Techsplaining Episode 57: Identifying and Coping with Burnout with Rob Bogue

Recently, I got with the Techsplaining crew and talked about combating burnout. With COVID-19, many of us have been stuck at home and having a hard time coping. It can be hard to tell whether the feelings of exhaustion, cynicism, and inefficacy are a temporary result of the pandemic or if they’re signs of a more serious burnout problem. I break it down for you and talk about how to both identify burnout and recover from it in this day and age.

You can listen to the full podcast here:

Technology Advice Podcast: How Understanding Change Makes You a Better Marketer

I recently went on the Technology Advice podcast and talked with Mike Pastore about change management and marketing. In it, I talk about how understanding change helps you understand your clients. Change can lead to stress and fear, and while much of marketing is based on stress and fear, it’s important to realize why fear-based marketing won’t always work. I also discuss how managers can help their employees feel supported enough to adopt a change – as long as there is sufficient trust to avoid too much friction stopping the change.

You can hear about these topics and more by listening to the full podcast here:

HR Uprising Episode 66: Avoiding Burnout – Masterclass

A week ago, I joined Lucinda Carney on the HR Uprising Podcast to give a special masterclass on burnout – and how you can avoid it. In it, I discuss ways to identify the root causes of burnout. I talk about what our personal agency is in the context of burnout and what fills or drains our personal agency bathtub. I also review the two components of stress (the stressor itself and our assessment of the stressor) and strategies that can help you avoid burnout.

You can listen to the full podcast here:

The 6 Figure Developer Episode 155: Burnout and Change Management

I recently had an opportunity to join John Callaway on his podcast, The 6 Figure Developer. In this episode, we spend some time discussing the research for Extinguish Burnout. I explain how, in the classical definition of exhaustion, cynicism, and inefficacy, it’s inefficacy that seems to be key to heading toward (or getting out of) burnout. I also discuss the Bathtub Model, which describes our capacity for personal agency, the factors that pour into it, and the demands that draw from it.

We then move onto a brief conversation on change management. I talk about why change management is important even in the realm of technology and review the work that went into the change management course, including the 101 books referenced in the course and the custom programs developed in the process.

You can listen to the full podcast by going here:

Interview: Rick Hanson

After I read Neurodharma, I got a chance to catch up with Rick Hanson for a phone interview to get his perspectives on the book, what legacy he’s trying to leave, and his perspective on the broader world.

Rick Hanson’s book Buddha’s Brain was released over a decade ago. In the last decade, much has been learned about neurology and how our brains really function. Rick Hanson describes Neurodharma as the 10-year sequel to Buddha’s Brain that integrates what has been learned.

When I asked about the biggest barrier to people cultivating their highest happiness, Hanson responded that people don’t do a little bit of practice each day. He continued that it doesn’t have to be a big thing. It can be something simple. It can be one deep breath. It can be a quick pause to consider their good fortune.

As he and I talked, I began to understand what he meant when he said that he hoped to be a friendly guide to help other people find practices that worked for them and help them avoid the patterns that can hijack their happiness.

When the topic of anger came up, Hanson explained that people do sometimes flare in anger, but he quickly added that they shouldn’t feel as if they needed to feed the beast. I was reminded of an old Internet forum saying: “Don’t feed the trolls.” The thing you provide food to is something that grows. Anger, like trolls, arise, but the key is learning how to process anger and work on paths that lead away from it, not towards it.

Some people, Hanson explained, start doing laps around the rumination track. They get stuck in an event, and they revisit it. We should expect that bad things will happen – and we’ll do bad things. However, we don’t need to dwell in them. We can simply experience them and let them go.

Of course, Buddha said that clinging on to things that are impermanent causes great suffering. This can be true of the feelings we should be letting go of as well. When we hold on to something that is impermanent, we increase suffering.

I ended my conversation with Hanson where we began. Neurodharma is about helping people on the path, not finding the destination. It’s about the everyday slings and arrows of life, not the idealistic picture of lofty mountains and snowy peaks. Spending time doing the practices that Hanson suggests in the book isn’t some sort of spiritual bypass for living your life. It’s a way to live the life you have better – if you use happiness as your measure.

ARMA InfoCon 2019 Interview

A few weeks ago, I did an interview with RJ Mauro leading up to the ARMA InfoCon this year. We discussed some of my information governance background, the future of the information profession, and the conference itself. It was posted on YouTube, so you can check it out by going here:

You can learn more about ARMA InfoCon on their website,


Rob Talks with Heather Newman on Mavens Do It Better Episode 34

While at the AIIM conference in San Diego this year, I had a chance to catch up with my friend, Heather Newman. We recorded an episode for her podcast, Mavens Do It Better. In it, we discuss the work Terri and I have been doing in our home studio, the patent we just received for our moisture-indicating dressing, and our forthcoming book, Extinguish Burnout: A Practical Guide to Prevention and Recovery.

