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Have you ever seen someone make a head-scratching mistake at work and thought to yourself, “That’s common sense! They should have known that!” Or better yet, as a manager, onboarded a junior employee and skipped talking about something practical — like dress code — because you thought, “That’s common sense: everybody knows that!” Careful.

The Invisible Playbook of “Common Sense” at Work

There’s something sneaky about “common sense” and it’s in its very name: common. Common to whom? …


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Just between us, as a manager have you ever:

  • doubted your management skills or practices?
  • wondered if you were spending your time on the right things?
  • feared that you had a management blindspot you couldn’t see?

You’re not alone.

As a management coach, I spend lots of hours on the phone or zoom with managers and executives who all basically have the same question, “what does good management look like in my situation? Am I doing the right things?”

Fortunately, there are practices great managers do every day and they don’t take an MBA or 20 years managing teams to…


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With COVID-19 reaching pandemic levels, the world is pretty scary right now; even scarier if you’re missing your paycheck while quarantined because your work can’t be done remotely.

For some, being confronted with just how “in-person” their job is was the push they needed to consider more remote-capable roles — office jobs, tech jobs, and others — that might offer more stability in a world that keeps changing.

As a management coach and talent leader that’s led lots of my own hiring processes and partnered with dozens of leaders on theirs, I want to give you some ideas on how…


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If you work in a high-growth, mission-driven organization, you know that “overloaded” can sometimes feel like a way of life. We set goals for the year, but new opportunities or resourcing setbacks often mean we have to do even more with less — and to the same degree of quality. Maybe we’ve even tried to push back on workload to no avail, and so we’re stuck having to be superwoman yet again (especially if you’re a superwoman of color). What’s the impact? Losing valuable employees, working ourselves into the ground, or catastrophic failures that impact our careers, our customers, and…


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Her tear-filled voice cut through the light icebreaker chatter in the room. “Melanie, I was glad when I saw that we were doing a land acknowledgment before our training. This practice is so important and I believe should be done at events like this. But what you just did wasn’t a land acknowledgement. It was check-the-box and shallow, and rendered as an attempt to assuage settler guilt, not to honor the nations this land belonged to or the injustices they suffered in order for us to meet here today. …


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I love mission-driven jobs. In fact, I’m borderline addicted to them. My whole career has been in the nonprofit sector because I want to spend every ounce of my working life on missions I believe in. …


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TL;DR: This article shares 3 ways I’ve built momentum for promotions (and raises) and helped others do the same. At the end, I also offer free access to a 45-minute training where I go even deeper on these topics (and others) to help you queue up your next career move.

You know the drill: you graduate college with a plan to change the world by devoting your life to a cause you care about. You find the perfect organization to work for — one really walking their talk on your issue, in the city you want to live, with team…


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Yes, the playing field isn’t level yet, but there are steps we can take at work to even the odds.

Over the last 15 years in various nonprofit and leadership roles, I’ve met a bunch of women — across a range of identities, ages, and backgrounds — that tell me the same story: I’m doing good work and getting great results, but I feel like I’m not doing enough to set myself up in my career.

In general, the research tells us women still do not yet have an equal shot at the most senior roles, and women of color have an even less level playing field. As one data point, for every 100 men promoted to management, only 79…

Melanie Rivera

I think/write on #diversity #inclusion #effectivemanagement #hr and practical ways to advance women (esp. women of color) to leadership roles.

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