Wolves at The Office!

Aug 24

There’s a battle raging down the hall,
Two wolves fight and one will fall.
This battle is for – your company soul,
The winning wolf will take control.
 Wolves pair
One wolf is evil, he’s filled with pride,
His fangs are poised – not on your side,
He’s jealous, greedy, manipulative too,
He’s arrogant and sneaky, while working for you.
He’s nasty, slippery, covert at times,
He’s constantly stepping over the lines,
One wolf is good, he has no need,
To injure a person, or make you bleed.
He’s kind, friendly, never acts mean,
He’s honest, respectful and cares for your team.
He’s truthful, helpful to all he will meet,
He’s confident, focused and quick on his feet.
These two combatants determine success,
One is for progress and one makes a mess.
So which of these wolves will you give control,
And allow to establish – your company soul?
Which one will win?
Is the question indeed,
And the answer depends,
On which one you feed!


Copyright © 2014 Steve Dahl

This is about bullies in the workplace, the people who REALLY run your business. Who do you let get away with this stuff? Who is really in control? Do the aggressors win? Do the extroverts call the shots? Do you hear from the small voices or does the squeaky wheel get all the oil?

Consider what behavior is rewarded in your organization. Do you model respect? Do you have a safe organization where creativity is free to express? Is failure encouraged? Is failure too risky? Does anyone dare to stick their neck out to find a better way or is that way too risky?

Do the big dogs squash spirits and squander creativity? Are the alpha males leading the pack? Is there a pack mentality that makes speaking up risky? Are you paying a lot of people to remain silent because you don’t dare confront the bully that’s really calling the shots? Leadership sets the culture. Who do you feed?

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Creepy Things

May 29

There are creepy things,
That make me quiver,
That make me squirm,
And make me shiver.spider
But certain creatures,
Gross me out,
They make me twist
And make me shout.
If you don’t know,
This kind of fear,
You haven’t seen one,
Lurking here!
As I was sitting,
In my seat,
This ugly creature,Little miss
I did meet.
I didn’t see her,
Headed there,
Until she sat,
Upon my chair.
I was surprised,
At her large size,
That hairless face
With two large eyes.
I didn’t think,
She meant me harm,
Until I heard,
Her shrill alarm!
She whaled and yelled,
And then she cried,
I tried to run,
I really tried!
She screamed so loud,
In her alarm,
How could she think,
I’d do her harm?
She weighed a million,
Pounds I knew,
And swatted at me,
With her shoe.
I ran beneath,
That chair so fast,
In hopes her panicked,
Mood would pass.
So if you run,
Into these creatures,
With two long legs,
And scary features.
Remember not,
To sit beside her,
Especially if you’re,
A hairy spider!
Oh come on now. Don’t tell me a little spider can scare the wits out of you! How do you think the poor spider feels! Now you know. So, on that note, today you are going to face all your fears with courage and, well, maybe a big shoe behind your back in case you need to whack something. Now get out there! 
Image courtesy Wikipedia.
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Gluten-Free Chaos

May 26

First came low-fat diets,
Then – coffee was so bad,
Then wine became so healthy,
For that – I was so  glad.
 Red Wine glass from Wikipedia
Then low fat made a u-turn,
Then wine was not okay,
Then milk became the culprit,
But what is it today?
There is this thing called gluten,
In all the bread you chew,
It’s in your yummy Mac and cheese,
It’s in your licorice too!
This drives me kind of nutty,
Is gluten bad for me?
I think I’ll go bananas,
But are they gluten free?
But wait! You cannot see them,whole_wheat_bread_loaf_Wikipedia
This drives my head insane,
These tiny little proteins,
Keep messing with my brain!
“Give us this day our daily bread,”
If gluten’s what I’ve read,
Forgive me lord, I’m not quite sure,
But do you want me dead?
I think it’s not that good for me,
I know, I think, I guess…nutritional_label_Wikipedia
I cannot taste this sticky spec,
This gluten thing’s a mess!
No gluten in my oatmeal, (yuck)
No gluten in my beer, (burp)
No gluten in my pizza slice,
What is this gluten fear?
I cannot go to restaurants,
Or lunch to see a friend,
But may I have a dinner roll,
Or will that be my end!
Is wheat the biggest culprit,apple_Pie_Wikipedia
Or GMO’s gone wild,
Will I have a heart attack,
Or something rather mild?
Marketing comes from corporate,
Where gluten-free began,
They’re hyping up this “gluten thing,”
To build no gluten’s brand!
They have me pasta paranoid,
Fresh bagels make me cry,
I’m scared to death of grandma’s scones,Dinner rolls Wikipedia
My god I miss her pie!
So screw this gluten-free chaos,
And dinner rolls that kill,
This gluten free will wipe us out,
Before more gluten will!

