Issue No. 41

July 2014

A couple of weeks ago I received a slew of congratulatory emails from colleagues and friends pointing out to me that I was celebrating my 4th year in my consulting practice.

I hadn't noticed but LinkedIn did and I thanked everyone who shared their good wishes with me. Social media to the rescue again!

Perfect timing as I've been revising my online presence to help deliver more useful and valuable information to you.

Rolling out this week, you'll be seeing:

  • My new monthly newsletter format called "Navigate" It will continue to include "Courageous Leadership" and Ted Talk links along with other timely information and updates on programs and projects we are doing.
  • A newly revised website, with new information and ideas to share with you. You can also subscribe to my blog, Absolute Citrin by clicking here.
  • A new weekly email blast starting next Wednesday. Called "Resilient Wednesdays," it will help you get over your midweek hurdles so that you can continue your keen focus on getting your work and play done successfully.

These last 4 years have been amazing and I am so grateful for all the opportunities to get to know so many amazing people who are so dedicated to being the best they can be. Enjoy!

If You Obey All the Rules, You Miss All The Fun


She was so committed to winning that when she played "Pin the Tail on the Donkey" as a child, she would map out the course in her living room, counting steps from the edge of the rug to the donkey target. She studied the rug edges, which she could feel through her feet, then counted off the steps so she knew exactly how to reach the donkey hanging on the wall." Her strategy paid off as a child and her fierce sense of competition led her to be a leading lady throughout her life.

Katherine Hepburn was destined to make a difference in whatever she did. Her father Thomas was a renowned surgeon and a pioneer in the treatment of sexually transmitted diseases while her mother, Katherine was a suffragette and then a leader in bringing birth control issues to the forefront of American society. Both parents encouraged their children to think and to exercise their freedom of speech and that she did..

Katherine was a tomboy growing up and she renamed herself "Jimmy" which she thought was a bold name for anyone. She was athletic and

played all types of sports including swimming, golf and tennis. Katherine embraced golf and played throughout her life using that talent in the movie Pat and Mike.

A gifted student, she graduated from Bryn Mawr and immediately pursued a theater career and within a few years was a commercial success. She won her first Oscar in 1933 at age 26. She went onto win 3 more Oscars in her lifetime.

Following her newfound success, she embarked on an aggressive series of stage and film endeavors over the next 5 years. Unfortunately most of them failed miserably by commercial standards and by 1939 Hollywood and Broadway considered her "box-office poison."

Part of the problems was that her acting skills had not fully developed at this early stage of her life. In fact the author Dorothy Parker penned that Hepburn's acting "ran the gamut of emotion from A to B". Perhaps more than her acting was her refusal to conform to the industry's expectations for women. She was outspoken, athletic and (yikes) wore slacks instead of skirts. She challenged the press and denied giving interviews or signing autographs. She had created an image for herself that she was better than everyone else.

As her career ebbed, she took matters into her own hands as one might of expected from Hepburn. In 1939 she acquired the rights to The Philadelphia Story which was a successful play she had performed in on Broadway. She sold the rights to MGM under the conditions that she would star in the movie, would have her choice of director (George Cukor), leading man (Cary Grant) and that she could use this work to recreate her image to the public.

She conceded that the public was almost rooting for her to fall flat on her face so she decided that in the opening scene of The Philadelphia Story she would literally accommodate their request. Rather than playing the regal socialite that she was supposed to portray in the movie, she created a scene in which Cary Grant and she would have a bit of a love skirmish which concludes with his pushing her down. Today, he would be arrested for domestic abuse but in the movie

culture of 1940, Hepburn's ploy and the movie's success revived her career. The review in Time Magazine read, "Come on back, Katie, all is forgiven." Hepburn won a Oscar nomination and her career continued its ascendance for the next 50 years.

Her work with her long time partner Spencer Tracy is legendary. Her movie with Tracy and Sidney Poitier in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, was a comedic portrayal of interracial marriage which occurred at the same time that the Supreme Court considered and eventually struck down the laws that prohibited that practice. Her last film, On Golden Pond, in which she co-starred with Henry and Jane Fonda was done at age 74 and garnered her a final Oscar.

Many people consider Hepburn to have shaped the mold of the modern American woman—smart, sophisticated, assertive and funny. She was all that and more. Katherine Hepburn determined from early on, she would live her life to the fullest and she charged ahead every day to make sure she got it all.



Jinha Lee is a young computer scientist who is breaking the boundaries of how people and computers interface with one another. If you want to see how you will be reaching into your computer in 10 years, check out this Ted Talk


Summertime and the living is easy. Or is it?


Most of us are planning our summer vacations and in a recent survey, over a third of senior managers said they spent too much time working while on vacation. Call it vacation remorse.

Try out these 5 tips to make sure your play and work don't get too intermixed while you are away.

  • If you do plan to check emails or conduct some work while on vacation, schedule the time around your family's activities.
  • If you have specific work that has to be done while you are gone, designate a specific employee to handle that work and ask them to confirm with you when that work gets done
  • Let your customers know that you are gone and who will be handling your work. Include a specific contact in your "out of office" automated email response
  • Leave some open time right before your vacation so you can tie up loose ends and give yourself some space upon returning so you can review emails and get caught up with colleagues.
  • Plan lots of fun on vacation. This will help insure that you don't stay connected to work


  • I was honored to sign the Father's Day pledge against Domestic Violence. A full page ad appeared in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette and more importantly, work around men's responsibility to stop violence against women
  • As part of my commitment to this work, I've been asked to join the Board of Directors of Standing Firm which is one of the few organizations in the country that educates employers about the impact of partner violence in the workplace.
  • I'll be travelling around the country over the next several months conducting workshops on The Resilience Advantage for one of my client companies. This initiative is part of their core wellness program that addresses the impact of stress in the workplace. If your organization is interested in learning more about how to use resilience principles to improve performance, please contact me