For All the Men. A Tough Love Note on Valentine's Day.


Happy Valentine's Day Rebels,

If you are a man or if you love a man or two, this newsletter is for you.

I'm going to cut straight to the chase, no soft start, no cute story. It's Valentine's Day after all, and I want to give you this loving gift right away.

  • 1. Men, you are more than your job.

  • 2. Don't wait until retirement to do the things that make you happy.

There are a number of reasons it felt urgent to make that point today. Here they are:

  • Tom. When I knew Tom in our corporate days, he was a tightly wound, hilarious leader who loved his family and told epic stories of being at the office on Christmas Eve. He retired a few years ago and was finally working at the beer store and enjoying his adult children. Two years into his retirement, he died suddenly, and we were all crying in church while his children spoke.

  • Frank: He retired and finally was taking the master gardening class he could never fit into his schedule. He died before he finished the class.

  • Bill: When Bill called me a year ago, going to work made him sick to his stomach. In his mid-60s, he had to drag himself to his job every day and drag himself home with nothing to show for the hours at the office. Rather than doing the work of releasing the past and redefining a broader identity for himself, he decided to double down on his job and continue for 4 more years until he felt he could retire.

  • My beloved father-in-law. He was an amazing CFO, loved doing taxes, and served on many boards until Alzheimers robbed him of his ability to crunch numbers and communicate financial strategy. He had no hobbies, and no outside interests, which left him lost.

I can name at least two other men who died within a couple of years of their retirement. My heart breaks every time I hear this story.

And that is why I wanted to send you this Valentine. You are more than your work. Who you are matters. Who you are to your family and friends matters.

If you feel like you have let your friendships go, decide to make some new ones. You deserve to do things you love and that make you happy. You deserve to take care of your body and mind even while you work. And it's ok to love working. I love working. Just don't put off the chance to develop other wonderful parts of yourself until retirement. You are loved.

Happy Valentine's Day.


P.S. Does your dad, brother, husband, best friend, boss need to hear this message? Forward this email to them. They can join here to learn ways to embrace their happiness.


What's the right response to everything that's happening?

Estimated read time: Les than one minute.

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It's been avoiding sitting down to write this newsletter. What does someone who writes about work have to say about the tragic events of the past week?

Do you ever feel like things are so big and complex and wonder where to find your contribution? I do, and it exhausts me sometimes. Like today.

I'm going straight to the point.

The human world is driven by two forces, love and fear. Love can feel like the harder option because it requires vulnerability, openness, risk, and courage.

Love is the only option, and love belongs at work.

Here's your challenge. You are a leader. Leaders take responsibility for their worlds. Leaders take care of their people. Go find some people and take care of them. This week put love into your world every day, especially at work.

Here are some suggestions to get you started:

  • Bring coffee to your officemates, especially the ones you don't like.
  • Let the person in front of you merge into traffic.
  • Leave an extra tip for your server.
  • Pay for someone's meal at the cafeteria. Even better if it's a stranger.
  • Call a colleague you'd honestly rather just email.
  • Tell your boss what you appreciate about him/her. Even better, do it in writing.

Each action you take this week, at work and at home, ask yourself if you are coming from love or fear. Then choose love. The impact on the greater world will be tremendous.

In love,


P.S. If you know someone who would like to receive this newsletter, they can sign-up for The Corporate Rebel Video Podcast and Newsletter HERE.