The Mentorist


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Don’t Go Changing (You Probably Can’t Anyway)

‘Hi. My name is Jane, and I’m a self-helpoholic. It’s been 51 days since I’ve cruised the psychology section of my local book store.’

Apparently, I’m not alone in hoping that a book, an app or a self-proclaimed guru can help me to fundamentally change. Just search the phrase ‘how to change your life’ under the books section of amazon.com. As of 2:00 p.m. today, you’ll have 5,726 titles to choose from. (And counting….)

Self-help is a $12 billion industry, yet evidence is piling up that very few people are capable of categorical change. There’s even a name for the belief that, yes, this time, you’ve got the stuff it takes to transform: false-hope syndrome. [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12237978]

Want to shed your introverted skin and become the life of the party? Morph from a self-centered jerk into Mother Teresa v.2? Good luck with that.

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Getting the Important Stuff Done (or Why You Can’t Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions)

Let’s have a show of hands:  How many of you have kept the New Year’s resolutions you made last January?

Just as I thought.  Me neither.  (In fact, I can’t remember what mine were.  They seemed profound at the time….)

So why are we so bad at accomplishing the stuff that resolutions are made of?  The very stuff that we know will make us better human beings?

Theories abound.  But one put forth by Peter Bregman (a Harvard Business Review contributor and management guru) particularly speaks to me.  The thumbnail: Continue reading


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In-House Lowdown: Proving Your Worth When the Waters Are Calm

‘In-House Lowdown’ is a series of blog posts designed to help lawyers navigate the in-house world.  Its observations are based on my 20+ years as a General Counsel, spent managing legal teams and herding assorted breeds of corporate cats.

I miss Dan Quayle.

His loopy pronouncements meant anyone could write good stand-up comedy.  Better yet, a Quayle quote could so perfectly nail a work frustration of mine that I simply had to step back, laugh and gain some needed perspective.

A case in point:  One of the most difficult political aspects of being an in-house lawyer, I’ve found, is figuring out how to get credit from your business people for legal fiascos that didn’t happen on your watch. Continue reading