Lisa Wagner


Our Relationship with Relationships

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Part of growing our interpersonal aptitude is recognizing our interpersonal differences. From the increasing demand for Soft Skills in technical workers, to the growth in Net Promotor Score, Account Based Marketing, and other affinity-driven marketing models, relationships are everywhere in business buzz. As they should be! Little gets done in the business world without alignment and agreement. We need clients to hire us, bosses to authorize projects, loyal customers to […]

The Road That Built You

7. Fragility I

Retrospection is well-established as a critical business tool. Whether we’re comparing this year’s sales results to last year’s, providing employee feedback, or analyzing a project’s success, we all agree on the value of looking backward in time, to see what it can teach us. However, when it comes to the personal, we often discourage each other from too much looking back. We have a library of cliches and platitudes. “Don’t […]

Your Culture is Killing You

Taped Shut Bronze Angel, 2019
Patina bronze
25 x 16 x 18 inches

If you’ve brushed up against corporate hiring practices lately, you’ve probably encountered the concept of Culture Fit—the idea that you should screen job applicants so that you only hire people whose beliefs and behaviors will integrate smoothly into your organization. It’s true that hiring people who don’t integrate well with your company culture can be highly disruptive. If you bring highly-competitive people into a highly-collaborative environment, or order-takers into an […]

Buying Time

Truong Tran, Fraternal Twins

Great-Grandma My great-grandmother had a cross-stitch sampler on her kitchen wall, that read: Use it Up Wear it Out Make it Do Do Without This was her ethos. She had always known scarcity and hard-scrabble. Her grandparents were all pioneers – one of her grandmothers traveled from the Mississippi to the Rocky Mountains on foot. She was born into poverty, the middle of five children. Her father died when she […]

Diversity is Not Skin-Deep

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My parents met at the famous Max’s Kansas City bar in Manhattan, in 1966. A couple of privileged white kids. Him from an affluent family, spending his whole childhood in the town where the Great Gatsby took place. Her, on a full NYU scholarship, hailing from the Bay Area, the daughter of scientists. They actually weren’t that privileged. Dad is Jewish and, during that privileged childhood, a global war broke […]

Life is What Happens While You Were Making Other Plans

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“Where do you see yourself in five years?” This question is so common, it’s become an interview cliché. But the first time I was asked, I didn’t know about any of that, I was simply unprepared. I didn’t have a good answer, nor did I want to. Five years seemed like forever, and I hadn’t been living with any kind of long-term plans. I was 28 years old, supporting my […]