Tag Archives: Lifestyle

Down-Under or Up-Over: No Fear

Dateline-Melbourne, Australia

Reflecting on a tremendous week in Australia, it’s clear that while the conversations down under sound a lot like the conversations taking place up over, my interactions with a group of top-of-their-game executives is further evidence that the meaning of career is changing…

Lifestyle opportunities:

As organizations become increasingly virtual and global, younger executives seek out opportunities to work and live in different parts of the world. Extended vacations, taken to the extreme; many workers view their careers as tickets to the world, for themselves and their families. To paraphrase the comments of one young ex-patriot, “it was a great opportunity for our kids to learn a second language and experience life in another culture firsthand“.

Dynamic roles and true partnerships:

Increasingly, domestic partners approach the development of their careers as a joint affair, leveraging the opportunities created by one partner without regard to the traditional roles assigned in a double income family. Instead of one partner having a ‘real‘ career and the other simply working to generate a paycheck, double-income teams are combining their two jobs into one career;following opportunities without regard to which partner generated it.

No boundaries:

Industrial-functional typecasting, the belief that experience in an unrelated industry or unrelated function is non-transferable or even a disqualifying factor, seems to be melting away. My discussions this week included, among others, a well-established diamond industry executive seamlessly transitioning into high-tech business development.


During this trip, I also had the privilege of interviewing Abby Walsh, an upcoming cosmetics executive that’s redefining the art of the possible with the warp-speed development of her international sales organization. Abby’s entrepreneurial skills helped her move from first-dollar to 7-digit revenuesin less than a year.  When asked for the one piece of advice she’d give others hoping to emulate her success, the former nurse and mother of three (with another on the way) made it simple…

“If you want to succeed, you have to have the courage to stop being afraid and just do what you already know needs to be done.”

Great advice Abby!!

And a big cheers to all my new Aussie mates – thank you for a great week!

As always, I welcome your comments and questions directly atjeff@jeffkaplan.com.

Stay connected,


What Your Desk Says About You…

Former Saturday Night Live cast member and writer, turned ad executive and Congressional Candidate, Gary Kroeger may be the most creative person I’ve ever met!

Earlier this week, I visited Gary at work. Entering his office, I wasn’t sure if I’d found his desk or stumbled onto the set of Hoarders. There, under a collection of papers, mardi gra beads and what I think was a paper mache’ pig, sat Gary holding a single red stiletto shoe in his hands. He greeted me by saying, “if you have the matching shoe, I’m yours!

The experience got me to thinking, what does your desk say about you?

Research from University of Minnesota suggests:

  • The clutter-inclined are more likely to generate creative ideas,
  • Messy desks promote curiosity and
  • Those hiding in piles of clutter are more willing to try new things.

As someone that’s been fighting the good fight against the muddled mess that is my desk, I take solace in the creative benefits of clutter. However, if your desk can only be described as living proof of your O.C.D., don’t fret:

  • People with clean desks are more generous and
  • Those that live clutter-free generally enjoy healthier lifestyles.

I sincerely hope that Gary finds the owner of the other red stiletto and each of you finds what you are looking for in life… I think it may be somewhere on your desk. 

As always, your questions and comments are welcome at jeff@jeffkaplan.com.

Stay connected,


Some rules of thumb I live by

  1. People are the key to professional, personal and social success
  2. Relationships are a choice
  3. Articulate what you want
  4. Engage with people in mutual support for mutual success
  5. Generosity and service to others is the starting point for outreach
  6. Keep a lifeline group to hold you accountable
  7. Be willing to regularly take a vulnerable look at yourself
  8. Work your plan to reach out to others
  9. Relationships aren’t a set of activities; they are a lifestyle
  10. You have a duty to be a teacher, not just a pupil