Dream Jobs

The Dream Job Inside Us All

Dream Jobs are a function of what's inside our hearts. Phillip Kane's blog

June 24, 2021

This week, LinkedIn posed the question, “Does the dream job really exist?”

It’s a question, that like many others, isn’t sufficiently answered by a simple yes or no answer. I will tell you, though, that in my experience, the answer is yes. But I will also tell you that dream jobs have far less to do with the jobs themselves than with the people doing them.

And that’s the point for the week.

Finding a dream job is not much different than finding personal happiness. It is rarely a matter of living out some childhood ambition. And it is never a function of external circumstances, other people or material things. It is 100% driven by one’s view of themselves and the degree to which they are grateful for that which they already have.

I often tell people that I would be happy living above and running a bait shack anywhere. While some look back at me with incredulity upon hearing me say so, most who know me aren’t particularly surprised. Those who find my claim dubious believe I’d struggle to give up some of the nice things I have in my life. But see, here’s the thing, I don’t base my happiness on nice things. Of course, I’m grateful for everything I have in my life, big and small. But my dream fulfillment isn’t dependent on things … or jobs … or the opinions of other people. 

Those whose happiness and self-worth are tied to possessions, circumstances or other human beings tend to lead unhappy lives – lives spent in a constant search for fulfillment. These people are unlikely to ever find their “dream job.” But even in those rare instances when they claim to have done so, their joy is often short-lived as they realize, in very short order, that happiness based on anything other than one’s own sense of self is a mirage, far from the dream they endlessly seek.

But those who are grateful for every thing, every circumstance and every person in their life are likely to describe each day of their life as a dream come true, because for them each day of their life presents something to be thankful for, something they didn’t have the day before. Even on what others might describe as bad days, these people find things to be happy about – because they choose to. See, like most else in life, living a dream is a choice; it’s not a matter of stuff and it’s certainly not a matter of privilege.

Some of the most miserable people I know came from worlds of plenty.  Likewise, many of the happiest souls I’ve ever encountered were born into or still reside in abject poverty. Because they understand that living a dream has virtually nothing to do with anything other than waking up each day with love and gratitude in one’s heart.

The decision to see our jobs or life itself as a dream is almost entirely up to us. It’s a choice to believe with every ounce of our being that it doesn’t matter what’s going on outside of us – things like titles, bigger offices, larger salaries, or other entrapments – not one bit of it matters if what’s going on inside of us is broken. It’s because happiness, and indeed finding the perfect job, happens from the inside out.  

So yes, I believe that dream jobs still exist. Most of us probably have one already. We’re just a measure of gratitude away from knowing it to be true.

So find your dream job. Wake up tomorrow with a grateful heart.

And win.

Too pre-order Phillip Kane’s new book from Amazon, follow this link:

For more about the author, click Day Job


Hurry Back to the Office

Hurry back to the office.  Phillip Kane's blog

June 18, 2021

Earlier today, I received a message from LinkedIn asking me to weigh in on a number of trending topics. Among them were questions about the acceptability of visible tattoos, a five hour work day, and what’s luring people back to offices. Going about my day, I considered each topic. It was, though, a couple of seemingly unrelated posts found right here on LinkedIn that compelled me to write about the latter: What’s luring people back to offices?

The first post was from a connection who shared a pre-pandemic photo of he and several colleagues at their place of work. In his short post, he longed for a return to those earlier days – of being together, all in one place. The second was a well circulated post from a LinkedIn influencer sharing an idea from a recently opened workplace which is offering workers an opportunity to use multi-color wristbands to communicate to others the degree to which they are willing to interact with their teammates. Red means stay away from me. Yellow means I might speak to you and, if so, from a great distance. Green means, of course I’ll interact with you, high-five you and even hug you. In the wisdom of someone in this organization, they believe that it’s a terrific idea for associates who have been divided from other humans for over a year to be, well, divided still. For those wondering what is luring folks back to offices, they need look no further than the first poster’s simple sentiment. Human beings are social creatures who have a fundamental need to be with other people. Those who understand this fact, and who create more opportunities to bring people together win more often. On the other hand, those who seek division as an outcome will almost always lose.

And that’s the point(s) for the week.

What’s luring people back to offices is a simple human desire to be with other human beings. It’s no more complicated than that.

In all of recorded time, nearly all of what might be considered as the greatest of human achievements, have been accomplished by groups of people bound together by a common cause or objective. Even many great accomplishments often attributed to single individuals, like Graham-Bell’s telephone, or Edison’s electrification were actually the result of these men toiling away with others to achieve something extraordinary. What is also true is that there exists no case in the annals of time where a divided organization of any kind posted anything of any moment. Lincoln was right, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

While it may seem well-intentioned, dividing any organization into any number of factions for any purpose is an awful idea. In the referenced example, quite soon, resentment, competition, mockery and any number of other negative outcomes will naturally result between the greens, reds and yellows simply because human beings will behave like human beings. Divide people and they will act accordingly. Bring them together and they will behave likewise. One reaps exactly what they sow, always.

