Blanchard & Walker Weekly

Topic of the Week  Your Future at Work: Lessons for 2012

Your Future at Work: Lessons for 2012:

  • They're still the boss.
  • Manage your stress.
  • Internot.
  • Break through the clutter.
  • Show, don't tell.

Your Future at Work: Lessons from 2011

Let's face it, 2011 was rough year. An economy going sideways, layoffs, fear of layoffs, foreclosures, a year that many would prefer to forget. If I had to sum up the year in one word it would be "Ooops." Rick Perry said it, but we all lived it. Amidst the wreckage I'm going to offer five of the most interesting stories from 2011, along with specific strategies to help you take to put the lessons to work for you.

They're still the boss. An employee created a Twitter account that had both his name and his company's name in it. He quickly acquired 17,000 followers. When he decided to leave his company it was no big deal, he just changed the name of the blog and thought that the names were his. But his company felt differently and sued him for $340,000, valuing each name at $3.50 a month. When you create something using company equipment and on company time, they are still the boss of you.

Manage your stress. Of all the stress reduction techniques I've heard of, this one is hard to top. Hundreds gathered in Shanghai, China for a big pillow fight recently. Many wrote the names of bosses or professors on their pillow before they started bashing each other. Okay, maybe you can't start a big pillow fight, but you can try to find creative positive addictions to cope with your stress at work.

Internot. I'm as big a fan of the Internet as anyone, but there are some things you just can't do virtually. Like firing someone. Carol Bartz, CEO of Yahoo, doesn't have the greatest reputation. But when she was fired via email it created a wave of sympathy for her. Just because you have all these high tech gizmos, don't forget that some things are still best done face-to-face.

Break through the clutter. Have you heard of Roanald? He applied for a job and his cover letter is easy to find online. From his reference to being Prom King in high school to his gloating about his mastery of Rubik's cube, it's hilarious. The language is probably more colorful than most of us should use, but he is an inspiration to use your creativity to break through the clutter.

Show, don't tell. The Philadelphia 76ers basketball team decided to run an online contest to select a mascot from three possibilities. Jerry Rizzo decided to set up Twitter accounts for each mascot. Initially the team was annoyed and told him to stop. But after seeing all the interest that it generated, they ended up offering him the job as the team's social media coordinator. Everyone can tell an employer what they can do, Rizzo showed 'em. And wowed 'em.

I applaud the creativity and persistence of the stories above. No matter what 2012 throws our way, many of us will rise above it. And I think these stories and lessons could play a key role. Here's to a less volatile and more successful 2012.

Thought of the Week

""You have to understand the past to know the present.""

–Carl Sagan

Blog of the Week

Top Five News Headlines

    List of the Week

    from from U of Texas and U of Michigan via HBR

    CEO: It's lonely at the top

    • When suffering from personal problems, support from family and friends is 53 to 79% weaker than support from fellow CEOs


    • Working off the Clock – Alro Steel FLSA Overtime Pay Lawsuit May 30, 2022

      Federal Court Orders Notice to Alro Steel Employees in Nationwide Overtime Lawsuit

      Blanchard & Walker sent the court approved notice to 2500+ Alro Steel employees who may have a right to seek recover for off-the-clock uncompensated time at Alro Steel facilities throughout the country. Federal District Court Judge Murphy for the Eastern District of Michigan, granted conditional certification and ordered notice of FLSA rights to opt-in for current and former warehouse employees of Alro Steel Corporation. (more…)

    • The End of Forced Arbitration for Survivors of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment March 8, 2022

      On March 3, 2022, President Biden signed the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault & Sexual Harassment Act. This law is one significant step forward in the fight to end arbitration contracts that deny access to the Courts for violations of fundamental workplace rights.

      For far too long, countless survivors, workers, and consumers have been silenced by forced arbitration. (more…)


      News Update: Promised Waivers fall short.  According to recent reporting, the waiver program was much smaller than promised.  Although waivers for 55,000 more claimants is a good step forward, it fell short of the 382,000 promised and as of May 12, 2022 there is still no explanation about when or if more will be coming.