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The Office-Politics Advisers

Who answers the letters sent into Office-Politics? It is a talented group. We draw on experts in the areas of executive coaching, leadership development, dispute resolution, employment law, PR and ethics to answer letters submitted to the site. Read the biographies below to learn more about each adviser. See the bottom of the page for instructions on how to submit a letter.

Franke James, MFA is the Founder of Office-Politics.com, and an award-winning author and artist. She is the author/inventor of Dear Office-Politics: the game everyone plays. Her interest in social justice and political systems span office-politics, federal politics and family politics. Franke is the author of Banned on the Hill: a true story about dirty oil and government censorship (2013), and Bothered by My Green Conscience (2009). In 2014, Franke was given the Liberty Award for Excellence in the Arts by the B.C. Civil Liberties Association. (You can also find her on Twitter @officepolitics.) Franke’s bio continues



Dr. John Burton LL.B. M.B.A. M.Div. Ph.D. is an ethicist, mediator, lawyer and theologian. He teaches Personal and Corporate Social Responsibility in the Faculty of Management at the University of British Columbia in the Okanagan. John has also taught alternative dispute resolution at Queen’s Law School and Ethics at the Schulich School of Business. John holds a very special place on the Office-Politics Advisory Board. John was the very first Office-Politics Adviser and has answered letters since 2002. His contribution made the CTV national news in 2003 for answering ‘difficult and thorny issues’ that are sent in to the site. Some things never change!


andersenErika Andersen is the author of Leading So People Will Follow, Being Strategic and Growing Great Employees. She is the founder of Proteus International, where she has served as consultant and advisor to CEOs and top executives around the world. Erika and her colleagues at Proteus International, the company she founded in 1990, offer practical approaches for individuals and organizations to clarify and move toward their hoped-for-future. Much of Erika’s work focuses on vision and strategy, executive coaching, and culture change. Erika’s bio continues

Dr. Rick Brandon, Ph.D. is CEO of Brandon Partners. He has consulted and trained tens of thousands at corporations worldwide, including Fortune 500 companies across a variety of industries. Dr. Brandon’s inspirational keynote presentations combine motivation and humor with practical skills, insuring a memorable corporate gathering with lasting effects. Marty Seldman, Ph.D. and Rick Brandon, Ph.D. are Co-authors, Survival of the Savvy: High-Integrity Political Tactics for Career and Company Success.


seldmanMarty Seldman, Ph.D. is one of the world’s most experienced and successful executive coaches and is president of Seldman Executive Development Programs (www.seldman.com). He is the co-author of Executive Stamina, which he wrote with his son, Joshua Seldman. It was released in May 2008. Marty co-authored with Rick Brandon The Wall Street Journal bestseller Survival of the Savvy: High-Integrity Political Tactics for Career and Company Success as well as the author of Super Selling Through Self-Talk: The Ultimate Edge In Sales Success.


Timothy Johnson is the Chief Accomplishment Officer of Carpe Factum, Inc. His company is dedicated to helping individuals and organizations “seize the accomplishment” through effective project management, strategic facilitation, and business process improvement. His clients have included Harley-Davidson Motorcycles, Wells Fargo, ING, Principal Financial Group, and Teva Neuroscience. Timothy has managed projects ranging from a $14 billion class action lawsuit settlement to HIPAA compliance, from software conversion to process reengineering, from strategic IT alignment to automated decisioning, from producing a training video to creating a project office environment. He is currently an adjunct professor at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, teaching MBA classes in Leadership, Managing Office Politics, Creativity for Business, and Project Management. Timothy’s bio continues


glueck bezozaJennifer Glueck Bezoza specializes in leadership development, executive coaching and change management. Through her work in the Organizational Development department of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York, Jennifer facilitates management seminars and other leadership development programs. There, she also has responsibility for succession planning and new manager assimilations. The Visiting Nurse Service of New York is the United States largest not-for-profit home health organization. Currently, Jennifer also extends her coaching to Dale Carnegie training programs. Previously, Jennifer led GE Commercial Finance’s employee engagement initiative and also served as an HR Generalist for GE Energy Financial Services. In addition, she worked as a consultant at Towers Perrin, a leading Human Resources consulting firm. Jennifer’s bio continues

rona maynardRona Maynard credits her success as a boundary-stretching leader to a lifetime’s tough lessons from control freaks, narcissists, complainers, connivers and it’s-not-my-faulters. The strengths Rona honed in a family of clashing egos served her well at the helm of a top women’s magazine, which she steered through a decade of growth and innovation, attracting a new generation of readers to a brand dating back to the Jazz Age. She built a team that was honored internationally for journalism, design and overall excellence while contending daily with complaints from readers, directives from above and the strong personalities on her staff. She mentored many who today are industry leaders. When Rona had fulfilled her vision for the magazine, she began a new career as an acclaimed author and inspirational speaker. Her most sought-after speech is “Life-Changing Lessons from Difficult People.” Audiences say that Rona’s message brings them energy, hope and hard-working pointers they can use to transform their own lives. Plus, they love her hilarious stories (see video). To learn more about Rona, visit her award-winning website, http:www.ronamaynard.com.

