Mary Barra has worked for GM for four decades. Before she became CEO, she headed Global HR.
After replacing GM’s 10-page dress code treatise with a two-word appeal: “Dress Appropriately,” Barra received a scathing email from a senior-level director. “He said, ‘You need to put out a better dress policy, this is not enough.’ So I called him—and of course, that shook him a little bit. And I asked him to help me understand why the policy was inept.”
The director explained that occasionally, some people on his team had to deal with government officials on short notice, and had to be dressed appropriately for that.
“Okay, why don’t you talk to your team,” Barra replied. “He was an established leader at GM, responsible for a pretty important part of the company, with a multimillion-dollar budget. He called me back a few minutes later, saying, ‘I talked to the team, we brainstormed, and we agreed that the four people who occasionally need to meet with government officials will keep a pair of dress pants in their locker. Problem solved.’” Yahoo.Finance
Let’s not get boxed in by bureaucracy. Don’t forget the human touch.
Code of Conduct
- Be helpful, offer leads, ideas, and build your network. This is a positive-sum culture.
- Be who you say you are (use your real name), and don’t say anything you won’t stand behind.
- The key to the success of our programs is for each of you to develop trusting, open relationships. Your job is to be responsive, actively engaged, and a contributing member in both online and offline interactions.
- Be good listeners, honest communicators, inclusive, willing to be wrong, and grow. Behave with emotional intelligence.
- Respect truth, honesty, evidence, and reason… all with compassion.
- Fight fair: Argue with passion but keep your passion on point; don’t be manipulative or manipulated; allow space and time for ideas to percolate. Remember: the best ideas are forged over time from diverse perspectives.
- Recognize the messiness of the ever-changing world: we must all navigate competing goals and values to peacefully co-exist.
- Use humor constructively and compassionately. We are dealing with serious subjects and we can tend to get carried away. The judicious use of humor can soften a situation, enabling reflection and compromise. A sense of humor helps us get through difficult times and help us to find common ground.
- Have the long view: understand and accept that the end of all disputes is inevitably diplomatic.
- Strive for understanding first. We may or may not always agree but let’s at least get along.
Before you cancel, give us a chance to make things right. We are a relationship-based program, and we will do what we can. If it’s just a bad fit, no worries.
You may cancel your monthly/annual subscription at any time by logging into the website, selecting Member Login, and following the prompts. Or you may send an email to with your name, the program name, and the cancellation date.
If you cancel your subscription, the cancellation will go into effect at the end of the then-current monthly or annual subscription period, as applicable. You will have continued access to the program until the end of the use period. No refunds are given.
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Classes and Workshops
As dropping out of a group-based class or workshop is very disruptive to the program, please consider your decision prior to enrolling. Our mentors are available to answer your questions, and Practical Academics staff are also available at to address your concerns and questions.
No refunds will be given once the program starts. If there are extenuating circumstances, please work with the Mentor to make other accommodations to complete the work, or to reschedule your attendance for a later class, or to transfer credit for a future class or support group.
You acknowledge and agree that cancellation of your subscription prior to your program start date is your sole recourse if you have any dissatisfaction, issue, or concern related to our programs, its content or features, or these Terms, including Fees, applicable taxes, or billing methods.
- The express purpose of Career Storybook is for participants to work as a community with mentored support groups and programs to develop meaningful and valuable relationships and advance our careers.
- All posts and contributions you make may be communicated publicly through our information channels (newsletter, social media, website, etc.). We will not attribute your name to any outside communication without your permission, though group names may be used.
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