Jeff Wilser

Back Writer

Jeff Wilser is the author of The Book of Joe: The Life, Wit, and (Sometimes Accidental) Wisdom of Joe Biden, from Three Rivers Press. He has written five previous books, including Alexander Hamilton’s Guide to Life. His writing has appeared in print or online in New York magazine, GQ, Condé Nast Traveler, TIME, Glamour, Cosmo, Esquire, mental_floss, Men’s Fitness, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Comstock’s, The Miami Herald, Detroit Free Press, and The Huffington Post. For more, visit www.jeffwilser.com.

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Performance Art

Artistic offices lead to more productive and engaged teams

Art in the workplace is more than cosmetic; it can actually improve employee attitudes, performance, and even the company’s bottom line. This feels almost blasphemous. By definition, we think of “art” and “profit” as two distinct and even clashing concepts, with the unspoken assumption that chasing profits will corrupt art, and that art drags down profits. Conventional wisdom says “art for art’s sake”: Art is not a means to an end, art is the end.

Aug 1, 2017 Jeff Wilser

Mysteries of the Gut Instinct

Unraveling the science of the body’s ‘second brain’ offers insight into the role the stomach plays in our mental health

We’ve all been there: You’re waiting to give a big presentation, maybe you dread public speaking, and you feel your stomach twist itself into a pretzel. Or maybe you meet someone new, someone interesting, and when they make eye contact you feel your stomach do a joyful little flip. It happens all of the time. We feel things before we have time to mentally process.

Jul 27, 2017 Jeff Wilser

Gen Z at Work

The oldest members of gen Z (born in 1996) are now graduating college, flooding offices across America with their cheery, five-screen-watching, can-do spirit.

Feb 28, 2017 Jeff Wilser

Take It Easy

U.S. workers are taking less and less vacation — here’s what their employers are losing to the vacation gap

 You probably need a vacation. Most of America does. Between 1976 and 2000, the average worker took roughly 20 vacation days annually, according to data from Project: Time Off. But as the economy buckled in 2008, so did our desire to flock to the beach, and in 2015, the number plunged nearly a full week lower, translating to 658 million unused vacation days.

Oct 4, 2016 Jeff Wilser

In Safe Hands

What the leaders of Sacramento’s health care system have to say about care quality and gender equality

Of the four largest private employers in the region, three of them are health systems — Kaiser (10,000 employees), Sutter (9,000) and Dignity Health (7,000). And whether it’s a new trend, a bit of gender-equity karma or just a wonderful coincidence, in this critical sector of the economy, all four of the region’s health centers are led by female executives.

May 3, 2016 Jeff Wilser
Kate Towson of Women's Empowerment reacts to winning the $10,000 Judges Award at SVP's Fast Pitch, an event that rewards nonprofits with a plan.

More Than A Feeling

In the quest for funding, charitable organizations need more than a mission — they need a plan

For more and more investors and would-be funders, nonprofits need to have more than a worthy cause and a compelling mission: They need a plan. Specifically, they’re now being asked to showcase the same mindset that’s required of for-profit organizations, meaning that spreadsheets, metrics and core competencies can matter just as much as pulling the heartstrings.   

Apr 12, 2016 Jeff Wilser
(Design by Sara Bogovich; elements from Shutterstock)

7 Killer Financial Management Apps

Thanks to a growing pool of financial apps, we can now review our budgets, tweak our investments and work toward retirement — all while waiting in line for a coffee.

Mar 24, 2016 Jeff Wilser

The Dean Can Read Your Mind

Pierre Balthazard has spent years studying the brains of top bosses and now, he says he can neuro-train the brain into better leadership   

Imagine a world where you’re hooked to a system of electrodes that scans your skull, hunts for patterns, and then scores your IQ, emotional intelligence, ability to communicate, capacity for judgment and potential to be a good leader. Then imagine that the therapist says, “The bad news is that your score should be higher. The good news is that I can get it there by helping you physically change your brain.”

