Can You Be Too Successful?

I write a monthly column for the Denver Business Journal.  In June, I focused on Martha Stewart and her recent indictment for obstructing justice and not for the anticipated and hyped probability that she would be charged with insider trading—she wasn’t. You can read the full column at

Prior to writing the column, I had viewed the Cybil Shepperd portrayal of Martha that was aired the previous month on national TV.  Apparently Martha watched it too, because she sent Cybil a gift basket with a hand-written note (would you expect anything less from Ms. Stewart?) congratulating Cybil and a “ps” that she doesn’t whine, complain, shriek the way it was portrayed on the program!

Apparently others were moved to respond—my phone calls and email around the article were overwhelming.  Only one writer didn’t agree with what I wrote—he felt that I should have focused more on the issue of her lying and the moral ramifications of it.  What I told him in my response was that I didn’t know if she was lying or telling the truth—only time will tell.

Outside of her driving, tough cookie persona, what I focused on was the fact that she just may have been too successful, too visible, too outspoken, and too perfect.  And that ticks people off, and can set one up for the big fall.  Now, did Martha screw up?  Yes.  She should have in the very beginning said that she didn’t feel that she did anything wrong, but that she would donate all the money from the stock sale to some cause.  It would have been the end of the story.

Did she lie about why she sold the ImClone stock?  I don’t know—but that’s what the Feds are after in the obstruction of justice charge.  Claiming her “lie” caused the stock of her company to decline, the Feds in turn claim that it caused financial loss to shareholders and that’s a no-no.  I’m still waiting to hear about the Feds moving in on Kenneth Lay of Enron and some of his pals.  Seems to me that those shareholders were wiped out with a few of his lies that have been proven! 

My women responders all said bravo, many adding stories of how they had been set up to some degree in their work lives—of which, they believed that much of the agony and harassment they went through was directly related to their success at the time.  None of it was a pretty picture. Until women are treated the same as men, I’m siding with Martha. I ended my column with sharing that I had ordered a “Save Martha” hat.  It fits.

ATTN: All Health Care Professionals!

The Judith Briles Health Care Management -Leadership Forum is up and running!!!

We had our first Forum in March and received rave reviews—an intensive two-days that created a variety of new tools, skills and techniques for Forum participants.
 Participation in the Forum is limited to 16 per 2-day session.  Beginning at 8:30 in the morning, it ends at 5:30 each day. Tuition includes all Forum supplies and day meals.

What is the Forum?

The Judith Briles Health Care Management-Leadership Forum is designed exclusively for the frontline manager of five years or less experience in the health care workplace. Too often, people are promoted with minimal, if any, training in “How to be a Manager.” Even less is offered in “How to be a Leader.” They are not the same! The Forum delivers an intensive lab/training that focuses on developing the soft people skills that just don’t come naturally.  Most people don’t leave their workplace for another position because of more money . . . they leave because of abusive managers.  Is your organization breeding them?

Participants will learn: Effective Use of Influence and Power; Effective Leadership; Managing Staff Expectations; Managing Multi-Generational Staff; Managing Diversity; Identifying and Eliminating Red Ink Behavior; Identifying and Dealing with Marginal Employees; Team-Building; Prioritizing; Motivation; Building Staff Loyalty; Documenting and Carefronting® Problem Employees; Managing Conflict; Effective Communicating; Proactive Listening; Peer Mentoring; Peer Networking; eMentoring; eCoaching; Transitioning to Management an much more.

Based on the phenomenal research detailed in my book, Zapping Conflict in the Health Care Workplace, as well as several of my other books, the Forum delivers results that can be implemented immediately upon the attendee’s return to the workplace! And the coaching doesn’t stop when the session is over — participation in the Forum includes continued access to Judith’s coaching and mentoring skills through a special website, email, and phone number. Ever wish you could remember what the trainer said to do in a certain situation? Now you can — Judith will continue to be there even after you’ve returned to your workplace!

More Info . . .

