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10 posts from March 2013

March 31, 2013

Teens plan to rely on parents: Fitting money lessons into your work life balance

Money

 

Have you ever been so busy and distracted that your teen asks you for money and you hand over a few bucks just to get them out of your hair?

I'm 100 percent guilty of this.

But that's about to change. I just saw a statistic that startled me: Nearly 60 percent of teens said they don't expect to be ready to financially support themselves by age 24 -- a far cry from the same survey by Junior Achievement two years ago, when 75 percent of teens felt the same.

Am I one of those parents who hasn't been making enough time to teach my kids to be financially responsible? Are you?

 

"Parents continue to be the No.1 influence on teens when it comes to money, so helping their teens set financial goals and take steps to meet them should pay off financially for both teens and their parents," said Don Civgin, president and chief executive officer of Allstate Financial.

AOL poses this question: Whose job is it to teach kids how to manage money -- teachers or parents?
 
For a while now, I've been on a rampage, arguing that high schools should require a mandatory class on personal finance. It may be the most important skill a teen learns and I can't understand why schools aren't teaching it. But the reality is, they aren't teaching it and even if they did, it likely will take both teachers and parents to put budgeting and managing money on our teens radars. 
 
April is financial literacy month and it is a good time for you and me to make time for money lessons. 
Here are the five financial lessons experts suggest we take the time to teach our teens before they head off into the world on their own. 

 

 

1. Credit. Teens need to know what it is, what responsibilities come with it, and how credit can increase cash flow but has to be paid back … with interest. (click here for more on how to teach your children about credit)

2. Credit Score. You will need to explain what it is and how the car you drive, the house you live in and the job  you have can all be affected by your credit score

3.  Loans. Explain good versus bad credit by pointing out important entries that have helped you establish a financial identity, such as your  mortgage or car loan.

4. Spending habits. Your kids “are going to be learning by watching you,”  says Sarah, founder of RaisingCEOKids.com and co-author of “The Parents’ Guide to Raising CEO Kids. Use teachable moments to explain why you make certain spending decisions and the consequences of your spending mistakes.

5. Savings. Now that your child is a teenager, you will want to show them how to open a savings account. While your teen may be enthused about earning money from work, you also have to teach him or her not to spend it all, an important lesson in financial management. This will take a bank visit together. You will need to consider fees and requirements, location of the bank, and amount of interest paid on a savings account.

 

I often hear parents say it's  hard to choose between financial security and a decent work life balance. If we teach our kids good money management at an early age, I'm hoping some of those choices we parents confront will be less of an issue for our kids in the future.   

Readers, do you think parents are taking enough time to teach our kids about personal finance? If not, do you think the schools should step in and do it?

March 28, 2013

Would you wear a tracking sensor in the workplace?

Imagine if all of a sudden, your company was able to track your every move during the work day by sticking a sensor in your ID badge. How much would you hate that? I sure would.

Well, it's happening in a big way and many employees are going along with it. Companies are squeezing sensors into everything from lanyards to office furniture to record how staffers navigate through their day and use office space.

Bank of America asked 90 workers to wear badges for a few weeks with tiny sensors to record their movements and tone of conversations. The results were fascinating: the most productive workers belonged to teams and spoke frequently to co-workers. The bank used the data it collected on human behavior and made some changes such as scheduling workers for group breaks instead of solo ones.

In addition to the bank, other employers also are using the data they collect from tracking their workers to make changes that make the workplace better for employees. Another company that tracked employees learned they retreat to their desks at lunchtime. It used the information and made the lunchroom more inviting.

But the sensors might just be the beginning of a broader trend. Researchers told the WSJ that as companies rethink their offices, many are looking into smart building wired with technologies that show workers' location in real time and suggest meetings with colleagues nearby. That's kind of cool, right?

Of course, as the journal article points out, "There's a fine line between Big Data and Big Brother, at least in the eyes of some employees, who might shudder at the idea of the boss tracking their every move." 

So, would you be willing to have your every move tracked in the workplace if it meant that the findings could lead to workplace improvements?

March 27, 2013

Pearls of Wisdom from Successful Women

As I strive for work life balance, I've come to accept I can't be everywhere I want to be. Last week, I had to miss an event I was looking forward to attending for a family funeral. But fortunately, I have a wonderful community of people who I can rely on to fill me  and you in on what we miss. My guest blogger today, Dina Allende, attended The Commonwealth Institute's Top-50 Women-Led Businesses awards luncheon and shares the helpful insights she took away from the event.

