Life’s Too Short to Work with Jerks – Leading, Learning (and Laughing) with Jill Geisler

Guest Author: Jill Geisler JILL

There are two principles that guide my leadership and management teaching:

1. The most important thing leaders do is help others succeed.

2. Life’s too short to work with jerks.

Put those two values together and you can build a wonderful workplace culture. That’s the goal of my book, “Work Happy: What Great Bosses Know.”

I wrote it after countless people in my workshops and seminars asked me to recommend just one book they could read that encompassed the topics I teach to leaders. When I couldn’t pinpoint just one that covered multiple leadership topics – from change management to conflict resolution to emotional intelligence to communication to time management – I realized I should write it.

I was also encouraged by the response to my “What Great Bosses Know” podcasts, which are free on iTunes U (the academic arm of iTunes.)  As of this writing, these 3 to 5 minute lessons have had nearly 14 million downloads. I hear from aspiring great bosses around the world who say they appreciate the practical advice.

book by Jill GeislerI think that’s the most important aspect of “Work Happy: What Great Bosses Know.”  It is build on a solid foundation of leadership theory and research, but it’s translated into real-life and down-to-earth language and applications. It also contains self-diagnostics and quizzes, to help readers track their progress on the various leadership and management skill sets.  Like my in-person teaching, I strive to keep things lively and fun. I believe leadership and laughter are a great combination.

My goal for the book was simple: To help the many managers who are promoted from their role as high performers or producers, and who then discover that their new job takes entirely different aptitudes. Because training is often in short supply, many managers lead by trial and error – and that can hurt their teams and the managers’ own reputation. I’ve discovered, though, that the book is helpful to managers new and old. 

The biggest thrill of all is learning that it is being used by teams as a group learning textbook.  I recently spent two days with 100 managers of a community college who are using it as the core curriculum for their management academy. What fun it was to lead a workshop on many of the book’s concepts: performance management, building positive cultures and leadership skills and values – and then to autograph books on top of it all!

I maintain a Facebook page (check in the author bio) for the book, on which I curate and post helpful articles for managers and interact with fans of the book. Management and leadership can be a lonely endeavor. It’s my honor to be a coach not only to participants in my seminars, but also people I’ve never met.

Together, we’re on a mission to help improve workplaces by providing managers the tools they need to lead others to success.

Watch this insightful video by Jill Geisler on her book Work Happy: What Great Bosses Know…

Book Review: Work Happy: What Great Bosses Know by Jill Geisler: Exclusive Video

Book Review: Work Happy: What Great Bosses Know by Jill Geisler

About Author:

Jill Geisler is an internationally recognized expert in leadership and management, who knows how to make learning fun. She is affiliated with the Poynter Institute, where she has led its leadership and management programs for journalists worldwide. Since the publication of her book, “Work Happy: What Great Bosses Know,” her teaching has been in demand across professions – including health care, technology, law, manufacturing, libraries and education. The secret to her communication skills is probably this: Her first career was in broadcast journalism as a reporter and anchor. At an early age, she became one of the first women TV news directors in the United States. After a long and successful career in that competitive arena, she joined the Poynter Institute’s faculty, where she guided the growth of its programs for managers. Jill holds a Bachelors degree in journalism and a Masters in leadership studies and now is the principal of Jill Geisler Leadershih. To know more about her, please visit her book website, Like her on her facebook page,

A Slice Of Life From The Valley Of Orchids

Guest Author: Dr. Suravi Sharma Kumar

Suravi sharmaWhile writing the story of the young protagonist Millie, the rich visionaries of the valley of the Brahmaputra river kept floating in front of my eyes and the result is there for everybody to see – the book contains a montage of virgin rain forests and the pristine beauty of a valley strewn with myriad breeds of wild orchids and beats of folk music amidst scrunching noise of marching military in the village alleys and bursting of bombs and crunching of bullets in the nooks and crannies in an otherwise serene land.

The story is about a young woman with a mind of her own in spite of her life in orthodoxy. She grows up in a poor, upper caste joint family with three matriarchs and a houseful of sisters in a hamlet of north east India. She lives a conservative life paved out by her elders till the day she becomes a Voices in the valleystudent leader in her college. That was the year 1979 when millions of students in the state of Assam revolted against the ruling government and the central government of India, the protagonist turns into a mass leader leading and coordinating millions of students and general public.

In the following years, going through social and emotional grind, she evolves into a politico of the state fighting for the rights of her people. Now the same conservative family she grew up in started taking pride in her in spite of the years she had worked against the family traditions and orthodox male dominant values.