Feb 16, 2016 Jeff Wilser
(Shutterstock)

Vision Reframed

VSP is changing the way we think about eyewear — and ideation

“In order for a company like VSP to be around for 60 years, we’ve had to be innovative — to change who we are,” says incoming CEO Jim McGrann, who used to be the company’s Chief Technology Officer. Plenty of companies like to toss around buzzwords like “innovation,” but it’s usually just an empty slogan. VSP has spurred innovation by creating The Shop, launching their Project Genesis, and supporting a 90-day rotational program that lets everyday employees — no matter what division they work in — pitch new ideas and brainstorm new products.

Dec 15, 2015 Jeff Wilser
(Shutterstock)

Clear Your Mind and the Cash Will Flow

Businesses are betting on meditation for employee health and corporate profits

You live a crowded life. We all do. You probably looked at your smartphone before you rolled out of bed. You immediately checked your email, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Maybe you glanced at your phone on your morning commute. Your job demands multitasking, so at work your computer has 25 open tabs — Outlook, Excel, Word, Powerpoint, and on and on and on.  As you read this article, the odds are good that you’re also kind of doing something else.

Oct 27, 2015 Jeff Wilser

Strictly Professional

For the next generation, family-business survival rests squarely on formalized governance

There’s an old saying about family businesses: Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations. Grandpa hustles and creates the business,Dad takes the baton and then Junior goes down with the ship. According to the Family Firm Institute, just 30 percent of family businesses survive into their second generation, and only 10 percent make it to their third. Why do these firms fail?

Sep 22, 2015 Jeff Wilser
Bernadette Austin, project manager, Domus Development; and Meea Kang, president and founding partner, Domus Development

Cracking the Glass

Local leaders weigh in on the state of gender equality in the workplace

Focusing on four sectors — STEM, justice, development and investment — we rounded up some of the city’s key leaders: a district attorney, a med school dean, the head of an FBI office and enough CEOs to rival “Shark Tank,” to get their take on how women are perceived in their industries, how that perception has changed over time and what it will take to truly reach parity.

May 5, 2015 Jeff Wilser
Alysia Angel, youth programs coordinator, Sacramento LGBT Community Center

Turned Out

Who can meet the needs of our homeless LGBT youth?

Forty percent of homeless youth are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered, compared to just 10 percent for the larger population. Across the United States, there are somewhere around 320,000 to 400,000 homeless LGBT youth. There are roughly 4,000 shelter beds total. Enough to sleep just one percent.

Apr 7, 2015 Jeff Wilser
(Shutterstock)

Mental Wealth

Financial therapists know: It’s more than just the Benjamins, baby

There’s an old joke from the TV series “Friends”: Ross complains about how he’s torn between two women, so Chandler replies, “This must be so hard. Oh no, two women love me. They’re both gorgeous and sexy. My wallet’s too small for my fifties and my diamond shoes are too tight!” That’s the typical reaction when people hear about wealth psychology…

Mar 24, 2015 Jeff Wilser
Bonney Plumbing CEO Jimmy Crabbé

Smooth Operator

How former UPS logistics exec Jimmy Crabbé doubled a Sacramento plumbing business in less than 24 months

Think of it as The Deodorant Problem. If you’re marketing a brand, it’s easy to sling the sex appeal of wine, cars or a hot new phone. But what if the product is a tad mundane and even a little stinky?  How do you convey the emotional appeal of, say, unclogging a toilet? If you’re Jimmy Crabbé, you crack this problem with an inspired move that no one saw coming.

Feb 3, 2015 Jeff Wilser

Extreme Makeover: Work Edition

Does your office need an etiquette expert?

You know That Guy. He wears too much Axe body spray, he makes loud personal calls while you’re trying to work, he chews food with his mouth open. He’s a close-talker with his shirt open one button too far. He’s also really good at his job. If you’re a manager, what do you do with That Guy?

