• About the Author: Karen Firestone

    Karen Firestone is the President and CEO of Aureus Asset Management, an asset management firm which serves as the primary financial advisor to families, individuals, and nonprofit institutions. She co…

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15 Oct. 2017 | Comments (0)
How Leaders Can Push Employees Without Stressing Them Out
One of the most interesting findings of a recent HBR article on team chemistry is that the types of people who become leaders within organizations are about 30% less likely than their coworkers to feel stressed out. As the CEO of a small investment firm, I was surprised by the finding, but as I considered my own leadership style and intraoffice relationships, I concluded that the authors were onto something. Plus, a finding from a 20,000-person survey is probably worth paying attention to.

13 Oct. 2017 | Comments (0)
My Office Is Full of Both Conservatives and Liberals. Here’s How I Keep Us Focused on Work
Why was Mike asking about the membership numbers of the KKK? Was he suggesting that since it’s such a small organization, this national outrage was overblown? Was he agreeing with the president that the motivation of the counter-protesters was not so benign? Was he defending the rights of any group to gather lawfully and speak freely?

31 Aug. 2017 | Comments (0)
When Was the Last Time You Took On a New Challenge?
Each January brings a renewed desire to challenge ourselves and learn something new. But by February the energy starts to wane. Becoming proficient at something takes too much time, we lose motivation to practice, we struggle to pay attention in class after a long day at work — the list of reasons goes on.

26 Jun. 2017 | Comments (0)
When Was the Last Time You Took On a New Challenge?
Each January brings a renewed desire to challenge ourselves and learn something new. But by February the energy starts to wane. Becoming proficient at something takes too much time, we lose motivation to practice, we struggle to pay attention in class after a long day at work — the list of reasons goes on.

04 Sep. 2015 | Comments (0)
Why Won’t My Employees Admit They’re Going on Vacation?
As another summer comes to a close, I find myself noticing once again that my co-workers and employees have been very reluctant to both commit to a vacation and to communicate that time off to everyone else.

24 Oct. 2014 | Comments (0)
A Case for Group Risk-Taking
Studies have now shown that loss aversion leads individuals to make irrational decisions, but that groups often make better ones. One study found that, in various lottery scenarios, groups of three or more were significantly more risk averse than individuals.

15 May. 2014 | Comments (0)
Making the Gradual Retirement of a Co-Founder Work
Slow retirements of senior executives present some of the same challenges to organizations as typical departures, and certain unique ones. The more complex problems relate to how to fill the slowly expanding void created by a gradual departure.

21 Feb. 2014 | Comments (0)
Would You Play Golf on a Weekday Afternoon?
Last summer, I was invited by a few friends to meet at 4 o’clock on a weekday to play a few holes of golf on a sunny afternoon. As I got out of my car, a guy I know waved and said, “Hey, great to see you, but don’t you still work?” (Yes.)

12 Dec. 2013 | Comments (0)
When He Retires and She Still Works, What Happens?
My generation – the Baby Boomers – are beginning to retire, particularly the very successful ones who can afford to retire earlier. They have stayed at work late, risen early, traveled more than they wanted when their children were young, and attained ever increasing responsibilities.

25 Oct. 2013 | Comments (0)
Is It Ever OK to Break Into Your Colleague’s Computer?
The digital age offers us immense opportunities to hone our detective skills, to observe our colleagues in an entirely new, not necessarily flattering light, and also presents tremendous challenges in terms of how we use that information.

09 Sep. 2013 | Comments (0)
Who Dares Bake Cookies for the Office?
In this era of celebrity chefs, foodies and foodists, reality TV cook-offs and locavore restaurants, why is it that virtually no men, and almost no professional women, would dare bake or cook anything for their colleagues?

30 Jul. 2013 | Comments (0)
Look Who's Distracted Now
When acclaimed hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones revealed his opinion that women become much less effective as stock traders or investors once they have children, he was, in a sense, suggesting that the distraction of motherhood exceeds that of other attention-siphoning activities.

11 Jul. 2013 | Comments (0)
Leading People in an Anxious World
We have become the most anxious of nations, fearing terrorists, gun rampage, sexual assault, hurricanes, identity theft, discrimination, and germs, among other things, and not necessarily in that order. CEOs and managers need to understand what that means to their organizations.

10 Jun. 2013 | Comments (0)
How Should a Small Business Handle Parental Leave?
The question is whether a small business should articulate a policy, or whether our best approach is to offer each person a customized plan. Spelling out all benefits in writing could be a useful recruiting tool, but could require delivery of equally generous plans to people of varying value to us.

01 May. 2013 | Comments (0)
Actually, She Said, "He Works for Me.
Let's agree that gender stereotyping still exists. We may try to suppress the subconscious image of political leaders, doctors, and CEO's as male, but that's what pops into our heads when we hear those professions. What's ironic is that I'm the CEO of an investment company, so, if I struggle with this, I suspect others must too.

20 Feb. 2013 | Comments (0)
The Catch-22 of Being a Female Boss
The careers for most women follow an expected trajectory: We begin in our 20s; move into our 30s, when some of us leave entirely or shift to reduced hours to raise families. Those of us who remain and move upward may face unexpected challenges related to the loss of our female coworkers.