Dina Allende is founder of Clique PR & Marketing in Miami and has more than 20 years experience providing public relations services to clients including those in the travel, hospitality, food & beverage and entertainment industries. 

Here are pearls of wisdom Dina gleamed from the presenters that should be useful to you: Dina Allende

As a Hispanic female entrepreneur, I work hard to make a difference, and often I find myself emulating some of the women I've come to meet through The Commonwealth Institute South Florida (TCI)comprised of women entrepreneurs and high level corporate executives.

When Donna Abood, chairman of Colliers South Florida - a real estate business - came to the podium, I didn’t think I’d have much in common with her.  Come to find out that she’s a woman who has come full circle in her industry after hitting rock bottom with the recession between 2008 and 2012.  Abood found herself having to restructure her business.  That turned out to be the biggest blessing of all, because she realized that she really loved what she was doing. She was inspired by the love and ethics of one man -- her father.  He only had a high school education, but rose above it all to make something of himself.  That vision of her father reminded her “why” she was doing what she was doing. 

Like Abood, I also found myself restructuring my career during the recession, and I often focused on my parent’s achievements, particularly my father who was an American Diplomat with the U.S. Foreign Service.  As a result, I developed a passion for my career in public relations, and today, I consider my boutique agency to be one of the good ones.  During difficult times, Abood says, “remember where you came from and hold onto that, and do what makes you happy or adjust.”

By the time, Pam Swensen came around, I was feverishly taking notes.  When else would I get such great advice by so many powerful women under the same roof?  As the CEO of the Executive Women’s Golf Association, Pam has managed to take her non-profit organization to the list of Top-10 Non-Profits in Florida.  During her speech, Swensen put up a little, white golf ball and said it was a crystal ball.  She said it was a connector and opened doors.  “Knowing the game would set you apart from your competitor,” she said, “After all, golf has been widely accepted as a venue for conducting business and men have been doing it for years.”  She’s right, and that got me thinking -- why not have that added skill set as part of my business repertoire. As Swensen put it – You are the CEO of your career! 

The most touching moment for me was when Jodi Cross, TCI Florida’s executive director, addressed the crowd one final time with her parting words of wisdom.  After nine years of service with TCI, Cross plans to pursue other avenues. There are three key messages that Jodi Cross gave that I will walk away with.  They may sound like a given, but more often than not, we tend to forget.  During challenging times, she said, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.  Keep it real. Be fearless!” 

March 15, 2013

Spring Break is a state of mind

Spring-break-green-beach-sunglasses-photo1

 

It's been more than three decades and I can't remember the way I was crushed by reality the first year I joined the working world and had to give up spring break. While my younger, college aged friends were enjoying their days loafing on the beach and partying at night, I was sitting in a cubicle, clacking on a typewriter (now I feel old). 

What I now realize is that spring break is not just a week of vacation, it's a state of mind. More than anything, it's a week of carefree existence.

After having kids, I have tried to take off the week when they are on Spring Break. It hasn't always worked out and even when it has, I not the carefree girl I once was. 

But that's going to change. I am allowing myself a grown up spring break and you should too, whether or not you can take time off work.

We just need to get ourselves into a Spring Break state of mind. 

First step, hit the pause button at work. Next step, give ourselves permission to have fun.

Spring Break isn't just about booze-centric fun -- it's a celebration of fun of all varieties. You like to fish? Charter a boat. You like to play video games? Get your Mindcraft on. You're on a diet? Well, not this week. Treat yourself! Eat a chocolate covered Oreo or deep-fried turkey leg. That diet will be right there where you left it a week from now.

You can't take a week off? Take the afternoon. Sit on a chaise and read a good book while sipping a pina colada. Have an all night TV watching marathon of all those shows filling up the memory on your DVR. Or just drive around in your car playing calypso music and singing along to Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot! 

If you really get a little naughty and go skinny dipping.

Sometimes work life balance is about putting reality on hold and indulging in personal enjoyment...Happy Spring Break!

 

March 14, 2013

Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg: Work life balance guru or marketing genius?

Sandberg

Don't get me wrong, I  love to discuss women in business and work life balance. But I'm absolutely floored by the amount of attention Sheryl Sandberg has received on her new book: of Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead. 