Those leaders who seek to create unified teams that share common goals and objectives are those who most often win. They do so because far more time is spent on the work of the team, not on wasted energy that almost always comes from fraction and division. Those on their teams trust each other more, believe in each other more and display a greater willingness to fight for each other and the goals of the team. They do so, not because they are all the same, but because that which is important to them is the same.

It is this desire to be among others who share a common vision, a common purpose and a common desire to succeed which is the siren’s call beckoning folks back to “the office,” where they can look each other in the actual eye, shake each other’s hands, slap each other’s backs, break bread together, or even sit together quietly but assured by the fact that they are, in fact, together, again, as we were created and intended to be.

So, hurry back to the office, where you’re supposed to be.

And win.

To pre-order PhillipKane’s new book from Amazon, please follow this link:


The Diversity of One Voice

True, caring leaders know that diversity for diversity’s sake is waste. They align diverse talent behind common goals to win.

June 11, 2021

This week, at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York, something truly astounding occurred. It happened during the singing of the National Anthem before game 6 of a Stanley Cup playoff between the New York Islanders and the Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League. The capacity crowd of 13,000 souls so overwhelmed singer Nicole Raviv in singing along, together, that for several bars, she stopped singing altogether, allowing the crowd to carry the tune. To see team rivalries, age, sex, color, creed and other differences melt away as the crowd formed a single, powerful chorus was truly breathtaking and as much as anything else a reminder that a whole can never be more than the sum of its parts.

And that’s the point for the week.

The rafter-shaking volume of Wednesday night’s anthem was the result of every different soul acting as one. In that moment, individual diversity gave way to a single common goal. 

Those who win, are those who seek great diversity then combine these differences in the pursuit of singular objectives – those who align diverse talent behind common goals. Those who fail allow diversity to become a goal in and of itself.

When the focus of diversity becomes about describing how we are different instead of what we share in common, achieving anything will become more difficult, if not impossible. Conjure up an arena full of people singing different songs, or a tug of war with team members pulling the rope in whatever direction they see fit based on their own unique view of the world. The outcome, even in these trivial examples would be a disaster. Now imagine what might happen in a company, a country, or a community where the beliefs of individuals become more important than those of the whole. It’s not hard to envision. We’re getting a glimpse of it today.

Every difference should be celebrated, not for the sake of itself but because every difference offers an opportunity to find new, better ways around, over, under, or through obstacles on the way to the shared ambition of the team. Diversity matters because it makes whole teams stronger, because it makes whole teams better. By adding different experiences, points of view, bases of knowledge, and emotions to every situation and decision teams can win more often – as long as all of that diversity is aligned behind one common goal.

But when differences are celebrated solely for the sake of doing so or, worse, are pointed out in ways that cause the owner of those differences to feel bad for holding them, the diversity train is off the track. No person should ever be made to feel embarrassed, ashamed, less valuable, or in any way demeaned because of something that makes them different, whether that difference is held by more or less of those around them. Too, celebrating differences simply for the sake of doing so will almost always alienate some portion of a team – an obvious and overwhelming mistake.

For any team to win, the entire team must maintain focus on that which unites them, on that which they share in common, and on that which when achieved will lead to improvement in the lives of every person in the organization. When that happens, with every individual that adds their own diverse set of skills and experiences, the stronger, faster, smarter and more resilient the team will become. It will suffer fewer distractions, fewer setbacks and fewer unnecessary disagreements. And whatever it is that the team is about will rise forth, as if from one source, ever higher – shattering before established barriers and reminding those who are part of it that what they are seeing has been made possible by the simultaneous collision of that which makes them different and that which makes them the same. 

So align diverse talent behind common goals. 

And win. 

To pre-order Phillip Kane’s new book from Amazon, please follow this link:

To learn more about the author, click Day Job


The American Race

You are not defined by your past.  Refuse to let the past define the future. Phillip Kane's andwin blog.

Sunday was the 77th anniversary of the Battle of Normandy, better known as D-Day. The Normandy landings marked, for all practical purposes, the beginning of the liberation of Western Europe from Nazi control and the end of the Holocaust, or Shoal, during which some 6 million Jews were senselessly slaughtered.

In thinking about the great loss of life at Normandy where some 4,000 Americans gave the ultimate sacrifice, indeed of the Shoal itself, and later of just life itself, I could not think of one individual I have ever met or any race of people I have ever learned about that has not suffered some sort of heartache, trauma, loss, injury, defeat, oppression or otherwise. Every person, every race has at some point in time faced some awfulness. No one has the market cornered on burden-carrying. And so, to me, what matters more than the burden itself is what we do with the burden we’ve been asked to carry.

And that’s the point for the week.

