On The Hook

Welcome to my blog, On The Hook. I call it that because it’s the perfect place to hang my thoughts inspired by the many hats I wear as a marketing & PR pro, wife, mom and community volunteer.

Megan Wagner’s “Fired Up With The Expert” Career Reinvention Webinar Series Takes On Performance Punishment

Are you a high-performing achiever who’s frustrated because the ONLY reward for your great work has been more work?

Have you become too valuable to your company doing your current job for them to let you move into a role you REALLY want?

Has performing miracles become your ‘normal’ way of working and what others expect from you?

If this sounds like you or someone you know, mark your calendar for September 21st at 7 pm Eastern and make plans to join me on “Fired Up with the Expert”, a new career reinvention webinar series hosted by blogger, marketing expert and best-selling author Megan Wagner. In this free, live webinar, we’ll be talking about the Performance Punishment Cycle and how you can break free so you can start winning at work.

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My Journey to Becoming an Author

If you’ve had a chance to flip through the introduction to my book Great Work, Great Rewards: 7 Secrets to Breaking the Performance Punishment Cycle, you may be somewhat familiar with my journey to becoming a first-time, self published author.  The VERY short version is that I felt comfortable about writing a book but had no idea of what to do once the words were on the page and my manuscript was written. What happens next? How do you go from a draft manuscript to becoming a published author? How do you format and market a book? 

I knew that to be successful in writing my first book I needed help. So I took the the Internet and consumed every free webinar, download and blog post on becoming an author I could find. And there’s a LOT out there!

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Don’t Knock The Hustle Man’s Hustle

Sooooo, a while back, I made a brief open post dedicated to the guy whose vocation seems to be serving as self-anointed unofficial doorman at the Dunkin’ Donuts I now frequent close to work. To borrow from Martin Lawrence with a dash of Wendy Williams, he’s become the friend in my head called Hustle Man since my commute changed slightly a year and a half ago.

While I maintain my posture that I owe my Hustle Man no financial compensation for holding the door open for me and other patrons, no matter how many times he calls me sweetheart or wishes me a Blessed day, I have come to respect his hustle.

I mean, the guilt-supported tax-free income he collects aside, I’ve noticed the following similarities between him and those of us working 9-ish to 5-ish gigs every day.

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Are All Victims Created Equal?

As a UVA alum and a proud American, I’m saddened by the loss of life of one of our own while in custody of foreign authorities.

However, I cannot help but notice the wonderfully appropriate, kind and sensitive depiction of Otto Warmbier and his death, alongside the condemnation of his accusers in the media.

There’s been very little talk of the crime he allegedly committed and was ultimately convicted for which led to his being detained.

There’s been no victim shaming or victim blaming for his own death.

No comments like “if he hadn’t have stolen that poster, this wouldn’t have happened” or “he should have known better” or “serves him right, everyone knows that foreign government doesn’t play” have been made or insinuated by the journalists covering the story.

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Performance Punishment Revisited, An Out Of This World Cure (Warp Speed Version)

When I first wrote a piece describing the phenomenon known as Performance Punishment on WorkAwesome.com, the post generated some great conversations, including a chorus of “Amen Sister!”s but some readers were, let’s say, bummed out by the chord it struck!
Good corporate citizen that I am, I could not simply outline the problem without coming up with a solution….so, after some further consideration, talking to folks in my network, and reflecting on the comments left by readers of my original post, the “logical” thing to do seemed to be to turn to the intrepid crew of the Starship Enterprise to find a remedy. Yes, I mean Captain Kirk, Bones and the crew from Star Trek (the original TV series)!

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(Re)Claim Your Fame In 15 Minutes A Day

I had dinner with my college roommate the other day and as we caught up on where life’s journey had taken each of us, I was reminded of something I promised myself a long time ago.

That is, if I ever find myself in a place where I’m not living my dream, to take 15 minutes each day to work toward it.


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The Name Game

When I first got married and became a second mom to two wonderful kids, I was often asked by my friends, “So what do the kids call you?” I used to wish I could answer back “They call me Mom” or, in Sidney Poitier style, “They call me Mrs. Tillman.” But alas, the short answer is my kids call me different things based on what they’re comfortable with.

But the longer I’m a parent, the more I’ve come to learn that all moms wear their “Mommy Crowns” in their own unique ways. So in this spirit, here are 5 things I’ve learned about how to wear mine as a “Mom Thru Acquisition” or MTA (also known as a “step mother” to the uninitiated!).

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4 Things Poker Taught Me About Parenting

I’m not a poker player by the stretch of anyone’s imagination, least of all my husband, who is a genuine enthusiast. So when our marriage officially made me a parent for the first time, I became a bit of student of the game. And, for anyone who is a parent or seriously thinking of becoming one either the old fashioned way or through “acquisition” like I did, I highly recommend it!

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Are You A Victim of Performance Punishment?

Imagine if Derek Jeter were so valuable to the (then) Greensboro Hornets they would never allow him to progress through the developmental leagues and on to the fabled career in the majors he (and baseball fans around the world!) now enjoys.
Or, what if the Cleveland Cavaliers gave LeBron James the keys to the kingdom to incentivize him to play out his entire career in a secondary media market with a slim chance of ever winning a championship?
Oh wait, we don’t have to imagine that one! After all, that’s precisely why he changed employers as soon as the chance of free agency presented itself. But this post isn’t about the self-proclaimed “King James”; it’s about a phenomenon known as “performance punishment.”
It happened to LeBron. It has happened to me. And chances are, it has happened to you or someone you know.

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