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  • Banking & Insurance
  • Biotechnology & I.T.
  • Construction Trades
  • Manufacturing
  • Municipalities & Schools
  • Non-profits
  • Veterinary & Health


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 Testamonial:  Georgian's workshop, "Advice to Your Younger Self:  Celebrate Your Story" at the 2015 Connecticut Women's Conference was very well received.  Each attendee came away with newly discovered energy and courage to take on life's transitions.  Her workshop was the perfect follow-up to our morning program, "Unleash Your Inner Hero!" 

Joanne Gustafson, President, Connecticut Women's Alliance.


Workshop Offerings Include: 

Your Next 20 Years - A Workshop for Midlife Career Women

Develop realistic hope for earning as we age; address 'what if' scenarios; catalog transferable skills and talents; explore opportunities to do what you always wanted!





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My Website for Adult Caregivers:



Mister Ed, Lucy, Mom & Me is a booklet that shares how watching '60s sitcoms with my Mom helped lighten the caregiving experience.  Available on Amazon. 

Here is the Amazon book link:


Insights & Observations

 Welcome! Note the tabs on top -- Trades Success showcases Handbooks I co-authored that celebrates careers in the trades. The "Working Women" section offers services and ideas to help summon our creativity in every phase of our careers.  In the "Ponder That" section I comment on current news items and emerging trends.  In the "Tips" section I offer workplace advice and reminders. "About Me" is just that. "Mid LIFE Matters" has segments from my public tv show.   "The Ryan Group" tab offers access to an astounding set of organizational improvement services.

2019 career advice for success in the trades:



Available on Amazon  

Special Edition Building Success in the Trades


Manufacturing Trades Success: 



Below are two managment e-books I authored for retaining talent:


Read these E-Books  in 2 hours at Work!

Printable Workbook Format



Below are shots of inspiration for experienced working women: 


 Available at Amazon - paperback & ebook




 "Mid LIFE Matters" - Wallingford Public TV

 I host a half-hour show on WPAA-TV celebrating women's wisdom and wit.  Fascinating women share their stories and growth mindsets:  Segments are under the MidLIFE Matters tab on this site and on You Tube, under my name.

I am honored to win the 2016 Community Media Rika Welch leadership award for community impact; a testimony to the Guests who shared their stories on MidLIFE Matters



Management Training:

E-Book Webinars & Workshops

Thank you to Joan Lahti, Ph.D., of Get To The Point Books for sponsoring a 45-minute webinar on my e-book, Are Your Star Performers Packing Their Bags?  How to Persuade Them to Stay.  Participants from across the country (and globe) reflected on their own retention tactics, and saw how to navigate this user-friendly workbook approach.   I offer similar sessions -- in person, online, or using blended technology, for any size group.  Contact Joan for a reference:







What Price Rudeness?

A recent study by a professor, Christine Pearson, shows that "many workers left jobs because of continuing incivility but rarely reported that as the reason." (NYT 'Shortcuts' 11/2010).  So much for exit interviews. 

An early-career guy recently told me that he did not really want to join co-workers for 'Happy Hour' - "Why do people think you want to spend more time with them when they are rude to you at work?"

Professor Pearson's research also showed that '60% of disrespectful behavior came from above, 20% from colleagues and 20% from below.'  That reinforces my longstanding belief that rudeness rolls downhill, and untimately lands on customers.

Counterintuitively, it appears that Boeing's 'team' model had a negative effect on morale; people reported losing a sense their 'contributions were respected as a source of competitive advantage -- they experienced a shift to where people and positions were expendable or interchangeable with other workers around the world.' (NYT 'Off The Shelf'11/21/10.  )  This research is from the book Turbulence:  Boeing and the State of American Workers and Managers, by four experts.  They also report that managers and employees alike had intentions to quit the company.

At a more general level, an article in the Hartford Courant, "Don't Let Hostility Replace Civility" by Rand Richards Cooper (11/21/10) urges Americans  to 'reboot' from being 'half-cocked' with rage to choosing to exercise 'small acts of diplomacy' in every day life, such as while driving.

While existing studies show that most people think it is other people who are rude, not them, these articles reinforce a trend I've observed in my 30+ years of working -- people more easily insult each other in meetings.  I feel like a Missy Manners when I am shocked to hear one woman tell another she is stupid and ugly in a planning meeting, with no apparent consequences.  I close with a quote from Professor Pearson:  "It's amazing how many (leaders) expect their employees to treat customers with respect and how few worry about how their colleagues treat each other."


