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A Delicate Topic in the Office: Serious Illness

Have you ever wondered how people manage work when they have a serious illness? You may have seen it, someone pushing their career forward, and then a sudden health crisis forces them to the sidelines and perhaps off course forever. 

As a peer or manager, you  want to be sensitive when speaking with those struggling with health issues. You want to ask just the right amount of questions. You want to allow for flexibility. You want to help.

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Unmute Your Voice

Shhh…. What’s that I hear?

It’s a voice—someone expressing her thoughts and opinions authentically while interacting with the world.

Though we’re in the 21st century, fewer people than you might think are free to express their opinions.

Quick research on this topic shows that 25 countries limit speech in some way. See for yourself here or in this article.

While I find it deeply disturbing that a substantial part of humankind still lives under some form of a regime that limits personal rights and freedom, I’d like to bring your attention to one segment filled with people who voluntarily remain silent, pushing the mute button on their voices and suffering as a result.

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Did you ever sing “Happy Birthday” during a Town Hall?

I have recently published a post related to labels used when addressing working parents. Today, I want to applaud to all who are managing the juggle between parenting and professional fulfillment, who don’t forget their priorities no matter what situation they are in.

Watch Pete Poul-Graf, my husband and VP in DHL IT Services, make more than a hundred of his colleagues including the management team sing during a Town Hall in Prague today at the occasion of our daughter’s second birthday.  I am grateful that Pete brings the human angle to any situation he is in and also that he is not exploring a career as a cameraman.



What is your trick to make your child’s birthday special while you are on a business trip? When did you last time witness a colleague in the office become creative in solving a family situation? How did the rest of people around respond?

Thanks to all those amazing DHL colleagues singing today and you can count on me, if you ever need me to return the favor!




working father

Please stop calling me a “working mother”. Labels and the damage they cause.

Do the words “working mother” bother you? If not, they should.

Recently, someone called me a “working mother” in a professional setting.

It felt uncomfortable because I’m a non-native English speaker who hears individual words as opposed to culturally known expressions.

The first word is “mother.” I’m the mother of two amazing little people. The second word is “working.” I’ve chosen to stay on my professional path, so technically I am a perfect representation of those two words.

It shouldn’t be a big deal.

The problem is that those two words are exactly that: just two words.

Continue reading → Please stop calling me a “working mother”. Labels and the damage they cause.

Dana with wine

From boring to meaningful: How revisiting my purpose turned a dull business trip into a meaningful one

Earlier this year, I visited one of our company’s locations to deliver training and leadership workshops. As always, I was excited to get into some real conversations and learn with and from my colleagues.

On my first day there, however, the office was half-empty because many people in our Americas region enjoy the flexibility of working from a home office. I couldn’t help but to think, “Was it really worth coming here? Was this well-invested time and money for our organization?”

Then I wondered further: how would one decide whether a trip belonged in the “waste of time” bucket, meaning you’d never do again, or in the much more satisfying “worth it” bucket? Both buckets mean we wake up at 4 am, leave families behind, endure crazy security procedures and return to an even fuller inbox

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Thrown away roses

When Your Team’s Greatness is Unleashed

Imagine this scenario for a moment. (If you don’t like to use your imagination, simply skip to the next section.)

You feel good where you are.
You connect with others well.
Not everything is perfect every day, but you like coming here.
You know your strengths and talents are used.

What you are working on is challenging and right in the arena of your passion. The repetitive tasks were either automated or eliminated to a great extent. As a result, you also have time for reflection. That makes you excited, as you know that your colleagues will listen to your ideas and views.

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marathon runner

The Happy Pain

What’s the most intense experience that stretched your endurance? What worked for you? Did you endure? And if not, what happened?

Endurance is the word that is on my mind this week, both in life and in business.

I am counting seven days and seven nights of taking care of my sick 17-months-old daughter and making sure the rest of my family is operating as close to a usual routine as possible. The 24/7 service is weighing on me, together with my ambition to juggle my job and other personal commitments. I am frustrated, as the original plan for my week, based on meticulous prioritization, has changed to a tiring marathon. The task list is getting longer, the vision of relaxation, more surreal. Just thinking about it makes me want to hire someone to be me for a day.

In the past, I unintentionally had the tendency to work the hardest, travel the furthest, work out every day, respond to all friends and, of course, have fun, too. I had a lot of amazing experiences, made great friends and learned lessons that allow me to be who I am now. I certainly also experienced the other side of my choices, the less pleasant side. Luckily, I was surrounded with amazing family and friends who came for my rescue when I had a dislocated hip, broken heart or was border lining exhaustion. 

Continue reading → The Happy Pain