Jumping in!

When you’re writing your first blog post, all the experts (definition: anyone on the internet who says they know how you should your first blog post) say you should be personal, transparent, informative and basically throw the kitchen sink at you about why I’ve started a blog.


So, here goes….

About me:  I’m a guy from New England who has spent over half my life in Texas.  Grew up in Boston cheering on my Red Sox, but now am just as big a fan of cowboy boots and country music.  As for my career, I’ve spent most of my life in politics in one form or another—running political campaigns at first, then worked in a state legislature (Massachusetts), for several different trade associations as a lobbyist and political operative, and also a number of other great opportunities helping organizations (both corporations and non-profits) tell their stories to the public, the media and elected officials.  That’s a lot of politics, but while I still work with companies on a wide range of legislative and political issues, I’ve turned now to a different type of politics.


Office politics.


Why?  I had that once in a lifetime, extraordinary, shock of a career type of experience that changed my life and has made me an author.  I’ve written The Arsonist in the Office: Fireproofing Your Life Against Toxic Coworkers, Bosses, Employees and Cultures


Why I am blogging:  I have started this blog to share my thoughts on the workplace—both toxic and terrific.  Our workplace has never been more difficult to navigate and I hope to add a few thoughts and provide some sanity to a very confusing time.


I have been a rank and file employee and in management, worked for large corporations and small businesses, and in for profits and nonprofits.


If you care about what’s happening in the workplace and frankly the culture that drives it, I hope you will find this blog a great place to bookmark and learn from.


Who is this blog for?   I am writing this blog for every corner of the workplace—from the CEO to the hourly employee.  I have seen both groups treated well and both abused in ways that bother me to this day.  We have too little kindness and too much craven, kooky cruelty in our offices today.

Some of the bad behavior comes from the fact that all of us are flawed and will have bad days.  When we do, we act in ways that most of us likely regret.  However, some of the bad behavior emanates from a lack of standards in many workplaces. When the standards are lowered or even ignored, terrible things happen and bad actors often win out.  Why?  Because, much like all of us experienced on the playgrounds or in elementary school, if organizations let bad behavior go, it becomes the new normal.

I watched it happen in a workplace and it changed my life.  I witnessed management purposefully looking the other way at extraordinarily bad and destructive behavior.  Why?  They feared what their toxic employee might do if disciplined.  I watched as a management structure operated within a culture of fear—fear of what their most volatile employee might do.  Leak embarrassing information.  Sabotage work.  Kneecap key people and initiatives. They had no idea what to do and they admitted it.

Management’s bobbing and weaving against the toxics within their ranks hurt morale, productivity and the culture of the organization.  The disgust manifested itself in a myriad of ways—from good people leaving to spreading of toxicity to others to stunningly blunt online reviews on websites that detail widespread dissent.

In addition to workplace issues, you’ll also get glimpses of my life as an author and stories I hear from the speaking circuit.  I’ll opine on the occasional—OK, regular and almost frequent—stories from around the country and the world about workplaces and the cultural issues that affect it.


I hope you won’t be afraid to chime in and let me know what you think about anything and everything you read on here.  I welcome the discussion.


Thanks for stopping by and always feel free to send me an email as well at pete@petehavel.com. Also, if you’d like to read my book, The Arsonist in the Office, it’s available on Amazon and through my website HERE


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