You can listen to it here:

Coffee in the Cloud Interview: Improve the Message

Last week, I did an interview with Karuana Gatimu for Coffee in the Cloud about transforming your communications and driving employee engagement. It’s being posted on YouTube today, so feel free to check it out here:

If you’re interested in getting some more help with your communications, you can sign up for the email series by clicking here. Or if you just need some quick user engagement tips, you can sign up by going here.

Interview with Graeme Newell on Red Goldfish

Interview with Graeme Newell on Red Goldfish

I finally was able to get my interview with Graeme Newell up.  He’s one of the two authors of Red GoldfishTake a listen.

Jeff Barnes

Interview: Jeffrey Barnes

After reading The Wisdom of Walt, I had the opportunity to sit down and chat with the author Jeff Barnes about Walt, teaching, and his next project. The conversation created new distinctions and answered the question for me – what’s left to talk about.

Not Knowing Walt

My first question was “What do you think that most people don’t know about Walt that they should?” The answer led to inspiration. Living in southern California and having students from the area, Jeff shared that most students take Disneyland for granted. From their perspective, it’s always been there. It’s as much a part of their landscape as anything else. As a result of taking the park for granted, they take the man Walt Disney for granted. Jeff starts his classes on Disneyland with a lesson titled “The Walt Disney of Disneyland” to dispel the belief that Walt had no troubles in his life.

Most people aren’t aware he was born poor, that he had a difficult childhood including a strained relationship with his father, that he filed bankruptcy. They believe that Walt was always successful. When viewed from the lens of today, it’s not hard to see that his successes have stood the test of time and his failures were forgotten.

What most people miss, according to Jeff, is the grittiness and the sense of adversity in his life. In missing this there’s power. It’s the power to inspire others and to motivate them to overcome their adversity.

Jeff points out that Walt was a master story teller. Originally, many of the rides in the park omitted the main character and people complained. It wasn’t until 1983 that the main characters were added to many of the popular rides. However, the problem is that this misses the point. Walt wanted you to be the hero of the story. He wanted you to be a part of the story instead of just hearing it. When you’re a part of the story, you’re the hero and you’re going to overcome your struggles.

Why the Book?

When I asked Jeff why he wrote the book – and what he’d add now, he told me the story about the book. It was 1991 when he got the idea. Despite not liking Disneyland on his first visit, (at least not like he likes it today) he continued to go to the park. After one particular visit he decided he wanted to write a book about Disney. His initial thoughts weren’t about applying Walt’s principles to business: there were plenty of those already. He wanted to apply Walt’s wisdom to life.

It was a walk with his wife Nikki when she helped him realize that he didn’t see the park – or Walt – like anyone else. There’s a set of stories that he had with the park. There are life lessons that were lost on others. As a reader it seems like there’s an attention to the details that Walt embedded into the park that Jeff sees and most of us don’t.

As an author I know that writing a book is hard work. It’s difficult to find the time to write. As a college administrator, instructor, husband, and father of two young kids, his schedule was tight. So tight that he joked that he was writing between naps. However, a more realistic answer is time management – the hallmark of anyone who has written a book.

Jeff related that Tomorrowland initially had clocks for many time zones across the globe. For him, that fact helped his awareness of the importance of time management.

What’s next? The answer is “Beyond the Wisdom of Walt” which will include content that didn’t make the first book –in particular it will focus on the legacy that Walt left when he passed away. It’s about how his impact continued through the Imagineers that followed him.

Family and Corporate

One of the things that I shared with Jeff was the admiration for the Disney Family Museum. When I brought the place up, Jeff shared that he moved around a lot during his life but that he considers the Bay area (San Francisco, CA) his “home” as much as any place. He remembers the Presidio when it was a military institution, its transformation, and the addition of the Disney Family Museum. It’s a beautiful location. He noted about Diane’s Silverado Winery that’s also in the Bay area, and how the museum came to be placed near her rather than in Southern California with the park or the studios.

It’s all too easy to draw the lines too tightly between the Disney company and the man Walt Disney. The family wanted to honor the man – not the company. As a result the museum is with the family. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s been described to me as a love letter from a daughter to her father.

The museum is so well done. We discussed the pathway – which has a striking view of the golden gate bridge. (Take a look below) The pathway leads from the experience as a movie mogul to Walt branching out into theme parks.

Both Jeff and I commented about how we marveled at the model of Disneyland at the museum. Jeff noted that the model wasn’t a fixed point in time. It wasn’t the Disneyland as it opened, nor was it a precise replica of the park today; it’s a sort of idealized view of the park, as can only exist when looking across time. It captures both the spirit of the park and some of the history at the same time.

Live Each Day

By now our conversation was electric – and time for a close. There are so many amazing things about Walt that we could discuss including what was in the book and experiences that just didn’t make it. For now, we had to agree that we could remain inspired if we could only live each day like it’s a day at Disneyland.

As I thanked Jeff for his time, I couldn’t help but wonder how far the institution that Walt created would lead into the future, and how long we’d be able to remember The Wisdom of Walt.