All sessions are held in Judith’s offices in Aurora CO.  When weather permits, they are outside, surrounded by beautiful gardens, ponds and charming fountains.  Dress is casual and comfortable and food excellent.  All it needs is you.  Future dates include:


  • January 22-23
  • March 18-19
  • May 27-28
  • July 22-23
  • September 23-24

For those of you who would like to take advantage of this program by traveling to our corporate office in the Metro Denver area, we have made special arrangements with the Radisson Hotel Denver Southeast to provide not only lodging and complimentary breakfast in a full-service hotel with views of Cherry Creek Lake, but also transportation to/from Denver International Airport, and to/from The Forum site – all for $89 per night!

To take advantage of this exclusive program and special rates when more than three individuals attend from one organization, call our office at 303-627-9179 or 800-594-0800 now! The August session is slated for the 21st and 22nd—there are five spotsopen as I write this.  

Etc., Etc., Etc.

Stop Stabbing Yourself in the Back walks away with being honored as the #3 in the How-To category from the Colorado Independent Publishers Association.  Described as the CliffsNotes for Self-Help, it is 21 chapters long, with each chapter a mini-book.  So, instead of a buying a whole book for dealing with change, or procrastination, or confrontation, or confidence, etc., you get it in nuggets all in one book—just the core info in each chapter—this is a perfect addition to your personal and professional bookshelf.  

Judith’s Books Journey to Foreign Lands . . .

This past year, four of Judith’s books (The Confidence Factor, Smart Money Moves for Kids, Stop Stabbing Yourself in the Back and When God says NO) have been translated in seven languages.  Editions are being birthed in China, Taiwan, Korea, Indonesia, India, France and Lebanon.

Latest Book for Health Care Professionals . . .

Zapping Conflict in the Health Care Workplace is available—all 400 pages of it!Selected as the Nurse’s Society Book Club feature the summer of 2003, it’s the must have for any health care professional.  If you work in healthcare or know someone working in health care, this is the perfect book for dealing with conflict and change that is woven throughout the industry. Over 3000 women and men responded to our Conflict and Workplace Abuse surveys-lots of surprises! Available at, and Barnes & or by calling the Tattered Cover at 800-833-9327. 

Speaking of Zapping Conflict in the Health Care Workplace… The Reviews Are In!
Here’s what’s being said about “Zapping Conflict in the Health Care Workplace” by Dr. Judith Briles:

From the Midwest Book Review:

Zapping Conflict in the Health Care Workplace by author, consultant, research, spokesperson and international speaker Judith Briles is an exhaustively researched, accessibly written, informationally practical guide for workers and employers on a spectrum of health care issues focused upon the importance of preserving a well-regulated workplace when people’s lives are at stake every day. Individual chapters instructionally address positive means for handling conflict between employees, the straight scoop on workplace sabotage and how to deal with it, advice on generational differences, and much, much more. Highly recommended for non-specialist general readers with an interest in health care workplace issues, policies, and concerns, as well as offering specifically useable advice for workplaces beyond the field of health care, Zapping Conflict In The Health Care Workplace is a welcome and invaluable addition to personal, professional, corporate, and community library Health & Medicine reference collections.

From The Director (NADONA/LTC):

This outstanding publication is a MUST for every nurse working in long term care, including the director of nursing! By the year 2005, an estimated 11.5 million women and men in the United States will work in the health care industry. Shortages exist in nursing and dental hygienists and assistance. Conflict and sabotage in the “caring” environment of health care is increasing. Instead of actively finding ways and methods to resolve conflict, managers and staff totally disagree on WHY conflict is increasing and on HOW to reduce it. Therefore, they avoid it. Dr. Briles shows why women must eradicate traditional and harmful learned behaviors, why organizations must rebuild their educational offerings to include both clinical and professional development offerings and managers and staff must learn constructive and effective ways to deal with conflict and sabotage when it surfaces.

Speaking . . .
Call our office to check on availability and fees for your group. A few dates are still available for 2003 and several have been booked for 2004-2005.

Consulting . . .
After constant requests, I’ve allocated a few hours each day for consulting. By the hour or the project, you can schedule an intensive brainstorming session with me. each year, we commit to up to three health care systems to do a combination of on and off-site training, coaching and mentoring. To check available times or if you group qualifies, either call at 800-594-0800 or email me.

Movie Reviews . . .
If you like the movies, make sure you sign up for JB’s Movie Spots-they’re quick, snappy and let you know if a Gramma would be comfortable. Rating scale is the Golden Egg-one’s a dud, five, drop everything and get ye to the theater!

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