August 18, 2017

Let's set the audience for this up front. The ideal audience for this post are regular folks that might have seen President Trump's remarks about "both sides" being "to blame" for the violence in Charlottesville. And that there are "good guys" on both sides as well. That's wrong and that's not a truly moderate response. Read on if you like.

I've been publically silent on most race matters and I've got some ideas why. One is that I feel discomfort that we have to have the conversation at all as a society. Two is that I feel woefully underprepared and from that unpreparedness I will do or say something wrong and once it's in the public, God knows you can't backtrack, right? (He said with sprinklings of truth, sarcasm and trepidation). But, if I waited until I was fully ready to do anything, I’d never...

July 5, 2017

As a public speaker, I've been asked to give an invocation at various points - mostly in church, big holiday lunches and here and there at a few civic functions. Hell, I was the president of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in high school and my freshman year of college and so invoking the blessing of God and particularly Jesus (The Christ) was just part of my existence and I never really subjected it to much scrutiny as a white dude from Oklahoma. I still pray sometimes and try to participate in public prayer but I wrestle a bit more with it. I wrestle with my own words or the words that someone else is praying so that I may be able to confidently cosign on the amen at the end of they prayer. I was sure that anyone with doubt feels the same feelings but it hit me like a ton of bricks to hear...

March 22, 2017

A few weeks ago (while my house and half of the OKC metro was dealing with gastrointestinal distress) I had the opportunity to go to Mustang, Oklahoma and give a "motivational" talk about sports - and life by extension. The Mustang Lady Broncos invited me to come speak and I jumped at the chance because my cousin is a coach there and I'm happy to help out. But, truth be told, I was actually a little bit scared to talk to them for a few different reasons:

  1. I was talking to high school kids.

  2. I was giving a motivational talk.

  3. I was giving a motivational talk to high school kids.

My fear had nothing to do with the high school girls themselves. That's not true. Part of my fear had to do with the high school girls. Not because they're girls but because they're high schoolers...

March 4, 2017

Y'all OK sits down to a warm conversation with Imam Imad Enchassi of Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City.

October 17, 2016

Y'all know where I am?

I'll give you a hint: I ran the stairs from the Exorcist 10 times (up and down).

As I start drafting this, I'm in D.C.

It's something I get to do from time to time - not super often... but enough to maintain some perspective on what I do.

Being in DC right now with the 2016 election just under one month away, I thought I might a take a risk and try to weigh in on the presidential race. It should be known that I definitely have an opinion on the presidential election and I know exactly how I'll vote. But, what I can't do is campaign or endorse a candidate under The Hatch Act. As a "regular" speaker with a website, I could probably encourage my readers to vote for any candidate (not that you'd heed my endorsement) but since I'm on the record as being a current federal employ...

September 26, 2016

Do you guys know how dope Work at Home is? It's amazing. You or your organization might call it telework, remote work, work-at-home, WAH, or whatever but the overarching point is the same - not working in the office. Actually, I've found out that in the federal government, those different terms are actually different things. If you are teleworking, then you're not working in the office but you could be just about anywhere (house, coffee shop, etc). Work-at-home means that you "work at home" and no where else. Remote work is… I don't remember what remote work is… I think remote work means that you're not in your regular office but you are at some other affiliated office which doesn't include your home office. For the purpose of this article let's just stick to "telework".

I don't necessarily think t...

September 15, 2016

Let's put aside the Federal Government stuff for a bit and talk about something gross for a second - networking. It's not really gross... it just feels gross to some people. And, I'm not talking about social networking on Linkedin or Facebook. I'm talking about old-school networking - handshakes, eye contact, coffee, nibbles, talking shop, and suppressed farts.

I think the anxieties revolve around false perceptions of what people think networking is. You don't REALLY network to get jobs, clients, referrals, or anything. Networking isn't about what you can GET. Networking is a slightly more formal opportunity to connect and to expand your "network" of connections. Your just making connections... you are CONNECTING.

Is Networking even important?

Yes. Of course it's important. I've seen various figures...

September 1, 2016

The third component to thriving in your federal job is a doozy. It is a simultaneously important and somewhat vague idea - setting boundaries. It seems like the most successful folks in any line of work are the ones that seem to have the most control. Maybe it's real, maybe it's a façade but in my experience, it's difficult to project a false sense of control for any significant period of time. That real control typically comes from someone's ability to set boundaries. Most of the academic work around the concept of "boundaries" comes from the field of psychology but there are many Organizational Psychologists or Organizational Behaviorists who are broadening the studies and suggestions to the work place. Everybody has different boundaries. My boundaries have certainly changed through the years an...

August 23, 2016

HEY EVERYBODY! Thanks for visiting the site and signing up for the emails. The response has been really great so far. I've been flattered by the traffic. especially the folks that are visiting through search engines. I apologize for the long break between posts but... y'know... The Olympics.

In my last two posts about Thriving in the Federal Government, I stressed the importance of every civil employee having "one foot out the door" - being (professionally) prepared to pursue other opportunities (jobs, temporary details, special projects, certifications, additional training, and anything that will add value to your life and career).

The next vital component to thriving in the federal government is to pursue your other interests. Everyone has interests outside of their job. It's highly unlikely that...

August 5, 2016

In my last post, I set out to establish the first of my principles of Thriving in the Federal Government - Have One Foot Out the Door. So… if you are considering entering, are new to, or are currently working in the government, how do you have one foot out the door? And what does that look like?

It has a lot of the same meaning as it did for me in business school. It means you are never done developing "you."  There are always certifications to get, companies to research, blogs to write, and presentations to give. In fact, the government wants (read: NEEDS) qualified employees just as much as any other employer. So the opportunities for Project Management certifications, Six Sigma Belts, other certifications, or college credit are plentiful. Here are a few steps you can take to get started.

1. Scrub...

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Riley Evan Ross
Writer and Speaker

I speak and write on the topic of moderation because I believe that a thorough re-examination of moderation can help our societies build change resilience and grow together.

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