charitable act that

Read More
Gwen Migita cartoon

Job purposing makes you a better leader

I spent nine hours crafting a metrics plan for a job-purposing project. The client responded that it was so “random and disjointed” that it gave her a headache. I typically think, if not say, something like “the heck with you” to criticism like this. (Were I capable of profanity, my

Read More
Studs Terkel cartoon

So sorry for your inversion

I arrived home from college one summer to find newspaper strewn between my parents’ teak furniture.  Atop each sheet was a different hunk of greasy machinery. My sixteen-year-old brother, Alfredo, had bought and disassembled a derelict Volkswagen beetle with the intent of transforming it into a functioning vehicle. As the

Read More
Alice Waters cartoon larger

Should you follow your passion?

Chopping chives, frying fish, beating batter, or otherwise preparing food makes me borderline homicidal. I dislike the feeling of sticky hands, of splattering oil, of puffs of flour, and of seemingly every culinary sensation. What if my kitchen duties were part of a job that was “purposed,” meaning it made a

Read More
Brene Brown cartoon

The underbelly of job purposing

I have a confession. I’ve written and spoken, some might say ad nauseam, about the evidence-based benefits of job purposing. I’ve shared that job purposing, defined as helping others or a charitable cause through work, improves your job satisfaction, work performance, and mental health. It even makes you wealthier! Yet, job purposing is

Read More
Conan Doyle cartoon

Is your team sick of purpose?

Audience members sometimes ask to hire me to deliver the “the exact” speech they heard me give. I typically agree. Then I fail. I add a story, fold in new data, twist the ending or otherwise change the presentation I’m supposed to leave untouched. When reviewing my slides ahead of

Read More
Archie Green cartoon

It’s not just work

University of Illinois professor, Archie Green, spent a lifetime studying the modern folklore of work. He listened to the songs, recited the poems and read the novels that related to labor. What did he conclude is our fundamental belief about work? “I work, therefore I am.”[1] It sounds ludicrous, as

Read More
Frans de Waal cartoon

Are your coworkers mostly good or mostly evil?

Inner Giver vs Inner Egotist Except for extreme sociopaths, we’re all born with an inclination to contribute to the welfare of others without expectation of a reward (see evidence in prior posts). We have what I call an Inner Giver. And, yes, this includes your coworkers. Unless you recently ingested

Read More
Charles Antis Quote job purposing cartoon by Bea Boccalandro

The nasty thing that undermines your management

Imagine that a vicious competitor secretly installed an evil device in your company’s lobby. Without workers knowing, the contraption zaps away half their motivation and productivity. Perky people approach the building, but wilted workers arrive at your meeting. Guess what? If your company is like most, that nasty demotivating device

Read More
Pema Chodron cartoon portrait

Is this why you’re acting selfishly?

A group of students is asked to walk to another building to deliver a speech. They encounter a man slumped in a doorway, coughing and groaning. Unbeknownst to the students, the man is a hired actor. This Princeton University experiment found that students who possessed one particular thing were six

Read More
Small self job purposing cartoon by Bea Boccalandro

One AWEsome step towards purposeful work

  We modern people aren’t quite right Are you willing to mess with your job to make a meaningful difference, or to job purpose, as this practice is called? Are you clueless as to how? If you answered yes twice, this post is for you. Before I share an awesome

Read More
Tree Hugger Cartoon by Bea Boccalandro

Whatever your cause, keep talking

I’m finally under the covers, as inert as an overcooked vegetable, in my hotel bed. My mind relaxes into the sleep I’ve pined for all day. Ahhh. Then I hear it. I’m startled awake. Irate. “Ugh. I last slept 3000 air miles and 18 hours ago! I’m too tired to

Read More
Sign prohibiting emotions at work job purposing cartoon by Bea Boccalandro

At work, should you keep emotions in check?