Besides the story line of the evolving protagonist, the back ground is important part of the book. The book is set at the most turbulent times in a politically disturbed area in the north eastern region of India seething with multiple outlaws and gorilla forces. The terror prevailed in the area bordering with China, Burma, Bangladesh and Bhutan is set against a backdrop of a rich cultural diversity which is a mix of tribes with their origins in Thailand, Burma and China. This kaleidoscopic culture of this part of India is one of a kind in the serene valley of the Brahmaputra River.

With the progress of the story of the young woman, the backdrop also evolves and metamorphoses over decades starting from 1960s-70s to 2010.

About Author:

Dr. Suravi Sharma Kumar is a medical doctor and author of the Voices in the Valley. Currently, she is doing a post graduate course in Birkbeck College, University of London. In spite of the gruel in a medical college in Guwahati and harsh duties working in a few premier hospitals of the country in Delhi, her fascination with the world of words never faded. Even while in school and college, she had written stories and articles in children/ youth sections of newspapers and magazines and had worked as editor to her college magazine.

Now, about a decade after college, she is the author of the book Voices in the Valley – a literary fiction published in 2012 and has several articles and columns published in a few reputed newspapers of India. She likes to write fiction as well as pieces on health trends.

Top 10 Books For Children-Christmas Gift Series 3

Author: Sherry Helms

How could we left out the young minds when it comes to gifting something good to read? In continuation to our Christmas Gift Series, we are presenting here a list of few great books that can be gifted to young ones. Along with a very short description about the book, we have also added the age range for which the books in the list are most suitable for. Hope you all will like the list and get one or two book(s) as a Christmas gift for your loved younger ones. 

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

       the very hungry caterpillarAge Range: 1 – 6 years

Originally published in 1969 and had been translated into more than 50 languages, Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a wonderful children book. This book is a fantastic blend of wonderful illustrations, an amusing story, and a distinctive book design.  An internationally bestselling and award-winning author and illustrator, Eric has used hand-painted papers for creating distinctive collage illustrations. The book features the story of a green and yellow Caterpillar who eats its way through a wide variety of foodstuffs. This much-adored classic, highly informative and brilliantly innovative picture book has won over millions of readers.

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

The giving treeAge Range: 1 – 8 years

The versatile and gifted author, Shel Silverstein has created an inspirational parable for all ages that will touch as well as educate them. First published in 1964, this wonderful children’s book tells the story of a boy who would come to the tree, swing from her branches, climb on her trunk and eat her apples, and the tree was happy. But as time passes, the boy grew older and started to want more from the tree, and the tree (as a mother) gave and gave and gave. First rejected by the editor of Simon & Schuster due to its tender story that he found “to sad” for kids and “too simple” for adults, the book was finally published by Harper & Row. As of 2001, more than 5m copies of “The Giving Tree” had been sold, placed it 14th on the Publishers Weekly’s list of All-Time Bestselling Children’s Books.

Press Here by  Herve Tullet

Press hereAge Range: 2 and up

Hervé Tullet, the Paris-based artist, created a marvelous book, Press here to engage, entertain and educate children of up to age 4.  Opening the pages of Press Here a child enters into a world of creativity, imagination, and interactivity filled with dots of all colors and sizes, but it all starts with a simple yellow dot. Each page instructs the kids to press the dots, turn the page, shake the book and even blow on the dots. Children and adults alike will fall in love with this imaginative and unique little picture book. This is an ideal book to share with a child.

Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans


Age Range: 3 – 8 years

Madeline by award-winning author-illustrator Ludwig Bemelmans is a classic picture book that tells the story of a little girl, Madeline, studying in a girl-boarding school that is lead by a nun named Miss Clavel. It shows the disruption caused in Miss Clavel’s regular routine when this small but courageous girl gets an attack of appendicitis one night and is rushed to the hospital. The author uses the brisk rhyming to tell the story and the illustrations grab children’s attention.

Beautiful Oops! by Barney Saltzberg

beautiful oops

Age Range: 3 – 18 years

Necessarily and inspirationally important in a world where perfection is everything, Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzberg teaches children that there is no such thing perfect. This adorable and beautifully crafted square-shaped tome celebrates mistakes –reminding children that life is full of possibilities and that making a mistake can sometimes be the start of making something beautiful. This part picture and part baby board book shows that how every mistake can be turned into something innovative. In addition to being fun, this picture book gives a wonderful lesson for people of all ages.

Aesop’s Fables by Pat Stewart

Aesop's Fables

Age Range: 5 and up

Aesop’s Fables or the Aesopica is a collection of fables credited to Aesop, a slave and story-teller believed to have lived in ancient Greece between 620 and 560 BCE. (Source: Wikipedia). The first printed version of Aesop’s Fables in English was published on March 26, 1484, by William Caxton.  This is an apt gift to delight and entertain young minds.