She could give all of us lessons in self-promotion on a grand scale. I am officially dubbing Lean In the mother of book launches. Sheryl has been on Katie, CNN, NPR, Nightline, 60 minutes. Heck, she's been on the cover of Time Magazine. My Inbox is jammed with blog posts and commentary about her book...and they keep on coming.

Do you know how many trees I have killed over the last decade writing articles about women who have said the same thing Sheryl is saying in her book? Sheryl's message to women about "leaning in" or putting your foot on the accelerator rather than letting fear about work life balance prevent you from going for the big job is not new one. She has just packaged it differently, given it a catchy title and timed the conversation well. Women are desperately trying to figure out why we haven't gotten further ahead in Corporate America and here's Sheryl ready to speak on behalf of working mothers. 

What's amazing to me is that the media can't get enough of Sheryl Sandberg. She's smart, she's well spoken, she's got clout as COO of Facebook and she has a point of view. 

 

A journalist colleague wrote me this email:

I'm listening to Sheryl Sandberg on NPR And thinking: Really? What the hell has changed in the last 30 years, if we're still talking about workplace inequality, childcare, glass ceilings, the imposter syndrome?

I'm in the process of clearing out my garage, and finding feminist workplace manifestos going back 24 years  to the late '70s. I'm reading them, listening to her, and I'm telling you, only the names have changed.

Every generation feels like they're the first to deal with whatever it is (workplace equality, motherhood, sex, child rearing) and they are so wrong. 

So now Sandberg has the media's attention and she's making the most of it. You may or may not agree with what she has to say about motherhood, work and advancement but you can't aruge that she hasn't used the media platform well. She has sparked a national conversation about women in the workplace and she's savvy enough to keep that fire lit as long as possible.

TIME’s deputy managing editor Nancy Gibbs asked Sheryl what surprised her about the first few days of her book launch.  "I’m surprised by how much attention and how early it has been,” Sheryl said, noting that the book had only officially come out that very morning. “That hasn’t stopped anyone from having an opinion of it,” Gibbs pointed out. “What I’m concerned about is stagnation and apathy, and if a heated debate around a book is what it takes to spark a conversation, then that’s great,” replied Sandberg.

If you ask me, Sheryl has leaned in and turned herself into a household name. Whether or not you agree with her message about the challenges women face in trying to get ahead, its hard not to see why Sandberg has risen.

Readers, what do you think of Sandberg and her media blitz? Is is she the leader of the next feminism revolution, a marketing genius or both? 


March 08, 2013

Work life balance is like a visit to the cafeteria

WomanChoosingUnHealthyFoodGeneric_large

 

 

Not long ago, someone in one of the many work life groups I belong to posed this question:

What's your #1 work life tip?

There have been great responses, but today, someone posted a response that I absolutely LOVE and had to share with you. 

Sheryl Nicholson writes:

 

 Recognize Life is a Buffet Table of Choices and always ask "What's the price?" and be willing to pay for any choice you make.

 

To me, Sheryl's advice is profound. How many times have you heard people groan about work life balance being a myth. It's not a myth. It's possible. But it takes making choices that have a price attached. Sometimes that price of a choice is high and can cost you a marriage, a promotion, a larger family, a lifestyle or even retirement savings. 

Sheryl's comment speaks directly to what Penelope Trunk said in her blog post earlier this week. She was addressing Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's new ban of remote working at her company.

Penelope writes:

The message here (that Mayer is sending) is that if you want to work at a company where people are doing big and important things, you have to give up everything. It’s okay to say that. Telecommuting is for people who don’t want to give up everything for their company. Mayer doesn’t want to work with people like that.

The workforce divides into two halves: people who try very hard to decrease the conflict in their life between work and home, and people who try very hard to get to the top of the work world. You can’t do both

The reality of today’s workforce is that if you want to have a big job where you have prestige and money and power, you probably need a stay-at-home spouse. Or two full-time nannies. Which means most people don’t have the option to go on the fast track, because most people have not set their lives up this way.

So let’s just admit that most of us are not on the fast-track. Stop bitching that people won’t let slow people on the fast track. Stop saying that it’s bad for family. It’s great for family. It means people will not continue operating under the delusion that you can be a hands-on parent and a top performer. People will make real choices and own those choices.

This is true for men and women. Today anyone can rise to the top if they give up their life to do it.