As soon as I conclude my presentation, the grey-bearded foreman in the first row sprints to the podium. “You were a perfect 10” he tells me. “Until 5 minutes ago. Then you blew it.” He holds his session evaluation up to my face. Under “overall assessment,” the rating on which

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Cliff edge cartoon by Bea Boccalandro

DARE to bring purpose to your workday

My sister, Iginia, and I are on a mountain ledge peering down a steep slope. We’re gawking instead of skiing this run because of its thick layer of ice. It will rebuff any ski edge and, thus, send us careening down several hundred feet. Backtracking is not an option. I

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Job purposing cartoon by Bea Boccalandro

Woman in gorilla suit reveals why you can’t job purpose

Job purposing is simple: Do small acts through work to help others or a charitable cause. The garbage worker in Turkey salvages books in good condition for low-income families. The California hairdresser becomes trained in domestic-violence services to aid clients she suspects are victims. The marketing associate in Wisconsin gives

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Monkey job purposing cartoon by Bea Boccalandro

Is the season’s spirit of giving a natural thing?

[tm_pb_section admin_label=”section”][tm_pb_row admin_label=”row”][tm_pb_column type=”4_4″][tm_pb_text admin_label=”Text” text_orientation=”left” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”] Peony, being elderly and arthritic, moves with difficulty. Fortunately, members of her community fetch what she needs and steady her as she hobbles to social gatherings. Why do these individuals, most of whom are unrelated to Peony, help her without any

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Existential crisis pie cartoon by Bea Boccalandro

If your job is just “OK,” you might not be

Most of us will take half our waking breaths at work. As if this hefty contribution of time weren’t enough, we also invest emotionally. We agonize over a conflict with a colleague, obsess over a forthcoming presentation, rejoice in attaining a quarterly goal and otherwise live the ups and downs

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Sleep deprived @ work cartoon by Bea Boccalandro

What’s worse than working while sleep deprived?

We’ve all suffered through it. Whether it’s because of a sick child, late-night concert or, in my case, ridiculous vampire novel, we’ve showed up to work sleep deprived. We try to excel but can’t drum up motivation. Caring about the quality of our product or attentively listening to a coworker

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Inner Giver job purposing cartoon by Bea Boccalandro

Your most undervalued trait

Raul is why I changed college majors, attended graduate school, started my business, donated to charity last week and wrote this post. I came across Raul in Caracas, Venezuela, when I was nine years old. I was staring out the passenger-side window of the family air-conditioned sedan trying to tune

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Job_purposing_cartoon-by-Bea-Boccalandro

White supremacy: What’s a CEO to do?

If you’re an American business leader, this week likely threw you into a professional conundrum: Should you take a public stand against white supremacy knowing you’ll jump into treacherous political waters? Brands have traditionally been mute on political issues and active only in apolitical societal causes — reading to children,

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Job_purposing_cartoon-by-Bea-Boccalandro

You won’t believe what increases income

Are you motivated to strengthen your community, clean up our environment or otherwise make a positive social impact? If so, such a sense of purpose might help your finances. Research by Anthony Burrow and three other academics uncovered a positive causal relationship between purpose and wealth. (I’m naming only Burrow as he’s

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Job_purposing_cartoon-by-Bea-Boccalandro

What gets the Yankees playing their best?

During one particular week in each of the last nine seasons, the New York Yankees have won 72% of games. This not only beats their regular record, which is 56% wins, it also beats the best team in baseball on almost any day (for example, the Houston Astros lead the

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Job_purposing_cartoon-by-Bea-Boccalandro

Adam Smith, founder of CSR

Last week a Fortune 500 executive told me he was “personally interested in [company name] making a positive social impact.” After a pause he added “But, obviously, economists would caution that corporate social responsibility is financially imprudent.” Like this gentleman, many of us assume the great economic thinkers disapproved of

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Cavemen cartoon-by-Bea-Boccalandro

Want to dig your job? Work like a caveman (or cavewoman)

Think your fancy modern job is better than the primitive jobs of our ancestors? Maybe not. It’s unlikely cave dwellers grumbled about the day they endured to put dinner on their stone tables. Anthropologists believe pre-historic humans legitimately enjoyed working. The legacy of these happy laborers appears to survive in