7 x 9 = Trouble! by Claudia Mills

7X9.troubleAge Range: 7 – 10 years

We have included this book in this list as we believe this book is helpful for kids who are having trouble in Maths as in this book there are some multiplication rhymes and patterns that will help kids with  times tables. This book has excellently written chapters and very simple words for the kids to understand. The book can be finished in 4-5 days; however, it also depends on the reader’s speed and understanding. The story is about a young third grader named Wilson Williams who is having hard time learning multiplications, especially Mrs. Porter’s timed multiplication tests. Will Wilson pass his tests? I guess you will have to read to find out!

Three Tales of My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles

three tales of my father dragonAge Range: 8 – 12 years

These are three cute books that all centre on the relationship between a boy (sometimes called “My Father” and sometimes “Elmer”) and a dragon (Boris) that he rescues from some mean, wild animals. The story is fun and exciting and at the same time they are so simple and innocent. The story has all the elements like adventure, planning, travelling, friendship, etc to delight young minds. Besides, it has wonderful illustrations too to keep your kid interested after every couple page.

The Hunger Games Trilogy Boxset by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games Trilogy BoxsetAge Range: 12 and up

The Hunger Games universe is a dystopia set in “Panem”, a country consisting of the wealthy Capitol and twelve districts in varying states of poverty. Set in a dark vision of near future a terrifying reality TV show is taking place. Twelve boys and twelve girls are forced to appear in an annual televised death match called The Hunger Games.

Divergent Series Boxed Set by Veronica Roth

 Divergent Series Boxed SetAge range: 14 – 17 years

Perfect for gift givers, the box set includes fast, fun, unexpected and new elements. The trilogy consists of Divergent (2011), Insurgent (2012), and Allegiant (2013). The divergent series is a great book for YA’s looking for an enjoyable read. The Divergent series is even acclaimed by Critics for its “plot” and “action”. Insurgent was praised for its “writing” and “pace”.

Top 10 Books for Women-Christmas Gift Series 2

Author: Sherry Helms

As mentioned in our last post, we will be continuing with 3 posts: Christmas Gift Series for men, women and children. With first post already live, it’s now time to publish a list of some great books which one can gift to women in their lives. These wonderful books not only entertain women but also inspire them.

We hope you all will like the list and definitely pick up a book or two and gift to your dear ones around you, who might appreciate seeing the book/s under their tree on this Christmas morning.

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg

Lean In Women, Work, and the Will to LeadSheryl Sandberg’s Lean In is a perfect gift for every working or non-working women. The chief operating officer of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, inspires women through her provocative book, to look beyond their limitations, take risks, seek challenges and reach their best lives. It is not just a book of principles; it is an actual resource that assists women to pursue their goals with gusto. Based on author’s rigorous research and data, the book features author’s personal experiences, practical advice for women and the stories of other women of all ages who’ve pushed their fears and achieved their goals.

Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office: 101 Unconscious Mistakes Women Make That Sabotage Their Careers by Lois P. Frankel

Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office

An insightful book by executive coach Lois Frankel that details 101 unconscious mistakes women make that damage their careers. Frankel spent many years encouraging women and helping them overcome their deeply imbedded character traits they learned as girls that sabotage them as adults. An internationally recognized expert in the fields of workplace behavior and female empowerment, Frankel, who has worked with Fortune 500 companies, providing several examples of the executives she has coached in the past, and offers the coaching tips like stop acting like little girls that helped women remove self-defeating behaviors from their actions and rise on the corporate ladder.

 The Help by Kathryn Stockett

The Help by Kathryn StockettFirst published in 2009, The Help is a spellbinding tale of Afro-American maids working in white family’s household in Mississippi. The book has been told from the perspective of three memorable women-maids, Abileen and Minny, and Skeeter. They come together to publish a book of anonymously written stories of a group of black women working as maids for white families and who have never before given a voice. Set in an important historical era, this book features a surprising resonant description of the intertwined lives of women on opposite sides of the racial divide and how the tormenting story of excessive repression eventually turns into an inspiring story of women empowerment. The book is at times mischievous, at times hilarious, at times heart-wrenching and at times wickedly ironic that shows how storytelling and story writing have the power to bring positive change in human beings.

Bossypants by Tina Fey

Bossypants by Tina FeyIf you are looking for a book that makes you laugh uncontrollably then look nowhere else, Tina Fey’s Bossypants is an ideal one. In her witty, funny tone, Fey details her one-sided college romance, and spills about her misadventures as a mom, wife and comedian in the 21st century. The novel is extremely invigorating and encouraging. It is really more of a compilation of hilarious personal essays than a true memoir that may make you fall off your chair.