If you want to parent—really be there for your kids—then you need an alternative career track. You can telecommute, you can work part-time, you can freelance, you just can’t work with people who don’t need those same accommodations.

So today, people have choices, people have more control over their lives than ever, and people have good information to make intelligent decisions.

 

I think it's critical to take all information at your disposal and be realistic with yourself when you ask, "how much am I willing to pay?" for a choice you are about to make.  The balance "myth" comes when you underestimate the price and become surprised or disappointed at check out.

Have you ever felt you paid too high a price for a choice off the buffet? Do you think most of us are realistic about the cost of their choices?

 

March 07, 2013

Women feel unappreciated at work. Here's how to change that.

                                            Appreciation

I can't tell you how many times my husband has wanted or expected to be thanked for doing a chore I do on a regular basis. I am one of those women who at times feels underappreciated at home -- even as I try harder than ever to strike work life balance. 

American women now are experiencing that same feeling of being underappreciated in the workplace and it's time to do something about it.

The American Psychological Association reports that half of women (48 percent) feel less valued than men at work, and only 43 percent of women feel they receive adequate monetary compensation for their work (versus 48 percent of men). Moreover, only 35 percent of women think that they have opportunities for career advancement (versus 43 percent of men).

Our feeling that we're under valued in the workplace has some substance behind it. Did you know the average female makes an annual salary 25 percent less than her male colleagues?

This strong emotion of feeling that our contributions aren't appreciated may even be behind what's making us stressed -- the APA study found women report much more work stress than men, that their stress has increased over the last five years and that it causes headaches and upset stomachs.

Our big problem as women is that we tend to internalize the stress more than men. As Vivia Chen points out on her Careerist blog, "men have a fight or flight reaction" while women will "shut up and stay put."

If women are feeling undervalued at work, we should speak up. It may sound intimidating but it's probable that the men we work with or for have no idea we feel underappreciated.

John Gray, author of the soon to be released WORK WITH ME:  The Blind Spots between Men and Women in Business, found there's a big gender blindspot around feeling appreciated at work. When he asked men if they women they worked with felt appreciated, the majority answered yes. But when he asked the women they said no. Gray found the standard way of doling out recognition and praise can leave female employees feeling frustrated and overlooked. He also discovered most men are oblivious to the little gestures of consideration that make a huge difference to women.

Some also seem to be oblivious to the big gestures.

Yesterday, a large Miami law firm sent out a press release announcing that it has named 12 new partners. Of those, only three are women. I find this troublesome considering the majority of law grads and new associates these days are women. Do you think the women in that firm feel appreciated?

For many women, this fear of asking for the appreciation we deserve is a problem: we are great advocates for others, but paralyzed when it comes to doing it for ourselves. 
Going forward, we have to realize that men are not going to take it upon themselves to make us feel appreciated -- we have to shed our shut up and stay put attitude and ask for appreciation (in pay, advancement and assignments) if we deserve it.  
We've slowly begun to change expectations at home, to gain some more appreciation for our contributions. Now, we have to do the same in our workplaces.

 

March 06, 2013

Do collaboration and flexibility go together?

Think about the last Pixar film you watched. Pretty creative, wasn't it?

Such creativity usually comes from collaboration and that usually comes from face to face interaction.That's collaboration is kind of hard to do if you work from a home office.

At the same time, workers like me want work life balance and the ability to work remotely at least on ocassion. So the question is.... Can companies be innovative and still allow remote working? Is there a middle ground that gives employees flexibility in their schedules and work place but also gives employers the critical mass at the office that's needed for ongoing collaboration?

One business owner told me this is a major challenges he faces as a leader and motivator. Now that Best Buy has followed Yahoo's lead in banning telecommuting, the topic is sure to heat up. What are your thoughts on whether flexibility and collaboration are compatible?

 

WORK/LIFE BALANCING ACT

Face time vs. flexibility: Do employees need both?

By Cindy Krischer Goodman
 
This Feb. 20, 2013 file image released by NBC shows Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer appearing on NBC News' "Today" show, in New York to introduce the website's redesign.
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer (Peter Kramer / AP)

By Cindy Krischer Goodman

balancegal@gmail.com

Years ago, on the legal beat at The Miami Herald, I often collaborated with other reporters and editors in the newsroom who weighed in on my story ideas and worked side by side to move a project in a bigger, better direction. Now that I work at home, I miss the back-and-forth banter than can lead to ramped up creativity. and I can understand why companies are taking strong measures to step up collaboration.