Jan 6, 2015 Jeff Wilser
A new comprehensive program at UC Davis Medical Center will soon provide surgical services for unborn children.

Opportunity of a Lifetime

Fetal surgeons at UC Davis are repairing birth defects in babies — before their patients are even born

Too many pregnant mothers know the feeling of horror: The ultrasound reveals something wrong. Perhaps it’s nothing. But maybe it’s life-threatening, a disease or a disability. Maybe it’s the unthinkable. For hundreds of thousands of years, the unthinkable — babies doomed to die or develop impairments before drawing their first breath — meant only tragedy and heartache. Now there is hope.

Dec 2, 2014 Jeff Wilser
(shutterstock)

Dream On

10 tips for the sleep-deprived, one of which might ruin your life

Let me take a wild guess: You feel like you don’t get enough sleep. Too much to do, you’re stressed out and you think getting eight hours of sleep is about as realistic as keeping current on Oprah’s Book Club. Or maybe you’re annoyed that your body needs too much sleep? Think of all the workouts you could get in, books you could read and emails you could return with a few extra hours in each day. Wouldn’t we all love to train our bodies to require less sleep?

Nov 4, 2014 Jeff Wilser

On the Cover: The World’s Fastest Man

Rome wasn't built in a day, because C.C. Myers didn't have that contract

Construction guru C.C. Myers has, for more than two decades, been California’s go-to guy when roads are ravaged by acts of God (like the ’94 Northridge earthquake) or the toll of time (Folsom’s Lake Natoma Crossing, Interstate 5 in Sacramento, Route 99 in Turlock, the Walnut Creek Interchange, and the list goes on). The New York Times once called him the “Miracle Worker Highway Man.”

Oct 21, 2014 Jeff Wilser
Eric Richards, 35, with two-year-old son, Cole

Daddy Issues

Why aren't more men taking paternity leave?

On opening day of the 2014 baseball season, New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy was noticeably absent. He wasn’t benched. He didn’t have the flu. He simply took advantage of Major League Baseball’s paternity leave policy, which grants 72 hours off, to attend the birth of his son.

And all hell broke loose.

Jul 1, 2014 Jeff Wilser
www.istockphoto.com

World Travel

Can Sacramento cash in on an influx of Chinese tourism dollars?

Two hundred million Chinese tourists will pack their bags and depart their homeland in 2020, bound for destinations across the globe. It’s not a mass exodus; they’re not  fleeing their government. They’re tourists, and, according to CNN, they might be the greatest phenomenon to hit the  global travel industry since the invention of commercial flight.

Jun 1, 2014 Jeff Wilser
www.istockphoto.com

Brain Drain

How can Sacramento keep its millennials in the mix?

About a decade ago, as a financial analyst for Intel, I lived in the suburbs of Santa Clara and frequently traveled to Folsom. It was a good job, especially for a kid straight out of college — decent pay, strong company and the lure of glittering stock options.

So I left.

Mar 1, 2014 Jeff Wilser

Hurts So Good

Yoga is good for you, but be careful boys

I’ve always snickered at yoga.It just seemed ridiculous. But men are flocking to yoga the way we once, in the ’80s, took to this thing called “jogging.” We’re learning that yoga bestows a slew of health benefits — physical, mental, even sexual. But new research also points to increased health risks for men, and this muddies the decision.

Feb 1, 2014 Jeff Wilser
Chris Hay, owner and farmer, Say Hay Farms

Land of the Fee

Can micro loans dig farmers out of their financial holes?

Today’s small farmer climbs an uphill battle to find land, secure capital and overcome the hefty start-up costs. Today, farmers make up less than 1 percent of the population (compared to 15 percent in 1950), they tend to be older (the average age is 57) and about 25 percent are expected to retire in the next 20 years. “This is a new problem for human society,” writes Sharon Astyk, author of “A Nation of Farmers.”

Nov 1, 2013 Jeff Wilser