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They might be able to get some short-term results and get an immediate mission at hand done. But in the process, they are destroying the organization and destroying their people. — Army Doctrine Publication 6–22

I’ve been lucky to have had some amazing bosses throughout my career. I’ve also seen the cost of bad ones. They can crush innovation, mental health, passion, and more. Sadly, many people come into leadership and management roles lacking many of the key skills required to succeed. …

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This is part 4 of the Twin-Peaks-style saga, Retirement Isn’t All Sunshine and Palm Trees, following part 1, part 2, and part 3.

During our chats with people preparing for or in early retirement, many mentioned that they wouldn’t be able to afford to retire without Social Security supplementing their other savings. They aren’t alone. One in six Americans currently receive Social Security benefits, and the number of elderly recipients is only increasing. By 2031, Americans age 65 and older are projected to nearly double.

While Social Security is only a part of people’s retirement plan, it is an essential…

As head of UX, I’ve learned a valuable lesson: No one likes being controlled; they want to be inspired. When I started as Director of UX, I ran off on my own and wrote clear, measurable team goals that tied to our Tech team strategies. They were amazing! They were going make our team into exactly what I wanted! I was going to take our group of isolated designers that weren’t used to working together and mold them into a collaboration machine that loved talking to our customers. I preached to everyone about what we were going to do and…

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If we want people to fully show up, to bring their whole selves including their unarmored, whole hearts — so that we can innovate, solve problems, and serve people — we have to be vigilant about creating a culture in which people feel safe, seen, heard, and respected. — Brene Brown

When someone tells me they are interested in becoming a manager, I am simultaneously excited and skeptical. I want to make sure they really understand their motives and what they’re getting into. Once I know they’re not just in it for the title, I work with them to assess…

Conway’s Law: “organizations which design systems … are constrained to produce designs which are copies of the communication structures of these organizations.”

It’s amazing how much a company’s culture seeps into and shapes the customer experience. If your company fosters a positive culture, employees will go above and beyond to provide a positive experience for your customers. Does your company have great cross-departmental collaboration? Expect remarkably smooth transitions between touch points. A company that has positivity and compassion woven into its DNA (a.k.a. nirvana) sees better customer experiences, loyalty, and financial performance.

And while a positive culture will lead to…

Whimsy Foods unicorn cake (

There is a tradition in the Type 1 Diabetes community to celebrate each year on the day of diagnosis. My 6-year-old daughter’s first “Diaversary” just came and went. Last December, we found out our five-year-old daughter’s increased thirst and hunger wasn’t from a growth spurt. Her body’s immune system had started attacking her pancreas, the gland responsible for regulating blood sugar by producing insulin and glucagon. She had developed Type 1 Diabetes (T1D).

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Establishing gender balance throughout all levels of an organization is the right thing to do — and it pays.

Gender diversity provides better business results

As businesses compete for market share and increasing profitability, creating great products and services that can be marketed to a broad audience is essential. Embracing gender diversity is a powerful way to help make that happen. A balance of gender on teams introduces a broader range of knowledge, skills, and points of view which results in better products and services. It forces teams to account for situations beyond their personal experiences while creating products and services. This has proven to lead…

My name is Betsy and I’m addicted to triathlon. I’ve been racing for almost 10 years (through two pregnancies). I’ll never be a professional triathlete, so I’m forced to have a day job to pay for my hobby…my very expensive, time-consuming hobby. Thankfully, I have a job I enjoy that helps me pay the bills. Even better, I’ve found that my growth as a triathlete has also made me a better leader.

Here are five leadership lessons my addiction has taught me.

#1: Know where you’re going

In my early years as a triathlete, I really didn’t know how to plan out my race calendar…

I was honored when my friend and classmate from Duke, Lauren Hasson, asked me to be on her Develop[Her] podcast. She was looking to create something for tech women, by tech women. I am always looking for opportunities to support women techies, so I jumped at the chance to be a part of what she was building.

It was wonderful to reconnect with Lauren and talk my experience as I transitioned from an individual contributor role to running a team. I hope that my story can others as they navigate a similar transition or expand their responsibilities. Check it out and let me know what you think!

This is part 3 of the series Retirement Isn’t All Sunshine and Palm Trees. If you missed part 1 or part 2, check them out. If you don’t feel like reading them here’s a summary so far: My Motley Fool colleague, Michele, and I looked into why we were seeing high interest and low retention on our paid Social Security offering. We took the opportunity to study the retirement planning and transition as a whole and where Social Security fit within it.

Retirement Journey

We found that the retirement journey is a long one, filled with uncertainty, mixed feelings, and big decisions…

Betsy Boehm Bland

Product Experience Team Lead and Designer | Mission Driven, User-Focused

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