Today, the buzz word in business is collaboration, the 21st century driver of innovation and the inspiration behind corporate decision making. The focus on collaboration has led Burger King to take down the walls between its cubicles. It triggered Yahoo’s announcement last week to bring remote workers back to the office. And in October, Apple even attributed executive management changes to a need to encourage more collaboration between the company’s hardware, software and services teams.

This intensified push for face-to-face interaction and information sharing comes at a time when workers are pushing for flexibility, begging the question: Can a collaborative culture be created without impeding work/life balance?

In a bold move last week, Yahoo’s CEO Marissa Mayer argued in a memo banning remote working that collaboration happens when people are working side-by-side. “Some of the best decisions and insights come from hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people and impromptu team meetings. Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home. We need to be one Yahoo! and that starts with physically being together."

The backlash against Mayer’s banning of telecommuting work was swift and angry. Telecommuting and work/life advocates worried aloud that Mayer was attempting to reverse flexible workplace advances. Outspoken CEO Richard Branson called her decision “a backwards step in an age when remote working is easier and more effective than ever.”

But can anyone really argue that Mayer is wrong to feel that there is value in the conversations that arise when people are physically together in a room? There’s a reason that Google has configured its offices with a lunch room extraordinaire. It’s to keep people on campus and working together.

Most workplace experts believe the best practices in collaboration strike a happy medium — allowing workers to come to the office some of the time but also manage their own schedules.

Prerna Gupta, chief product officer at Smule, a music app developer, has come up with her ideal solution, which she recently explained in the New York Times. She believes employees should have the flexibility and proper tools to work when and where they want but that the office should remain a gathering place to communicate ideas. After Smule bought her company, Khush, she pushed for the same schedule she had previously instituted; employees come to the office three days a week for five hours, starting at noon, allowing for collaboration. The rest of the week they work from wherever they want.

Attorney Ronald Kammer, who manages the Miami office of law firm Hinshaw & Culbertson, says employers have no choice but to find middle ground if they want to keep top talent. “Banning flexibility could lead to losing brain power.”

In law, Kammer has found firms have to be nimble to keep their talented attorneys and most allow myriad flexible arrangements — including working on occasion from vacation homes. Firms also must adopt the right technology to work with legal teams spread across the country. “Clients want the best legal minds working together,” he says. “They don’t care if they’re doing that from the same office or remotely.”

Most companies, though, are struggling to find a structure that satisfies the needs of employers and employees. Corporate futurist Christian Crews, principal of AndSpace Consulting in Fairfield, Ct., says companies with the greatest competitive advantage are “managing the tension between getting engagement from employees who can make their own hours with the tension of getting critical mass in a building to create innovative new approaches to business.”

Crews says requiring employees to work from the office isn’t enough; Collaboration takes management that is forward-thinking and open to embracing technology that facilities brainstorming, along with office configuration that encourages serendipitous run ins. “It’s about taking it beyond Post-it notes on a wall or huddling around a white board.“ Futurists, studying how to encourage and improve face to face collaboration, are looking at new tools for running meetings, he says.

At the same time, experts are studying how to get more from virtual collaboration. Citrix, headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, has developed technologies that allow workers to hold virtual meetings, share documents and join together in online work rooms. Now, the company is creating platforms to enter virtual conference rooms where you can actually see who is in them before deciding to enter.

Brett Caine, senior vice president and general manager of the Online Services Division of Citrix, says he sees the benefit of face-to-face meetings, but the advanced technology to allow online collaboration has made the experience richer. “With HD video, it’s as if you are sitting around a conference table sharing content and looking at the emotional reactions.” However, he says, “you have to want to cooperate this way.”

At Citrix, 86 percent of employees work remotely at least some of the time during the week. Teams are spread across the globe and have webcams on their computers. It is an expectation that a colleagues are working from somewhere other than the office. And, it’s a model that works, which is why Citrix is continually improving technology around online collaboration, Caine says. “We believe that notion that being in office is rule right now, but increasingly in the future it will be the exception.”