Read Rona’s Office-Politics replies:
Frozen out by two coworkers

Coworker is trying to get me fired.

John A. Challenger John A. Challenger is chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., the global outplacement consultancy that pioneered outplacement as an employer-paid benefit in the 1960s. Challenger is a recognized thought leader on workplace, labor, and economic issues and is frequently quoted in the media. John has been contributing his timely advice on the job market to Office-Politics.com since 2008.
jane perdue

Jane Perdue, MBA, CEO and founder of The Braithewaite Group, is a leadership consultant, coach, speaker and author who challenges your thinking at the intersection of the art of leadership and the science of business. The Braithewaite Group, is a small female-owned professional development and leadership consulting firm focusing on that exquisite but rare business balance between head and heart.

Jane’s career includes 20 years of executive level leadership, with 15 of those years spent as a Vice President for Fortune 100 companies. She writes a job coach column for the Charleston, SC Post and Courier and has made speaking and TV appearances discussing leadership, purpose, power and performance. Jane works with organizations and individuals to bring a sense of fun, adventure and limitless possibility — along with creative and playful thinking — to leading people, achieving common visions, delivering results and being our personal best.

Read Jane’s Office-Politics replies:
An employee of mine tends to play office politics
Lost Leader Left out of the Loop

jennifer miller Jennifer V. Miller is the Founder and Managing Partner of SkillSource, an organizational development consultancy that specializes in helping leaders, teams and sales professionals “master the people equation”. For nearly 25 years, Jennifer has helped people navigate the political landscape of workplace dynamics—in corporate America as an HR generalist, training facilitator, and manager— and since 1995 as an advisor to executives seeking to maximize their workplace environments.

A published author, Jennifer is a popular speaker that has made numerous appearances as a featured expert for radio talk shows, professional presentations and expert panels. She holds a degree in psychology from Western Michigan University and is a former board member of the West Michigan Chapter of the International Society for Performance Improvement. Jennifer invites you to join the conversation at her blog, The People Equation.

On March 24th, Jennifer used the Dear Office-Politics game in an HR training seminar in Michigan. Read Jennifer’s column about two types of networking: Kiss-Up or Savvy Player?


Switch book by Chip Heath and Dan Heath, photo of Dan HeathDan Heath is co-author of SWITCH: How to change things when change is hard. Dan is a Senior Fellow at Duke University’s CASE center, which supports social entrepreneurs. He is the co-author of the New York Times bestseller book Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die. Made to Stick has been translated into 29 languages. Dan is also a columnist for Fast Company magazine, and he has taught and consulted on the topic of “making ideas stick” with organizations such as Microsoft, Nestle, USAID, the American Heart Association, and Macy’s. (For more background on Dan please visit Heathbrothers.com)

See Dan’s reply to an Office-Politics reader (a teacher in an inner city high school) on how to make change happen, when change is very hard: I’m told, “This is the way things will always be”

lafair and don't bring it to work book

Sylvia Lafair, PhD, is President of CEO – Creative Energy Options, Inc., a global consulting company focused on optimizing workplace relationships through her exclusive PatternAware™ Leadership Model. Dr. Lafair, who was a practicing family therapist, took her talents into the work world and has revolutionized the way employees react and teams cooperate.

Dr. Lafair is the author of Don’t Bring It to Work: Breaking the Family Patterns That Limit Success published by Jossey-Bass. This is the first book to explore what happens when patterns originally created to cope with family conflicts are unleashed in the workplace. She has also written numerous articles for trade publications and national magazines. [ Bio continues…]

dan pink and Johnny Bunko bookDaniel H. Pink is the New York Times bestselling author of A WHOLE NEW MIND and FREE AGENT NATION. He lectures to corporations, associations, and universities around the world on economic transformation and the changing world of work. In 2007, he won a Japan Society Media Fellowship that took him to Tokyo to study the manga industry. Pink lives in Washington, DC, with his wife and their three children. Rob Ten Pas is the winner of TOKYOPOP’s annual Rising Stars of Manga competition. He received a B.A. from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and now lives and draws in Wisconsin.

Read Dan Pink’s reply: “I’m the scapegoat of jokes, being the only female”. Franke James’ review: Dan Pink on the last career guide you’ll ever need

amy sutherland and Shamu bookAmy Sutherland What Shamu Taught Me About Life, Love, and Marriage: Lessons for People from Animals and Their Trainers. Author Amy Sutherland has written an engaging and insightful book sharing her ideas on how animal training can be applied to human behavior. Read Amy’s reply: Animal training to solve office politics problems. “During the year I watched animal trainers work, I never saw two trainers give one animal cues at the same time. This strikes me as that. Two trainers both giving cues to one dolphin simultaneously, then when the dolphin gets confused, taking it out on the dolphin. In that case, most dolphins would sink to the bottom of the pool. The problem lies with the trainers. So, I would first be sure to not take out your frustrations with your husband on your employees…”

