Valid points, Carlos - the culture of a workplace may not always be ready for one to express one's emotions. If emotional reactions are anathema to the culture, I hope it's applied uniformly - so not only is crying eschewed, but any emotional reaction, like yelling in anger, slamming a door or berating a colleague.

Mostly Silly, A Little Serious

The last sunset of 2021, as seen from our balcony. Photo credit: Chris Summers.

There’s one month when I celebrate
The changing year and my birthdate.

This causes quite some self-reflection
And a fair bit of retrospection.

I give myself a small surprise
To reflect, and then to realize

The many things I’ve not yet learned:
Bored laziness? …

This Thanksgiving, I’m Thankful for You

Just a small selection of the letters and cards my Mom has sent to me in the last 18 months. Isn’t she the best? Photo credit: me.

How could I not be thankful for my mother?

Yet often, in the moments of my life, I have not been.

When I was 8, I ranked her as my least favorite family member in my diary because she told me I could not have the same kind of birthday…

Not everything I learned, but everything I needed to know

Just a day in the home office. Photo credit: me

After six roles, two countries, three offices, eight bosses, and 11 years, I recently left my company. Along the way, I learned some lessons I wish I had known when I started.

While every organization, team, and employee is different, these lessons will help you along your professional journey and…

We Don’t Always Get to Say Goodbye

In 1989 — as if you couldn’t tell from the photo — the Westport Y Water Wrats had a two-week-long exchange program with the Södertörns Simsällskaps. Stacey, ever fashionable and wearing what appear to be coveted Z. Cavariccis, is in the first row, second from left. Kathy, Melanie and I are to her left. Photo credit: I think my mother, Jane Vance.

This week, a French friend recommended “Turning Point: 9/11 and the War on Terror.” As much as I am transfixed by this 20th anniversary, as much as I am driven to read articles and remembrances and even share my own, I turn away from pictures or video of the day…

It Should be Okay to Care

Photo by Luis Galvez on Unsplash

I passed years of my life without crying. A dear friend and I used to say, with pride, that we were emotionally dead inside. Nothing could evoke tears from our eyes — not Grey’s Anatomy, not relationship breakups, and certainly not anything at work.

When I got married, things changed…

An Expat’s Love Note to America

If a picture is worth a thousand words, this one sums up the different feelings my husband and I had about moving to Germany. Also, I had bangs. Photo credit Jane Vance, my mother, who also happens to be an amazing gift-giver as evidenced by these going away presents.

Growing up in the ’80s and ’90s in America, I was taught that I was unique. School curricula and public television, like Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood and Sesame Street, beamed into my young mind the not-so-subliminal message that I should celebrate this uniqueness. …

Privilege is Invisible, but Only if You Have It

Where we didn’t watch any of this year’s Oscar nominated films. Photo by Paolo Chiabrando on Unsplash

Every year, my husband and I watch all of the Best Picture nominations before the Oscars. While living abroad, it has usually been a (mostly-pleasant) challenge: Before this year, we had to orchestrate our movie-watching plans with utmost precision. Some films (like Mank for us this year, which we abandoned…

My Thoughts on the Eve of Your First Management Position

Picture from a time when I wasn’t afraid to get on a horse. Five years ago, while on a team building event (which, to be clear, I organized), I fell off a horse and broke my back. My leadership journey has been full of times when I fell off the proverbial horse, and like the saying, I’ve dusted myself off and gotten back on. Photo courtesy of my mother.

Dear Former Team Member Whom I Would Now Call a Friend,

Let me start by saying that people will surprise you. The fact that you call me an inspirational leader surprises me. …

Kerry Summers

American living in Nürnberg, Germany. I write about expat life, culture, leadership and marketing.

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