For now, at least, group meetings are sometimes irreplaceable. A few weeks ago, Miami PR firm owner Tadd Schwartz called his staff together for an impromptu brainstorming session. About a dozen account executives sat in a circle on the floor and couch tossing out ideas for how to tie Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign into more business for its grocery chain client. One suggestion met with giggles, but within seconds a colleague came up with an alternative.

“That back-and-forth banter, that’s where collaboration comes into play,” Schwartz says.

Finding the right balance is one of his biggest challenges, Schwartz says. “Offering employees the option to work from home from time-to-time is something we do, but I know for a fact we work better and are more creative as a unit in the office where we are interacting.”

March 05, 2013

Do you need an electronic curfew?

Sleep and devices

As someone who has personally fought the battle of electronic devices, I am absolutely convinced that powering down an hour before tucking in leads to a better night's rest. 

But as much as I'm an advocate for electronic curfews, I'm also wondering if it's realistic to give ourselves one. I don't know about you, my iPad loves hanging out on my nightstand and it occasionally, falls into my hands right before drifting off to sleep.

I have lots of company in this habit. According to a newly released study by The National Sleep Foundation, more than 90 percent of Americans regularly use a computer or electronic device of some kind in the hour before bed. We're hooked and we know it.

Now, I've learned that researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute showed that exposure to light from computer tablets significantly lowered levels of the hormone melatonin, which regulates our internal clocks and plays a role in the sleep cycle. Playing a quick game of Fruit Ninja on my iPad at bedtime could lead to sleep disturbances. But it may not be the light of a cell phone or computer alone that triggers sleep problems. It could be the anxiety produced when you, say, read a work e-mail that makes you angry. 

I've noticed that having had a good night's sleep does make a difference in my work day. It's almost as if waking up well rested puts me in the right frame of mind to be a better problem solver. Beware: This weekend, our sleep schedules are about to get messed up -- Daylight Saving Time begins this Sunday morning at 2:00 am. Sleep experts say this presents the perfect time to give yourself an electronic curfew. They suggest dimming the lights and listening to soft music before going to bed, having a nice conversation with your spouse or kids, or maybe even reading a magazine or taking a warm bath.

I can think of at least three reasons to give yourself an electronic curfew. 

1. Your work day will be more productive when you can focus.

2. You have less chance of an afternoon slump.

3. You will cut your chance of sleep texting, leading to possible embarrassment.

What can I say? You might be far less effected than others who use electronics right up until they time they shut their eyes. But you will never know if you feel more rested and balanced until you try powering down earlier, will you?

 

 

March 01, 2013

Groupon CEO Tweets Firing. Is this the new direction of departures?

Groupon-andrew-mason-430bn080910
(Andrew Mason)

 

 

If you got fired, would you tweet about it? 

Yesterday afternoon, Andrew Mason, founder and CEO of Groupon, tweeted a letter to his employees that he was fired as the head of the company. Groupon has been under scrutiny lately due to falling stock prices and meager results, and just yesterday released a quarterly statement outlining its poor performance.

Mason has publicly discussed the possibility of his removal, and his letter indicates that he was not surprised about being let go. Until now, CEO departures at public companies have been announced through a canned statement that gives little insight into the back story.

“This is likely the first Twitter response from a CEO regarding his removal,” said John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. “Most CEOs leave their posts quietly without revealing the true nature of the departure. However, Mason was known for being outspoken leader and not one to shy away from the spotlight.”

To me, this the latest example of the new reality. As individuals we can't expect privacy and companies can't expect it either. Look how quickly Yahoo's internal HR memo about recalling its remote workers went public last week. 

"Today, we’re in a public era," Challenger  "Internal memos are not private anymore, nothing much is private anymore, everything is fair game."

Challenger believes that Mason, a tech savvy guy, saw an opportunity to use a public platform to tell his side of the story in his own words. The key is his letter wasn't bitter or emotional and he used it to accept responsibility for what had gone wrong. He controlled the message. Challenger believes others may follow his lead: "I think we may see them putting out something simple or minimal." He urges caution to anyone thinking of putting details of workplace happenings out on social media:  "You don't want your dirty laundry aired or to come across in way you will regret later."

Will other CEOs turn to social media to discuss succession changes? Should they?  Last year, 45 CEOs were removed/ousted. You can bet there are plenty more removals to come. I think this is just the beginning of graceful and not-so-graceful exits aired over social media. 

How do you think the new era of viral information sharing is affecting corporate and individual behavior? Do you think Mason handled his departure well?