Food, glorious food!

After a year of forced-remote work, Zoom overload, and a substantial loss of work-life balance for many of us, the news is stark: virtual work is here to stay. That is according to workplace expert, Dave Burkus, who I had the privilege of interviewing recently for the Institute of Coaching at Harvard. But the news is not all bad. As Dave points out, research shows that many benefits outweigh the drawbacks once we learn how to optimize our work lives in virtual spaces: we have more work-time flexibility, no commute, can spend less on work “costumes” and can potentially work…


Micro-compassions Might Help

Compassion is contagious…

When I first learned the term “micro-aggressions”, I was taken aback by some of the examples psychology professor, David Wing Sue, used to describe these mini-forms of stereotyping, dismissiveness, and outright cruelty we humans inflict on each other. Taken aback because I realized, as I’m sure many of us have, that if we are truthful about it, we have all participated in some form or another of micro-aggressive behavior, wittingly or not. Whether it is not speaking up or just “going along” when a colleague, friend or relative makes a veiled racial slur (e.g. …


With the best of intentions…

Susie is one of those leaders who are kick-ass self-motivated and always up on the latest fads in personal growth. That’s why I wasn’t surprised that she had stopped setting S.M.A.R.T. goals for herself or her team after reading the multitude of blogs and research articles declaring that goal setting is risky and no longer considered a “best practice” by most leadership gurus. Instead, after noticing that ‘developing good habits’ is all the rage in the blogosphere, she shifted her focus to being aspirational — holding a vision of where she wanted to go — and started introducing and practicing…


Even the best leaders, with the best intentions, have found themselves struggling under the weight of a pandemic that has long since shifted from anomalous irritant to chronic “pain in the @$%#” as my client Peter put it recently during one of our check-ins. “I’m really committed to maintaining an engaged team,” he told me, “but this virtual work thing is draining. I’m concerned that we are all getting burned out on Zoom, and some of my best employees are checking out.”

I was saddened to hear this. Having worked with Peter for many months prior to the pandemic, I…


4 Leadership Lessons I Learned from the Front

In the midst of this pandemic, I have had the privilege of coaching front line health care workers — anesthesiologists, critical care and emergency room physicians who put themselves on the line every day to save lives. I have tried to do what I can, as their coach, to support them through this ordeal. I have also learned a lot about leadership.

When I asked my clients how they cope so well with the crisis, they shared multiple ways in which their leaders have risen to the occasion. There are many lessons…


At a time when we hear daily about AI and the coming replacement of most forms of employment with robots and tech, it may be surprising to hear that coaching is one of the fastest growing professions. Studies have reported a 5–10% annual increase in the number of life, leadership and wellness coaches worldwide — such that today over fifty thousand people make at least part of their sustenance from coaching others. Why such a huge increase?

As someone who has been coaching leaders in a wide array of industries for over twenty years, I sense that desire for the…


When I first met Sophia, she had just been promoted to head a research and development team at the U.S. headquarters of a major pharmaceutical firm and felt a bit apprehensive about managing her new team of six researchers, only one of which was co-located with her in PA. The other team members were in different countries: Netherlands, France, Sri Lanka, Ireland, and Brazil. She not only felt a bit anxious about how to keep them engaged — but wondered how to make them feel like a team at all, given their multiple locations and diverse cultural backgrounds. She told…


When I heard Megan Rapinoe speaking on the news shows about her women’s U.S. soccer team’s victory, I noticed how impactful her communication is: she speaks with a matter-of-fact tone, she speaks quickly but in short, clipped, easy-to-follow sentences, employs focused eye contact and confident body language (some hand gestures but nothing distracting, leaning forward but not looming). Taking advantage of the platform of a winner, she advocates passionately for equity in women’s pay (not just for athletes) and for all people (women, people of color and LGBTQ+ community) to step up, be strong, and claim their spot on the…


If you have seen the most recent Marvel movie “Avengers Endgame” (has anyone not seen it?), then you know that the two major “alpha” characters (Thanos: bad, The Hulk: good) square off near the end in all out-out battle to save the universe. Of course, Hulk, who by the end of the film has learned to control his ‘all-rage-all-the-time’ modus operandi and become “Professor Hulk,” has a multitude of alpha pals to help him in the team effort that finally vanquishes the evil one.

In today’s real world leadership landscape there is a similar, if quiet, revolution taking place, not…


Photo by Mimi Thian on Unsplash

Jeffrey Hull, PhD

If you get most of your information these days from Fox News, CNN or MSNBC, you might be forgiven if you think that the world is becoming a very alpha place. It seems every day we hear about another country boosting an autocratic leader into a position of power. Yet those who work on the ground in today’s organizations see another paradigm emergent on the leadership landscape: the rise of the beta leader. In today’s flatter, networked, structures, where diverse and multi-cultural staff often work in virtual teams, collaboration and engagement are becoming the key drivers of…

Jeffrey hull

Psychologist, leadership coach, writer, Harvard faculty. Author of “FLEX: The Art and Science of Leadership in a Changing World” (2019 Penguin/Random House)

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