Saturday Cup of Joe from Detroit


Image for post
Image for post
Detroit River.

Week 199 in Detroit. The extra day. This means today doesn’t count right? It’s like a free day.

Speaking of days, Wednesday is 3/4. March fourth. My high school social studies teacher like to say, “The only day that’s also a command.” March forth!

Long days and early mornings made for a fast (but productive!) week. This was one of those weeks that I always claim I want — diverse projects, dynamic meetings and intentional time with my team. The catch now is a). enjoy it and b). balance it out. Hopefully next week will come with some earlier evenings and more consistency.

Have a wonderful weekend and thanks, as always, for reading.

“A good leader leads the people from above them. A great leader leads the people from within them.” — M. D. Arnold


A horde of migratory snow geese taken by Dan Hinkle at Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area near Kleinfeltersville, PA. Source: Hiking & Backpacking Pennsylvania by Patti Hinkle.


“Interesting but not actionable is also not helpful.” In fact, interesting might be worse than wrong. Insight or data — that’s wrong — means the project will fail (at least to some degree) only to lead to improvement. Insight or data — that’s interesting — could cause repeated attempts or false belief in the outcome. Interesting AND actionable is ideal. But insight without application is dangerous.

How does this apply to your business? Take an insight — consumers (in a study) offered a free $10 Amazon gift card versus a $20 Amazon gift card for $5 overwhelmingly choose the $10 card. While this represents the power of free, it’s not immediately actionable. It’s interesting and perhaps over time or with some finesse you may be able to apply it to your next marketing campaign, it’s not actionable.

How do you parse interesting from actionable? Do you have a process to get at the actionable insights?

And if you do…

Please share!

Incorporating storytelling into data-based decision-making is the ideal balance of motivating the audience (even an internal audience) to action.


“There’s no free lunch.” Do you still believe that? Visit Google and you’ll find there is free lunch. Free kombucha. Free sushi. Free coconut milk ice cream. But, to cut to the chase, the question is what Google gets in exchange? 50 hours a week. More?

A recent Wired article suggests that Silicon Valley is distorting work culture. Companies far afield from Mountain View, CA are building escape rooms, employing on-call masseuses and giving Fridays off. In exchange, full commitment.

“David Heinemeier Hanson, father of the programming language Ruby on Rails, has called this “trickle-down workaholism” the result of “trying to compress a lifetime’s worth of work into the abbreviated timeline of a venture fund.”

The question is where does it go from here. Do the perks in exchange for the commitment continue to grow or does the pendulum swing toward the worker…? Haha, I couldn’t even finish the question. Let’s be honest. The pendulum is not swinging. The result is not companies with more accommodating schedules and cultures. The future, a future that gives more control back to the team members, could be one where talent is not as a team member but as a freelance consultant. The future may not be a more balanced company but when the team member is their own company.

Some of the #futureofwork theories that I tend to believe are those that predict an employment structure where knowledge workers are employed by contract or agreement and not traditional W-2.

I guess I’ll be paying for my lunch (and my healthcare and computer and 401K).


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Vijendra Singh on Unsplash

Grief is a guide. Grief is part of being all-in. Grief is a reminder … if you love people, if you love storytelling, if you love experiences … grief is a reminder of all that.

In a hard and beautiful essay on the loss of a spouse, Jamie Lombardi showcases Marcus Aurelius’s philosophy toward loss. Aurelius sees pain and loss as a necessary part of embracing life. “Our emotions, even the most painful ones, need not be our enemies if we can learn to think of them as our guides.” A guide through life, in all aspects. A full embrace of life means the grief.

Part of the embrace is the approach that we take toward grief, toward everything. Our narrative is the way we engage with the information we gather in the world. It’s ours. Lombardi writes that our narrative “is a reminder that the narrative we construct around what happens to us is, ultimately, up to us.”

Embracing life means accepting death; accepting death means allowing for (indeed, embracing) grief.


6 Tips of Effective 1:1s, according to FirstRound:

1. Bring at least 3 topics to avoid status update territory.

2. The best questions are just a little awkward. A little uncomfortable is good.

3. Take a sickness vs. symptoms approach to spotting patterns.

4. Stay specific yet empathetic.

5. Performance reviews get easier and more meaningful when 1:1s are working.

6. Add some structure, as needed, to ensure your team knows you take 1:1 easy.


One of my favorite questions is “what does it really cost?” Often projects or proposals are viewed by the invoice total or projected total. How about time spent, missed opportunities while working on it or (if) delays occur? What could it cost?

That question is now being asked about remote work.

Turns out commercial buildings are more energy efficient. But only certain times of the year. And when everyone works from home on a given day, the equation changes again. What it means is that it’s not as simple as one answer or the other. Look deeper and evaluate ways to maximize across all variables. #futureofwork #innovation


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Caleb George on Unsplash

#NextBelt. Top 10 cities, for job seekers, as ranked by Glassdoor.

1. Raleigh

2. Pittsburgh

3. Indianapolis

4. Memphis

5. Cleveland

6. St. Louis

7. Hartford

8. Birmingham

9. Cincinnati

10. Detroit

Yes, Detroit is in the top 10. Also represented Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Cincinnati. These cities represent something beyond the NextBelt. Value. Employers and job seekers are defining value with a wider lens than big cities or perks. Here, value means quality of life, means participation in the community, means an opportunity for homeownership, and means chance to be a part of growth, the future. There’s something to that momentum that makes people want to be in smaller cities like those on the Glassdoor list.


Quote: “…finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson


Bonus Content: The 10 IPOs of 2020. DoorDash gets my vote. If you are looking to take your company public, try this map.

Continued success and continue to answer well,

Written by

Thinker, curious leader, once an attorney…always trying to answer well.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store