OG Tuesday Issue #162

The Assist Newsletter
October 30, 2023
Start your morning with this affirmation:
Happy Halloween image
Today’s checklist: Carve the greatest pumpkin, be a leading (boss) lady, swipe some athletic habits, and negotiate for your parental leave.


Pumpkin Carving Hacks for Your Most Photogenic Jack Ever


Use a kitchen hand-mixer to quickly whisk out pumpkin guts. (This tip went viral on TikTok last year, and expert testers say it really does work wonders.)

Accessorize your pumpkin. Raid your recycling bin for materials you can use to make masks, hats, horns, and anything else you can dream up.

Use glass beads to make an artsy pumpkin that’s surprisingly fuss free.

Cut a hole at the bottom of the pumpkin instead of the top. The base then works as a platform for your candle and the rest of the pumpkin is the dome.

If you opt to do the traditional top cut, make sure the lines are jagged like a puzzle piece instead of round and smooth. This helps prevent the lid from sinking in and also makes it easier to figure out where the lid goes.

Stick a candle in the top of your pumpkin to turn it into a spooky candle-holder, like this vampire votive.

Use cookie cutters to create a clean, geometric design. 

Put your pumpkin on a sturdy plate or tray to make it easy to move around.

Sprinkle cinnamon and other fabulous pumpkin spices into those guts while you scoop.

Use a dry-erase marker to plot out your design and avoid ugly marks if you don’t cut exactly within the lines.


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Myths Holding Back Your “Leading Lady” Potential


Dr. Stefanie Johnson, author of Inclusify, spends a lot of time thinking about female leadership and setbacks to female leadership. In an interview with Buzzsprout, she outlined these three myths that can bar women from fulfilling their leadership potential.

Myth 1: Women and men lead differently

Truth! They don’t, not in any meaningful ways at least. Women skew slightly toward the democratic end of the leader style spectrum while men lean toward the autocratic, but overall, leadership methods and practices across genders are nearly identical and equally effective.

Digging deeper: A pernicious reality drives this myth. Male and female leaders may behave identically, but women might be perceived differently.

Johnson uses behavioral assertiveness as an example.

“[. . . ] I’ve done many of these studies where I just use the exact same words to describe men and women, when women do it, it’s just perceived as, like overly aggressive. Because it’s assertive for a woman. It’s like, kind of aggressive, because if we don’t expect women to be assertive, then that behavior stands out in a negative way.”

Myth 2: Women are not motivated to lead

Truth! Women are not less motivated to lead, but they may be less motivated to exert power over others. Johnson says this hollow justification is too often used to excuse the absence of female leaders.

Myth 3: Gender biases are extinct

Truth!  Biases are alive and thriving everywhere.

According to Johnson, the #MeToo movement signaled that biases, including gender biases and their cousins of harassment and inequity, are not just still around but also shockingly prominent.

“[. . .] if we can imagine many women are treated equally in the workplace,” she explains, “and then we see that something like 80 to 90% of women report being sexually harassed, how can you make sense of those two comments?”


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Swipe These Habits of World-Renowned Athletes


To achieve a certain level of mastery in any sport, you’ve gotta be focused, disciplined, and driven. You also need some solid habit structures.

Here are some athlete habits that can benefit people who aren’t training to win Olympic gold.

They visualize their goals.
Former professional soccer player Carli Lloyd used to spend her pre-game time visualizing, in great and specific detail, the outcome she desired. Really, this can work with any kind of goal. And if you’re having a hard time visualizing it, that indicates it just might not be specific enough.

They prioritize recovery.
They may train hard but they’ve also mastered the art of rest and recovery. Gymnast Simone Biles takes Epsom-salt baths, regularly practices self care with a therapist, and also takes one day off training a week.

They believe in the power of hydration.
Drinking enough water is one of Serena Williams’s non-negotiable daily habits. She knows not getting enough agua can make her feel tired and sluggish. Who has time for that?

They find workouts they really love doing.
When she’s not on the tennis court, Venus Williams says she does workouts she finds enjoyable and entertaining. Why make life harder by forcing yourself to do workouts you hate? (Her personal favorite is plyometrics.)

They recognize that they deserve treats.
LeBron James maintains a strict diet, but he’s been known to savor a glass of red wine and even a chocolate-chip cookie on occasion.


Negotiate Your Parental Leave


You’re starting (or growing) a family, and it’s truly a beautiful thing. Of course there will be challenges. Your priorities are shifting. You just don’t have as much time or energy to devote to work. Now’s not a time to feel guilty; it’s a time to consider what might help you better juggle work and family and then try to get it.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires U.S. employers to offer some employees up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave, but it doesn’t have to be paid leave.

That’s why negotiating is so important. Simply asking might be exactly how you can get what you want and need. And remember: It absolutely never hurts to ask—whether you’re considering a new job offer or if you’ve been in your role for a while.

Family Leave Negotiation Tips 

  • Read through your company’s family leave policy carefully to make sure you understand what’s on the table and what aspects of the policy you want to negotiate on.
  • Review your state’s leave mandates as well. Your company most likely complies with the policies, but this is good knowledge to have in your pocket.
  • Research and collect some data on what comparable companies in comparable industries and locations offer.
  • Determine what you really want and what you might settle for. For example, you might want 16 weeks of paid leave but you might be willing to accept 12 weeks of paid leave followed by a period of flexible or compressed work hours.
  • Ask parents you know in your company or around your city how much leave they got. As with negotiating salaries, it’s always good to know how your request lines up with the averages.
  • Know any other parents or potential parents in your organization? Ask if they’d be willing to join you in making a broader request to update the company policy.
  • Explore or suggest additional benefits, including childcare services and stipends, that could take the burden off new parents.


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The Assist's Corporate Holiday Gift Guide

🤗 Need some fun incentives for your team that aren’t just tied to special occasions? Consider getting these in bulk.

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Hooray, You Made It to the End of Our Newsletter!


Riddle me this: In the darkness of the night, I silently take flight, With glowing eyes, I give you a fright. A symbol of Halloween, a creature of the air, What am I, with feathers and a haunting glare?

⭐Answer here.

👉Here are all of October’s OG Tuesday Riddles.

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