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How One Boss Changed My Entire Life

By David Harder on April, 19, 2017

Doing the right thing seems to be as much the product of instinct as intelligence.   Today, a dear friend and I are getting together with our former boss – Gail Angel. I have not seen her in twenty-three years! Gail owned one of the most successful staffing companies in California. Gail also taught me the very greatest lesson on the first day I showed up as a new general manager.   I remember 1985 as an absolutely terrifying time in my life. People were dying…in droves. None of us knew how AIDS was transmitted. Before it became a world […]


Why is United Airlines Turning Into a Consumer Battlecry?

By David Harder on April, 17, 2017

We watched the passenger being injured and dragged off the plane. The world rises in anger. Within hours, CNN’s Aviation Specialist Richard Quest cynically predicts consumers will be back “as if nothing happened” in a matter of days. The implication is that Americans want large quantities of cheap stuff and are perfectly happy to put up with crap to get it, including disengaged, unhappy and surly workers.   According to Gallup’s last global engagement survey, 87% of the world’s workers are now disengaged. With numbers like that, how are we getting anything done? Well, we are doing it in a […]

Why Active Learners Own Our Future

By David Harder on April, 14, 2017

We used to derive our security from a job. Today we find our security from growth.   If that’s true (and it is), consider what a vast change in consciousness and outlook this represents for most of us. In my upcoming book The Workplace Engagement Solution (Career Press), I have interviewed some of America’s most respected leaders and hiring managers. It has become clear the active learners is today’s single most sought after candidate. Without that trait, the probability of having a long and effective future with any up and coming organization is practically nil.   According to Cathy Sandeen, […]


Inspired Work’s First Annual Disengaged Employee of the Year Award

By David Harder on April, 13, 2017

We were going to wait until the end of the year to take nominations for “Disengaged Employee of the Year Award” but after careful consideration, Sean has set a bar so thoroughly in the winning position, we are throwing in our chips today. Please, please, please, this is not a partisan pick! Our selection is purely based on performance considerations. Mr. Sean Spicer has won the award for the following reasons: He told the world press that Hitler did not resort to chemical weapons…during Passover. Here are a few of the winning characteristics Spicer presents as a fully disengaged employee: […]

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What is an Engagement CEO?

By David Harder on April, 12, 2017

According to Gallup, only 13% of the world’s workers are engaged. How are we getting anything done? Well, we are doing it in a trance. Many of my readers were taken with the shocking levels of disengagement behind the debacle at United Airlines. But, the only thing I have learned from the culture destruction by the company’s former CEO is to simply not fly on United Airlines.   In developing engagement solutions, I have come to the conclusion that CEOs can be just as disengaged as disgruntled line workers. One’s rank has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not […]

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The Shocking Back Story Behind Yesterday’s Debacle at United Airlines

By David Harder on April, 11, 2017

Yesterday’s shocking customer service blunder at United Airlines was yet another example of an employee culture so disengaged that we end up dragging a semi-conscious passenger in front of the world. The UA “culture” treats its own employees so badly that incidents like this happen routinely. This morning, I spoke with a former commercial pilot who witnessed a passenger without legs drag himself through the snow to make his next flight. Dispatch repeatedly didn’t listen to the severity of the customer need. UA isn’t alone, the trance of employee disengagement impacts all of us every single day.   Current industry […]

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Silicon Valley’s Bizarre, Shocking, Exciting, & Scary New Conversation

By David Harder on April, 10, 2017

Last year, Elon Musk was speaking at Recodes annual Code Conference in Palos Verdes, California. He said something that captured my imagination to such a bizarre degree that I think about his statement on a daily basis. He said, “We could already be playthings in a simulated-reality world run by an advanced civilization. In fact, there is a one-in-a-billion chance this is not a reality game.”   Recently, during a lengthy dream, I died, opened my eyes, and there were a bunch of friends clapping and yelling, “Well done!” After the festivities around my return, I took a walk around […]

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Burn All the Boats – One Working Parent’s Journey to Freedom

By David Harder on April, 5, 2017

Recently, I have been sharing stories about sole breadwinners. They are masters of responsibility for many of America’s families. But, they often set aside their own career development in the fear that one wrong move will spell failure in meeting the needs of their children’s day-to-day well-being as well as future education. In earlier times, that commitment often precluded the pursuit of work they would love to do. In today’s era of rapid change, the sole breadwinner often finds they have to change whether they like it or not. Time and time again, when our participants define the truth, they […]

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The One Question I Will Never Ask Again

By David Harder on March, 28, 2017

The wind has blasted away all sleep. Trees are bending towards the sea and the coyotes have disappeared, possibly hiding or simply taking advantage of the noise that awakens me. This particular wind has gathered energy forcing itself on Sunset Boulevard gathering speed as it races, growing in rage towards the Pacific and I am here to greet it.   I have a special relationship towards wind. Years ago, I was at a really low point in my life and for a brief period of time, I asked God a maudlin question: “Do you want me here?”   The answer […]

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A Unique Way to Get Your Most Out of Every Day

By David Harder on March, 27, 2017

Many agree that our most precious resource is time. How much time gets used up in the frenzy of today’s workplace?   In Inspired Work’s leadership and engagement programs, we give our participants a customized series of questions to answer at the beginning of every day. It takes less than five minutes. We find that answering a few basic questions brings a greater sense of mission, vision, and purpose to the day ahead. The value of using Socratic, open-ended questions within the day ahead is the process leaves room for our own creativity and truth to step forward. This is […]