Copyright 2014 Steve Dahl 


There is certainly a lot of nutritional science that says gluten can cause a lot of people a lot of problems. I’m well aware of that! And, like the fat-free craze or the low cholesterol craze, the marketing gurus like me were not going to miss THIS opportunity! This little piece was inspired after a git-t0gether with some friends as we comically tried to arrange the pot-luck approach to the evening to cover all the varied dietary considerations of the group. Some were gluten free, others vegan, others paleo, others, well, normal. That’s the world we live in.

And, not that one should ever be skeptical of the advertising world or the media, god forbid, but do your homework on this one!  Going gluten free will likely help you lose weight, reduce inflammation and make you feel better. And, maybe it’s not an issue for you. Get tested and follow the science.

By the way, I’m gluten free and I feel much better! 

You might consider taking 30 days and go gluten free to see how you feel!

Have a gluten-free day!

Images courtesy of Wikipedia.com.

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I Shot a Man

Apr 19

You probably think I deserve it,
A life sentence is mine,
I shot a man to death one night,
And now I’m doing time. 
Prison Cell

Prison Cell Image – Courtesy Wikipedia.org

How could I do this violent thing?
How could I take a life?
I pleaded self defense in court,
I am a beaten wife.
So I ask you now to answer this,
Have you ever been so mad?
That you lost your cool and act a fool,
And did a thing so bad?
“Well yes!” You say, “I threw a book,
But I’m such a lousy shot,
I missed my boyfriend by an inch,
And still feel bad a lot.” 
There’s not much difference between us two,
It’s what anyone might have done,
YOU picked up a book to throw,
But I picked up a gun.  



Anyone of us have the potential to make a life-changing decision that we regret. We are all more alike than we might want to admit. We all have the capacity to do terrible things and wonderful things. This poem was inspired by a true story I heard about that took place during a healing process at a woman’s prison.

Drs. David and Bonnie Paul have been leading a process of self-forgiveness and healing inside California prisons for years. They give me hope for humanity with their important work. Learn more about this process at http://freedomtochoosefoundation.org/.

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Why Let Them Struggle?

Apr 18

Within his chrysalis,
Pushing and twisting,
He turns and struggles,
Caterpiller knockedoutWith endless persisting.
Slow motion escape,
From his caterpillar prison,
It’s the price he must pay,
For a butterfly’s vision.
But I do not like this,
There must be a way,
To speed up this battle,
And free him today.
If he could break out,
And skip all this work,
Wouldn’t he be happy?
What would it hurt?
What would it hurt?
If I helped him get out?
He could skip all that pain,
Start flying about!
This squirming and fussing,
Is wasting his time,
Crysalis knocked out from wikipediaSo I opened his prison,
And thought he looked fine!
I was waiting and watching,
For wet wings to dry,
For his wings to flash color,
To catch wind and fly!
As I tried to rush him,
To make darkness – light,
I shattered the patience,
Required before flight.
Nothing was happening,
I don’t understand,
Why he ended his struggle,
Lying still in my hand.
He is no longer moving.
Does he know that I cared?
Did he need some more time?
To get more prepared?
I thought I was helping,
His wet wings to spread!
But instead of unfolding,
The chrysalis is dead.
There’s a lesson I guess,
In letting one struggle,
If we don’t let them learn,
We cause them more trouble.
Some struggles will change us,
And some make us cry.
Some struggles will teach us,
How to live – how to fly.

butterflies from hand


Image of chrysalis courtesy Wikipedia.com.

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The Faintest Grin

Apr 08

Watching closely,
Smile cropped from homeless
Zooming in,
I’d like to see,
The faintest grin.
Will I see it,
Lips get thin,
Will I see,
Eyes cropped from homeless
A smile from him?
Eyebrows raised,
Eyes get wide,
I sense there is,
Some joy inside.
Smile cropped from homeless
That wasn’t it,
He held his frown,
His only smile,
Is upside down!


Have you ever had to work with someone with little or no sense of humor? Making them smile is a major effort. Have you ever found that checkout person at the grocery store looking way less than happy?

Do you ever try to get them to smile just to see if you can do it? That’s the nice thing about a smile. If you see someone without one you can give them one of yours. How do you get someone to smile? How do they get you to smile?

By the way, that’s kind of a freaky edit job on that stock image isn’t it?


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