Throughout the entirety of human history, beginning with Cain and Abel, people have been conquering, enslaving and poorly treating one another. It continues to this day. In most cases, there is and has been no discernible physical difference between attacker and attackee or slave master and slave or discriminator and discriminatee. Early white Irish and Italian immigrants to the USA were among the most discriminated against human beings in the history of this republic. Of the more than 100 million people killed by communists in world history, most looked exactly like their tormentors. 

But today, of those who have individually, or as races suffered great losses many now thrive while others don’t. Why?

I’m often accused of oversimplifying things. But it’s because the right answer to complex problems is often easy to find. It’s a matter of tearing away all that doesn’t matter and getting to the truth. So, I will tell you what I think and why I think it’s simple.

I think it’s because winners win. Winners refuse to let losses define their future. Winners recover. Winners never blame others for the tragedy that befalls them or ask for repayment for the injuries of their ancestors. They stand up straight and they go to work. They go over, around, under or through whatever stands in the way of them and what they want for themselves. They are not held back by loss, they are propelled forward by it.

My grandmother was born in New Jersey, less than a month after her parents arrived here on a boat. They were fleeing people who were killing and oppressing people like them. So they came here with nothing, only to be discriminated against – their race became synonymous with stupidity in America for decades. But they refused to let any of that define them. And they won. They and millions more like them of all races, colors and creeds stand in stark contrast to those who cannot or will not move past experiences that do not or should not define them.

It is true in life that the road will always be harder for some. But as I stated at the onset, no one escapes hardship. The fundamental difference though, between winners and losers is NOT the difficulty in their path or the perceived degree to which some deck is stacked for or against them, but only the extent to which they are willing to wake up each and every day intent on making every day better than the last one and never ever giving up in pursuit of their American dream.

So, refuse to let the past define the future.

And win.

To pre-order Phillip Kane’s new book from Amazon, please follow this link:

For more about the author click: Day Job


Love the Ones You Lead

Love the ones you lead. Image relates to the poem, An Arundel Tomb, by Philip Larkin. Phillip Kane, Author

June 1, 2021

I was reminded, this week, of a favorite poem – one among the top 5 anyway – entitled “An Arundel Tomb,” by Philip Larkin. The poem, which seems much older, perhaps owing to its subject matter, was completed by Larkin in 1956. It describes a 14th century tomb that the author saw in an old cathedral in southern England. Stanza by stanza, Larkin, an atheist, muses about the lives, or coupled life, of the married occupants of the tomb. The poem strikes a tone of cynicism, not unusual for Larkin, toward marriage, tradition, and social standing. But then, as if jarred, by a single, before overlooked detail, into recalling his own humanity, the deflating 41 lines of the poem before, give way to a breathtaking final 7 words: “What will survive of us is love.” In them, Larkin, seems almost to have surprised even himself. Like one blurting out a truth. Philip Larkin, after nearly seven stanzas of callous detachment, almost tenderly reminds us of one of the most undeniable truths of all time – that love endures all. 

And that’s the point for the week. 

I listened on a webcast today, as the moderator encouraged would-be leaders to wipe their vocabularies, resumes, LinkedIn profiles, elevator speeches and other elements of their public image of any “soft skills.” Loving those you lead quite certainly fits that bill. As would treating others with kindness or seeking to improve the lives of those who follow you. What matters most, it seems, is driving others to produce results, their feelings be darned. 

But as it is true that almost no one remembers who won a Super Bowl two years later, virtually no one will recall one number you posted even two quarters after you put it on the board. Think of what may have been the most important product launch, customer meeting or “change” initiative you were ever involved in. Now try to recall exact dates, figures or even people who were involved. Good luck.

Now think about those leaders who had the greatest impact on your life personally, those you’d tell others you love(d). I guarantee you remember their names. I am likewise certain that you can recall other details about your time with them with photographic accuracy. And I’ll bet you can recite from rote things these people taught you. 

When we stop regarding love as an unimportant soft skill but instead as something central to who we are as leaders and a non-negotiable attribute of the teams we lead, something enduring and verging on the magical happens. Trust blossoms. Human beings come together around common ideas and goals not for the sake of those things but for the sake of each other, for the love of one another. Great leaders make it perfectly and abundantly clear to those in their care that they love them and, accordingly, would do nearly anything for them. In return, those who follow them would walk through fire for these leaders and gladly turn around and do it again. As a result, these organizations win more often and survive downturns and other hardships without breaking their stride. They stay together longer, and the people within them remember each other for a lifetime. 

These things happen because of the surviving power of love – that which, far from being a soft skill, and greatest of all human connections, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and, above all, endures all things. 

So, skip the lecture on skipping soft skills. 

Love the ones you lead. 

And win. 

For more about the author, click HERE.

To purchase Phillip’s book, The Not So Subtle Art of Caring: Letters on Leadership from John Hunt Publishing, London, please follow this LINK.