The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan

The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan

First published in 1963, The Feminine Mystique is a national bestseller that profoundly transformed the perception of a nation- and the world. It is not an exaggeration to say The Feminine Mystique a magnum opus of women’s literature. A pioneering feminist of mid-century America, Betty Friedan raised the issues of the tribulations women still face at home and in the marketplace and pushed for equality in every walk of life. The author advocates for the child-care centers for working parents, maternity leave, legal abortions, equal pay and many other issues considered radical in the 1960s and 1970s through her insightful and provocative book.

 The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret AtwoodA Canadian and feminist writer, depicts wonderfully the physical and psychological oppression of women under futuristic totalitarian regime, dehumanizing effects of ideological rhetoric and linguistic manipulation. Set sometime during the late 20th century, The Handmaid’s Tale tells the story of Offred-a handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, who was wishing that Commander makes her pregnant as in the age of prevalent sterility and declining Caucasian births, Offred and the other Handmaids are loved only if their ovaries are viable. The handmaids were selected by the Commander, a high-ranking government official, and his infertile women. The main work of the handmaid is to give birth to children, a task that requires her to engage in ritualized, monthly copulation with the Commander in the presence of his Wife.

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai

I Am Malala The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban

There might be any person who would be unaware of this 15-year old courageous girl, Malala Yousafzai. A girl who stood up for education was shot in the head at point-blank range by the Taliban in the Swat Valley in Pakistan while riding the bus home from school. The girl uses a pen, a book and a voice as her only weapon to speak out for every child’s right to education and how much this almost cost her. I Am Malala is a fearless memoir of Malala Yousafzai, co-written with journalist Christina Lamb is a remarkable tale of a family destroyed completely by global terrorism, showing how a single voice inspire change in the world. Malala Yousafzai is the youngest recipient of Noble Peace Prize in 2014.

Mother Teresa A Complete Authorized Biography by Kathryn Spink 

Mother Teresa A Complete Authorized BiographyThis is the meticulously researched, sensitively written and extremely inspirational autobiography of Mother Teresa, the recipient of Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 and India’s highest civilian honor, the Jewel of India. Written by Kathryn Spink, Mother Teresa A Complete Authorized Biography, is the wonderful and the first resource, after Mother Teresa’s own writings, for understanding one of the greatest saints in Christian history. Born in Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in Skopje in 1910, Mother Teresa left her home at the age of 18 and joined the Sisters of Loreto as a missionary. Mother Teresa has been recognized and acclaimed throughout the world by many for her charitable works.  She won several awards for her social works including the Pope John XXIII Peace Prize (1971), the Balzan Prize (1979), Nehru Prize and Magsaysay awards.

Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom (Revised Edition): Creating Physical and Emotional Health and Healing by Christiane Northrup

Women's Bodies, Women's WisdomFirst published in 1994, Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom is the international bestselling book by the world-known and beloved women’s health expert Dr. Christiane Northrup. The author shares through this book the latest developments and advances that help women to live a healthy life. The visionary Pioneer, Christiane Northrup, encourages women to create health on all levels by tuning into their inner wisdom. Draws upon 20 years of experience in Dr. Northrup’s gynecology practice, the book provides the vital information about how to heal from terminal illness, wonderful facts of vitamin D, how to truly dissolve PMS, the root cause of all chronic degenerative diseases. So, all in all, this veritable bible on female health and wellness is a must-read for any women.

Joy of Cooking 75th Anniversary

Joy of cookingFirst published in 1931, Irma Rombauer’s Joy of Cooking is the greatest teaching cookbook ever written and probably the most referenced cookbook in America. The book has several editions and has taught tens of millions of people to cook food. The book contains countless delicious recipes, extensive ingredient reference including instructions on how to cook, sections on knife skills, and freeze food for a day and eat for a week in an effort to consume more home-prepared meals, save money, and dine well. Desolated by her husband’s suicide in 1930, Irma Rombauer searched her own new aim in life and then wrote and, self-published the Joy of Cooking. Her daughter Marion checked recipes and created the illustrations. This mother-daughter project was widely acclaimed worldwide and become a national bestseller.

Top 10 Books for Men-Christmas Gift Series 1

Author: Sherry Helms

When it comes to books, there definitely is no gender. But then definitely there are certain books which have more male fans then females. We are sharing here a few books which you may want to gift this Christmas to men around you. Hope you will like the list. Please do share the link, if you find the collection interesting.