bob sutton and no asshole bookBob Sutton Robert Sutton, author of The No Asshole Rule, is a Professor of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford. He studies innovation, the links between knowledge and organizational action, and most recently, workplace assholes. He works with organizations and managers of all kinds, from People magazine, to Procter & Gamble, to National Football League executives. He has published over 150 articles, in places ranging from peer-reviewed journals, to the Harvard Business Review, to Esquire magazine. His books include Weird Ideas That Work: 11 ½ Practices for Promoting, Managing, and Sustaining Innovation, The Knowing-Doing Gap: How Smart Firms Turn Knowledge into Action (with Jeffrey Pfeffer), and Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths, and Total Nonsense: Profiting from Evidence-Based Management (also with Jeffrey Pfeffer). His new book is the national bestseller The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t.

Read Bob’s reply to: “My old-supervisor answers to me now…

thaler and power of nice book Linda Kaplan Thaler is coauthor of the bestsellers, The Power of Nice (2006) and also BANG! Getting Your Message Heard in a Noisy World (2003). Linda is also Chief Executive Officer and Chief Creative Officer of The Kaplan Thaler Group, which she founded in 1997. KTG has been ranked by industry publications as the fastest-growing New York agency and touted for its breakthrough creative and immediate results. Linda Kaplan Thaler has been responsible for some of the most touching, relevant and famous commercials during her 25 years in the advertising and entertainment business. A native New Yorker, Linda was a Phi Beta Kappa and Magna cum Laude graduate of CCNY, with a BA in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Music.

Read Franke James’ review of the Power of Nice and Linda’s responses to Office-Politics letter-writers…




Dr. Greg Ketchum dubbed the “Frasier of the Cubicles” by the San Francisco Chronicle, is a former clinical psychologist-turned CEO and media career coach. He presides over Talent Planet an executive talent firm, providing coaching and recruiting for executives and Fortune 500 companies. A unique mix of psychology and coaching expertise gives Dr. Greg a great understanding of people and what it takes for career success. Combined with his keen insight into today’s job market, and infused with his trademark quick wit, Dr. Greg challenges Office-Politics readers to reach for career success on their own terms — and to have a good time doing it.


Arnie Herz, is a dynamic and sought-after speaker in the legal, professional service and larger business markets. He has inspired and trained thousands of lawyers and executives to master the art of relationships for tangible bottom-line results. Arnie brings 17 years of experience, insights and practical wisdom gained as a lawyer, mediator and business advisor to his work at Legal Sanity® Learning Programs, the training and development venture he launched in 2004. In his unique and comprehensive programs, Arnie offers hands-on, interactive exercises and learning modules that empower participants to achieve unparalleled career and personal success. Arnie’s bio continues

christine comaford-lynchChristine Comaford-Lynch: Bill Gates calls her “super high bandwidth.” Bill Clinton has thanked her for “fostering American entrepreneurship.” Newsweek says “by reputation, Christine is the person you want to partner with.” New York Times bestselling author Christine Comaford-Lynch is CEO of Mighty Ventures, an innovation accelerator which helps businesses to massively increase sales, product offerings, and company value. She has built and sold 5 of her own businesses with an average 700% return on investment, served as a board director or in-the-trenches adviser to 36 startups, and has invested in over 200 startups as a venture capitalist or angel investor. Christine has consulted to the White House (Clinton and Bush), 700 of the Fortune 1000, and hundreds of small businesses. Christine’s bio continues

lynchDina Beach Lynch, Ombudsman, Author and former attorney. An award-winning mediator, Dina served as the Corporate Ombudsman for the 7th largest bank in the US helping over 48,000 employees to resolve workplace issues. Her work was featured in Inc Magazine, Costco Connection Entrepreneur Magazine as well as in international publications. Dina has a Juris Doctorate and over one hundred hours of dispute resolution education. She is an active member of New England Association of Conflict Resolution (ACR), former Tri-chair of the Workplace Section of ACR national, and a member of the International Ombudsman Association.

muellerRobert Mueller, is the author of Bullying Bosses: A Survivor’s Guide, available through Amazon. Mueller draws on over 20 years experience as an attorney involved in investigating, litigating and solving legal and political problems in the workplace. He has represented nurses, social workers, professionals, teachers, clericals, customer relations, law enforcement, intellectuals, creative persons, trades people, miners, heavy construction and manufacturing workers. For more information please visit Bullyingbosses.com. Read the Office-Politics review of Bullying Bosses, and Robert’s replies to OP readers: Bullied ex-manager seeking justice (2007). Bullying office manager (2006)


What problems are you grappling with?

Is a co-worker making you want to tear your hair out? Did the Boss call you into his/her office and then pull the rug out from under you! Did you snag a fired co-worker’s furniture, only to have it stolen by someone else? We’re here to help… Check out the full listing of our letters. Submit your 100-400 word dilemma to ceo@officepolitics.com (Please put Office-Politics in the subject line.) We will keep your identity a secret. Read the Terms of Submission.