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ModicumOfMeaning cartoon-by-Bea-Boccalandro

Six small acts that ignite purpose at work

Does your job feel bland and purposeless? Do you like your work but still yearn for a more meaningful existence? I suggest messing with your job — just a tad — to ignite it with purpose. You can help homeless families, protect the natural environment, support customers battling illness or

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Yawn-Job_purposing_cartoon-by-Bea-Boccalandro

Why making others yawn is a good thing

You’re with your spouse at your favorite restaurant after an arduous workday that started pre-sunrise. Understandably, you yawn while your honey shares an eye-opening LinkedIn post. Before you blurt out an apology, something odd happens. Your spouse yawns! They slept in, had a leisurely afternoon and had so much energy

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Stretchy job description cartoon-by-Bea-Boccalandro

A rebel’s path to fulfilling work

It’s probable that right this moment… A valet parking attendant is inspecting tires and, if any are bald, will alert the car’s owner. A fitness-loving construction inspector is writing an internal blog to help her colleagues adopt healthy behaviors. A safety officer at a chemical manufacturing plant is telling workers

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Pedicure cartoon-by-Bea-Boccalandro

A surprising prescription for your broken heart

My client, Jane, said “This election has turned me into a pathetic soft sack of emotion. I’m so saddened that I can barely function.” The next day I asked if she felt any better. “Not really. I left work early to get a pedicure. It didn’t help.” It doesn’t take

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Yvon Chouinard cartoon-by-Bea-Boccalandro

Can menial be meaningful?

“You can’t help me. I manage mostly wait staff who only work for the paycheck.” Ron, the owner of several restaurants, tells me this upon hearing that I help companies expand the societal impact of jobs, a practice called job purposing. Ron believes some jobs – like nursing – promote

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Snoozing employee cartoon-by-Bea-Boccalandro

Does your to-do list put you to sleep?

“Ouch, my knee!” I whine into the, mercifully, empty bedroom. Two days post-surgery, I’ve awoken from drug-induced slumber to the sight of my bandaged leg atop several pillows. I wonder if the eight screws the surgeon inserted into my shinbone are tap dancing. As fond as I am of this

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JobInterview-job-purposing-cartoon-by-Bea-Boccalandro

Is bribery the best you got?

“I was offered a wonderful job promoting ocean restoration!” my beaming Georgetown student, Lisa, tells me. Before I shriek my congratulations, she deflates. “It would be a 30 percent pay cut, so I doubt I can take it.” Lisa was considering a move from a corporate to a nonprofit marketing

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Cavemen by water Job_purposing_cartoon-by-Bea-Boccalandro

Stop searching for your life’s purpose

“I don’t know what my purpose is,” my friend, Rachel, confesses. She’s uncomfortable admitting this to the person who regularly gives impassioned presentations on workplace purpose. She shouldn’t be. I, a certifiable purpose zealot, don’t know what my life’s purpose is either. And you know what? I’m happy lacking a

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James Veitch cartoon-by-Bea-Boccalandro

Man laughs his way to a purposed job

Scammer email: I need an investor to invest 300000$ in farming that will yield profit of 6000000$ in eight months [sic] James’ response: What sort of farming are we talking about? Will I need to milk a cow? Scammer: No cow business but snail farm only  James: How are we

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Peter-Drucker-cartoon-by-Bea-Boccalandro

Are you overlooking this cause of disengagement?

“Will this ever end?” Brom’s question, murmured only to himself and maybe the gods, refers to his stonemasonry shift. He studies this cluster of cut stones. It looks meager in the shadow of Dain’s towering pile. This adds to Brom’s frustration from failing the certification test that Dain passed. Dain catches Brom admiring his work, winks

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Pyramid of purpose cartoon-by-Bea-Boccalandro

The most annoyingly happy workers on earth

Imagine tomorrow you walk into your office and your furniture has been replaced with frumpy hand-me-downs and your computer with a slower older model. When your system finally springs to life, an email from your direct superior awaits. It says your compensation has been cut 10 percent. Naturally, this downgraded work situation would dampen your

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