Author: Rachel Cooke

Rachel Cooke is a leadership and workplace expert who holds her M.A. in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University. Founder of Lead Above Noise, she has been named a top 100 Leadership Speaker by Inc. Magazine and has been featured in Fast Company, The Huffington Post, and many more.


Working remotely is not a new concept. According to CNBC, as of 2018, roughly 70 percent of the global workforce was working remotely at least once per week. But for most, working remotely is a complement to, not a replacement for, days in an office. Yet, in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, to minimize risk, many companies are asking, or even requiring, their employees to work remotely for the foreseeable future. When it’s not your norm, telework can be hard to navigate. QDT’s editor Karen Hertzberg, a work-from-home veteran herself, recently published “How to Work from Home During the…

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We all want to be productive. Checking boxes, crossing items off our lists—is there anything more satisfying? We tend to think of productivity as a measure of quantity. The more stuff we get done, the more productive we feel. But sometimes, being productive is more about substance than volume. In other words, the struggle isn’t getting more things done but bringing a single big, hairy, messy problem or question to resolution. Sometimes the brand of productivity we’re seeking isn’t about efficiency, but about finding creative ways to reach a finish line. If you’re struggling right now to produce something that’s been…

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Today’s episode is an interview with Jocko Willink, a retired U.S. Navy SEAL officer and New York Times #1 bestselling author of several books including his latest, Leadership Strategy and Tactics. Jocko hosts the popular podcast Leadership and Discipline, as well as a podcast for young leaders-in-training called Warrior Kid. Upon retiring from the Navy in 2010, Jocko founded leadership consulting firm Echelon Front. There, he teaches combat leadership principles to help others build their own high-performance winning teams. In the interview, we explored how applying leadership lessons from the battlefield can bring us extraordinary success in the workplace. I’ll…

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When my first daughter was born, I considered naming her Nola. But as my sage (and handsome!) husband pointed out, her nickname was going to end up being No. And that seemed like cruel and unusual punishment. No one likes the sound of a “no.” We all know by now that setting clear boundaries at work—in other words, saying no—is key to our wellness and self-preservation. But still, it’s hard to resist the urge to be a hero. You want to be the one your boss can count on, and that means saying yes to everything. But what if I…

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Does the idea of having to self-promote leave you feeling like you need a shower? Sometimes, it seems showy and braggy and icky. The thought of having to do it may make your skin crawl. And yet, self-promotion is essential. The key to promoting yourself is striking the balance between humility and hubris. You need to find ways to demonstrate confidence—in the service of creating opportunities—without seeming self-congratulatory or off-putting. Doing great work isn’t enough Doing great work—delivering important projects, delighting customers and clients, contributing innovative ideas—is crucial if we aspire to new challenges and opportunities at work. But these…

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