June 21, 2019

Every week, people ask me how Audrey is doing (note: if you’re just joining this series, Audrey is my wife, and she’s in the process of being treated for colon cancer, which was discovered around nine months ago). We have several hundred friends keeping up with our journey via email and dozens of others who ask in person. I provide the facts and figures, the next steps, and then I shock my inquisitors. I tell them that all through chemotherapy,… Read more

June 21, 2019

The last quarter of 2018 was “the alternative reality” quarter of the year for Audrey and I. We found out in mid-October that a routine colonoscopy had turned up anything but a routine result. Audrey had cancer. November was filled with further tests and preparations for surgery. December was chewed up with major surgery and a minor follow-up one to deal with a complication from the first.  Lots of hospital time. So it was a massive relief that we were… Read more

June 21, 2019

Dr. H is a world renown expert in colorectal surgery. After an M.D. from Columbia University, postdocs and various residencies, he’s been performing colon related surgery for roughly fifteen years. He is articulate. He is serious and sincere. He did two procedures on Audrey (my wife).  And he uses the word “poop.” I don’t know if this surprises you. His vocabulary was a pleasant surprise to me — a breath of normalcy when our lives were being sucked into a… Read more

June 21, 2019

  Nothing will rob you of your sense of control like the word “cancer.” In my last post, I shared how Audrey’s (my wife of 31 years) cancer diagnosis ambushed us and plunged us into the world of medical practitioners. One of the upsides to this experience (and there are a number of them) has been a front row seat to witness and benefit from the work of amazing medical professionals here in New York City. Another has to do… Read more

June 21, 2019

Facing the Unthinkable.  “Cancer.” That word came to me in a text from Audrey, my wife. What we thought was a nothing — a tiny polyp removed during a routine colonoscopy, was cancer. Not pre-cancer, not “a little abnormality,” but cancer. She got the message while she was at work from the doctor who performed the colonoscopy. A brief phone call with very little context and zero bedside manner. No perspective, just cancer. Both of us have demanding jobs which we… Read more

May 1, 2019

The Stress Series Epilogue: Coping How do people like you cope with work stress? We’ve been asking this question and to this point, we have 3 leading answers: Prayer, 55% Escape through TV, film and surfing, 37% Work more hours, 34% We’ve offered insights aimed at helping you deal more effectively throughout this series, so let’s see how the most popular methods stack up. I’ll take them in order and reflect a bit on why they work and also offer a… Read more

May 1, 2019

  Stress and Work-Life Balance During the question and answer at a recent workshop, a gentleman asked what he should do about his four-hour daily commute. Let’s call him Mr. Fourhour. Two hours each way to work. He felt that God had given him his job. The work was a good fit, the pay was excellent, and it seemed to be a platform for spiritual as well as professional impact. He also felt that he could not uproot his family and… Read more

May 1, 2019

  Ambiguity is causing you stress. Ambiguity is causing you stress at work. Not knowing is actually worse than knowing the worst.  I attribute this line of thinking to one of my mentors, Bobb Bheil, who was fond of saying “When you know all the facts, decisions become easy.” I know ambiguity causes stress. It causes me stress in my life and work, and it is causing you stress as well. We have done some research to identify the top… Read more

May 1, 2019

  VOCA, the company I lead, has been conducting research into sources of your stress at work.  In this post, we reveal the number one source of stress as reported by our poll takers. Prepare yourself to be underwhelmed. With almost 500 pieces of data in, the bottom line is not that surprising. The number one cause of stress at work is stress, that is, the overwhelming demands of the job. We are overwhelmed with seemingly equally important tasks, priorities,… Read more

March 7, 2019

Unprecedented stress! If you think your work is more and more defined by stress, you are not alone.  Knowledge@Wharton, the publishing platform for the famous business school, suggests we are living in an age of unprecedented work stress: “Global competition, downsizing and the constant state of being electronically tethered to the office are combining to create a perhaps unprecedented level of stress” (see Knowledge@Wharton, http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/stressed-work-youre-alone/). I have to imagine that trying to grow crops in a desert climate or fighting with… Read more

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