Newsworthy Older Women

Cathleen P. Black just left the Hearst Corporation to lead New York City schools as chancellor.  While not an educator, her new boss describes her "as a world-class manager."  She is credited with finding advertisers for USA Today in its infancy, and helped Oprah decide to launch "O" magazine.  She's been a lot of 'firsts', even though she is the youngest of three in her family.  Recently demoted at Hearst, she surprised them by leaving for this astronomical  challenge.  She prides herself on being able to work with strong personalities -- sounds like she is one, herself -- all this, and she is 66!  (NYT 11/10/10)

Ruth M. Porat, EVP and CFO of Morgan Stanley, is touted as a survivor who reinvented herself after working through explosions in the stock market and silicon valley.  People remind her that the careers of the last two female chief financial officers on Wall Street  did not end well.  My hope is that this 52-year old woman in a man's world will demolish that legacy.                                             ( NYT 11/10/10)





55+ Unite?

The recent French protests against raising retirement ages seems especially foreign to me.  As a baby boomer, I personally know dozens of people over 55 who are desperate to work for the next ten years or more.  I've been declaring the economic crisis for the 55+ crowd as a Depression vs. a Recession:  High achievers with advanced degrees and impressive resumes receive electronic job rejections faster than a speeding bullet.

In a 10/30/10 NYT "Off the Charts" article, the U.S. is reported as having close to 80% of men 55-59 either working or seeking employment.  For women, its about 65%.  From my frame of reference, many are either underemployed or looking for work.  Most are not financially stable enough to contemplate early retirement, but may have to.  Its been projected that they will not have enough working years left to recover from unemployment, houses under water and empty 401Ks.

Maybe 55+ Americans need to organize themselves in working collectives; their combined expertise in marketing, finance, operations and communications, infused with entreprenuerial energy, could put retirement decisions on the back burner.



FOD Alert!

Way back in 1997, two women wrote Survivors: How to Keep your Best People on Board After Downsizing.  Gayle Caplan and Mary Teese identified three groups of employees who are spared the hatchet: The  "Foot Out the Doors" (proactive and high performing) the "Wait and Sees" (reactive and angry) and the "Ride It Outs" (most likely to stay, least likely to meet new performance standards).  They interviewed and quoted "Foot Out the Doors" or FODs, as not wanting to do three people's jobs, no matter what the pay; believing that cancelled attendance at professional conferences caused them to stop growing; wanting to get out of a negative environment, and resenting an emphasis on quantity over quality.

In the Jobs section of the New York Times on Sunday, October 17, 2010, Jon Picoult penned an article "Here Comes A Turnover Storm."  Jon reminds us that at some point the economic cycle will turn, and frustrated workers will turn, as well.  He decries the term "human capital", as all capital assets depreciate over time.  Rather, he predicts that employers who focus on the humanity we share will not only retain their workers, but attract talent from competitors.  He states that while "The cost of turnover is often invisible ... its impact on an organization's people and its bottom line is undeniable."  Jon Picoult predicts the turnover storm is brewing, and encourages companies to proactively respond to the significant threat of lost talent.

Based on my 30+ years in business, I concur.


Colds a Sign of Strength?

I remember a medical speaker saying that hospital staffs are most compassionate towards kids and old folks.  Patients in between tend to get blamed for bad habits -- smoking, drinking, obesity and other controllable factors that  land them in the hospital.  Arm-chair psychologists tell us blaming others for their misfortune keeps them at a safe distance, and I can also appreciate the daily drain of being a caregiver.

But recent research has revoked our right to blame co-workers who bring colds into the office.  Rather than suffering from poor immune systems (due to smoking, drinking or obesity, etc.), " people with more active immune systems may be especially prone to cold symptoms."  (NYT OP-ED 10/05/10)  The article by Jennifer Ackerman, the author of "Ah-Choo!  The Uncommon Life of Your Common Cold", explains its our own " ... chemical agents that cause our nose to run and our throat to swell."

So while that Mom of 3 brings in one of the 12 colds that an average kid gets every year, you might stop and admire that she is managing to maintain her strength as well as her household!

This discovery definitely takes the perverse fun out of protecting ourselves with clorox wipes and hand gels.  If we ward off the cold, it may be a sign we are the weaker one.    I think this is a reminder that our assumptions can be our undoing.