I just returned from a fantastic trip to New York City, a place that could not be much more different from where I live. Everything about Manhattan screams energy and a frenetic pace – quite the contrast from life in small town Iowa.

When was in the Big Apple, I felt transported to another world not just a different city. “New York is a great place to visit but I wouldn’t want to live there,” I said to my sister. It reminded me of the corollary that is often said about our state: “Iowa is a great place to live but I wouldn’t want to visit.” There is truth to both statements.

It is difficult to describe the environment and sensory stimulation that occurs in much of central NYC just as it is challenging to articulate what makes life on the banks of the Mississippi so amenable to those who live there. Both are their own cultures and different people will be more comfortable in each of them.

Your job is to as accurately and thoroughly as possible describe your organization’s culture to anyone who may aspire to work with you. Are you a New York, an Iowa or someplace entirely different? If you’re asking people to make it their workplace home, it needs to be a long-term lifestyle fit not just a short-term vacation adventure.


I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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