What We Talk About When We Talk About Love Stories by Raymond Carver

What We Talk About When We Talk About LoveWhat We Talk about When We Talk about Love by Carver is a collection of his finest known short stories. The book explores the vicissitudes of human emotions, like hatred, alcoholism and power of romantic love. Conversations over gin are serialized in this collection of short stories that makes this novel a delightful read.

 Less than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis11 jan 2014

This novel – written by Bret Easton Ellis is set in Los Angeles in the 1980′s. The book was published in 1985 when Bret was just 21 and studying in college. This book, set during the winter break when Clay returns to Los Angeles, takes you into a place and a state of mind that is so dark and disturbing it is hard to believe. Ellis takes the reader into a place that people thought was only a myth, where sex is as casual as handshake, snorting cocaine is like sipping cup of tea and spending time with your family is like having a root canal.

 The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain

The postman always rings twice newThe Postman Always Rings Twice is a short book about a middle aged roadside diner owner, his beautiful young wife and a drifter who was hired to work at his restaurant but soon falls in love with owner’s young wife.
The story, a masterpiece for its searing characterization and depiction of tawdry greed and lust is branded into every reader’s memory.

 The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks by David Augustus Embury    The fine art of mixing drinks   

The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks is a classic cocktail book beautifully written by David A. Embury and first published in 1948. The book is considered masterpiece for being witty, highly opinionated and for its conversational tone. Embury clearly and methodically lays out cocktail basics so you can “roll your own”. The books is famous for its categorization of cocktails into two main types: aromatic and sour; its categorization of ingredients into three categories: the base, modifying agents, and special flavorings and coloring agents; and its 1:2:8 ratio (1 part sweet, 2 parts sour, 8 parts base) for sour type cocktails. A must have book for man who loves being a host.

Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki


Robert Kiyosaki, the author of Rich Dad Poor Dad is a rich American Businessman and investor. Published in the year 2000, this book is basically based on Kiyosaki’s childhood upbringing and education in Hawaii. It is one of the most sold bestsellers and so far has sold over 26 million copies. The book portrays different attitude towards the money, work and life of two men, i.e. his titular “rich dad” and “poor dad”, and how they in turn influenced key decisions in Kiyosaki’s life. A wonderful read for everyone.

In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto by Michael Pollan

indefencseoffoodMichael Pollan, a journalist and an activist, published this book in 2008. For continuously six weeks this book remained at number one position on the New York Times Non-Fiction Best Seller list. This  book does not talk about any new diet and message is plain and simple rather than focusing on eating nutrients, people should focus on eating the sort of food that their ancestors would recognize. Pollan argues that too much focus on nutrition is harming American’s eating habits. In the book, he distinguishes between food and “edible foodlike substances” and recommends that Americans should spend more money and time on food, and buy locally.

 The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene

48 powerWritten by American author Robert Greene, The 48 Laws of Power was published in 1988. The book is a bestseller and so far has sold over 1.2 million copies in the United States alone and has been translated into 24 languages. This  book is very popular among American prisoners and celebrities. The book separates the behaviors and tactics of people in history who have succeeded and failed into the 48 “Laws”

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

cather rye

The Catcher in the Rye is a novel, first published in 1951  by J. D. Salinger.  The novel is about a 17- year old prep school adolescent, Holden Caufield,  who experiences the challenges of growing up, the phoniness of the adult world while attempting to face the death of his younger brother. The book sheds light on several complex issues of love, loneliness, loss of innocence, phoniness and alienation. With a sales of over 65 million copies and translated into almost all popular languages of the world,  this book is definitely phenomenal. Some of the acclamation that it has bagged are:
- on Time’s 2005 list of the 100 best English-language novels written since 1923
- named by Modern Library and its readers as one of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century
-  listed at #15 on the BBC’s survey, The Big Read

 The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand


Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead is a 1943 novel- her first major literary success that has been sold over 6.5 million copies worldwide. This instant classic is the story of an intransigent young architect, Howard Roark, who chooses to struggle in obscurity rather than compromise his artistic and personal vision. Interestingly, the manuscript was rejected by twelve publishers before editor Archibald Ogden at the Bobbs-Merrill Company risked his job to get it published.

 Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig


Robert M. Pirsig this work is of a philosophical fiction that transformed a generation. The book sold 5 million copies worldwide. It was originally rejected by 121 publishers, more than any other bestselling book as per the Guinness Book of Records. The book is about a 17-day journey on  motorcycle from Minnesota to Northern California by the author and his son Chris and other friends. The trip is punctuated by numerous philosophical discussions, referred to as Chautauquas by the author, on various topics.

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