I hate making word and grammar mistakes. I can still vividly remember when I was 17 visiting my sister at the University of Chicago where she was a graduate student and playing Trivial Pursuit with her friends. They were REALLY smart, needless to say, and I read aloud a card mispronouncing the word “municipal.” I thought it was munincipal, with a second “n,” so that’s how I said it, and, I mean, I can still hear the laughter and all of them correcting me. Her friends, not my sister. Even … [Read more...] about The Trouble With Rules
I was talking with a woman named Mary after my dramatization of Sally Field’s memoir this past May. As she looked around the room, she bemoaned the fact that their beloved organization was having trouble recruiting new members. Mary’s not alone. Last year I heard from businesses struggling to convert new prospects, churches seeking to expand their membership, non-profits trying to stay afloat, and people of all ages interviewing for jobs trying to stand out from the crowd. It’s a … [Read more...] about Missed Opportunities and a Lesson from Toy Story 4
Dedicated to our 2019 college graduates: I pointed toward a figure way down below. “There she is! Tenth row on the LEFT.” We were seated in the Allstate Arena attending our first-born’s college graduation. From a vast sea of blue caps and gowns, I had managed to spot our Kaitlin. Twenty minutes into the ceremony my phone buzzed. Text from Kaitlin: “BTW, if ur not sure where i am, i’m on the RIGHT side, row 15.” Oops! Now our son Alex will be graduating in three short weeks. He’s … [Read more...] about 3 Irresistible Storytelling Tips for Acing the Interview
Dear Marie, There’s a book of my father’s that I often return to: Classical Rhetoric. It was one of the first books he used to teach a course by the same name more than 50 years ago. Heady, boring stuff, I guess. Aristotle and the art of persuasion. Syllogisms. Fallacies. Ad Hominem. I know exactly where that old book sits—right on the second shelf of my skinny black IKEA bookcase in the backroom. Even before I open Classical Rhetoric’s familiar blue cover with its well-worn spine, I can … [Read more...] about To: Marie Kondo aka Tidying Up Guru and Book Purger
After a loud outburst from my husband, I knew the Bears’ playoff game was over. Bill emerged from the basement in a combined state of shock and awe. The play-by-play of the final moment—when the Bears were down by one point and Cody Parkey hit the goal post resulting in a devastating loss and end of the Bears’ season—tumbled from his mouth. “But it was a great game,” he said. “The whole season has been unbelievable!!!” The next morning, still reeling, Bill headed off to York H. S., stood … [Read more...] about What’s Holding Your Stories Back?