The empathy, stupid

If you’re old enough, you probably remember the first Bush administration and the arrival of Bill Clinton with the saying, it’s the economy, stupid. Specifically, James Carville’s phrase “The economy, stupid”.

It’s not still the economy. I think we’re to the point where we can safely say it’s “The empathy, stupid” which to me means, the lack thereof.


Good (manager) + empathy = great (manager). True in life and business.

When will we finally figure this out? Talk to each other instead of watching them talk at us. Gather facts and share them. Know where you’re money goes. Vote and know why you’re doing it. Look at the world around you.

Think about people who live differently than you do on a day-to-day basis – without focusing on who has greener grass – and see how that might feel.

That’s all it’s about. Lack of empathy is a bad thing, it creates insecurity. Having empathy makes us individually and collectively stronger. An individual who feels seen, heard and recognized for who they are will be more confident because of a foundation of understanding and connectedness.

Confidence without empathy can quickly become arrogance. Don’t get caught in the trap of believing whoever is louder because loud is only noisier.

The root of the word is confidence is con for a reason.

Recovering from The Impostor Syndrome

If the first step to solving a problem is admitting you have one, I fess up: I suffer from The Impostor Syndrome. Now what?!

Finish the blog post from April of ’16.

From what I’ve gathered while giving myself this diagnosis, I’ve decided everything in my life can be looked at as an illness, or something from which I need to recover. The symptoms can be physical, like any other condition, illness, disorder or affliction.

But – yes there is a big but – this combopack of signs that manifest as a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach or the inability to catch a deep breath are mostly dredged up by self-doubt, questioning and comparing myself to (almost) anyone else.

False evidence appearing real or FEAR as my mom’s mom used to say.

I’m not suggesting denying feelings of fear. I’m testing out the opposite by turning around and staring fear or feelings in the face and saying “hey, what’s up?”

Carl Richards wrote an article called Learning to Deal With the Impostor Syndrome which at least opened my eyes to the fact that I’m far from alone. I also no longer believe that women experience this sense of fraud – or what I’ve referred to as professional deceit – more often than other genders but I doubt it.

For me, the remedy is equal parts undoing and building. Undo the ideas that I have to apologize for wanting to be treated equally to my mostly male counterparts in the work world. Build on the existing foundation of my values, competence and most importantly, confidence.

It’s also gotten clearer to me that I love helping others see how they can avoid, or cure themselves of, their own version of the syndrome.

Remove ads from your Kindle

I resisted getting an e-reader for a while. Finally couple of years ago, before a bunch of travel, I got a Nook. Shiny color screen, access to the internet, email synchronization, games and apps. I abandoned it.

remove ads from PaperwhiteLast summer I saw a friend reading on her Paperwhite. I thought to myself, that’s for me – a reader with a screen that doesn’t reflect my face, no email, internet, games or Facebook.

During the holidays, she thoughtfully gave me one as a gift. I guess I said all that stuff out loud.

The Paperwhite is great. One big complaint: the ads. I found this post, followed the steps and it worked. Voila, no more ads or special offers.

Here are the basic steps using Windows 7:

  • Make sure your folder view is set to “Show hidden files, folders, and drives”.
  • Connect your Kindle to your computer with your USB cable.
  • View your Kindle in Windows Explorer. Open the system folder and you’ll find an .assets folder.
  • Delete the .assets folder.
  • Create a new file in the system folder named .assets by right-clicking on the list of files and folders in system, and select New >Text Document. That creates a file named New Text Document.txt. This is the file that will be named .assets after following the next steps.
  • Open a command prompt window by holding down the Shift key and right-clicking on the system folder, then select Open Command Window Here.
  • This opens a character-based command prompt window (DOS) with a prompt showing the location of the system folder.
  • Enter this command: [rename “New Text Document.txt” .assets] at the prompt to rename the text file.

Thanks very much Ray from Arlington, MA. Keep running and writing.

Just do


I’ve been here, there, not really everywhere but it’s been a while since I’ve put anything here. I was steeped in Facebook. That romance is over.

I’ve walked in the sand, gotten sunburned, waded in solar-heated tide pools, gotten too many bug bites and had a few too many on a few too many nights (and days).

Next? Just say things here. Post photos as they happen. Don’t worry about what any of it means or what anyone else might think.