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What was the final straw?

Know a great big company?  What makes it immune to the brain drain?

Being bullied at work?

Did you return to work in corporate America after time out?  What happened?

Ideas being blocked?

Ask a question.  Offer a solution.

Rant or rave (at the bottom of the page) — put it in the Memory Bank. 



“There’s someone at work giving me a hard time.  It’s not a question of whether that person will say something nasty each day—more a question of when.  My colleague says I should go to HR.  Should I do that, and more importantly, how do I get this person off my back?”

                                  Name withheld upon request

Naperville, IL

Babs’ reply:

Should you go to HR?  Absolutely not.  Here are the stats—HR will take any action against a bully only 7 percent of the time. Most of that “any” is asking the bully to stop, which simply escalates the abuse (duh—nice going, HR). Only 1 percent of bullies are fired.

In 32 percent of cases, HR takes negative actions against the target (that would be you!). With some HR departments, the person who has the problem is the problem.  And the stats reveal that 51 percent of the time, HR will do nothing.  So, sorry, save your breath.  NOTHING you do will stop the bully’s behavior, because this is not about you or anything you do.

What should you do?  Leave. This bully has been targeting employees forever and started picking on you between 2 days and 2 weeks after the last target left. And HR has done nothing to this repeat offender.  As you probably realize, the bully is a friend of some senior managers, who don’t want to hear again their golf buddy or drinking buddy is a loser, because that might reflect on them.  Hint:  You work in a company with crappy management.

Chapter 7 tells more on how to plan your exit strategy, how to spot a company that doesn’t have bully breeder management, and what to do in the meanwhile. And stick copies of the book on the bully’s and bully manager’s desk with a bookmark in the appropriate place.



I work for Paychex and they have about 11,000 employees.  Not too big, but not really small.  This is a great place to work.  They spend an incredible amount on training—really good training.  All the time I’m thinking, “I can really use this.”  And the results show.  It might be because their customers are small businesses.

Name withheld upon request

Rochester, NY


This is a great read and critique of some of the many mind-numbing jobs, processes and games in corporate and business America. Interspersed with real-life experiences is a lot of great humor. I almost drive off the road laughing at "it is better to be an athlete than an athletic supporter" to make the point of the futility of support-type positions.

In a way this book is a verbal "Dilbert". And the chapter of bullying - many of us have been there in similar experiences that suck the air out of a job where you thanklessly expend your precious life's energies.

I really liked the use of the author's travels to make points. This brilliantly transformed a business-type book to something much more personal. Each country was brought to life with a great touch. My favorite was the last one mentioned in Kashmir, a land of great beauty matched with senseless death. The description of the merchants on Dal Lake and the decaying beauty of the once elegant houseboats was beautiful and visual.

If you have vision, are innovative and feel left out at your job, this book might confirm what you already know. It is time to work for yourself where you are only limited by your imagination and efforts. The author confirms that you are not alone when you think it's all a big game, with silly rules made by folks that are less than worthy.

Rich D

Albany, NY


Brain Drain is required reading for every serious student of the business -- starting with today’s top corporate CEO’s and continuing right down the line to every decision maker. Anyone looking to engage or remain prosperous in our global economy would be wise to heed Ryan’s advise: focus those employees who contribute to the bottom-line and shed dead weight – now!

Through Ryan’s travels, readers evolve as case-by-case, example after example, we learn why areas of the world, such as Europe and Asia, are advancing with lightning speed beyond the U.S.  Why? Because of a paradigm shift: the willingness to integrate technology wherever possible and maximize human capital. Simple.

If China’s brilliance and universal appeal during the 2008 Olympic Opening Ceremony did not send a wake-up call to us all, nothing will. If attitude is everything, our prevailing attitudes here in the U.S. need to change – dramatically, and soon.  Meanwhile, Corporate America is stuck in its ancient hierarchies and rigid, entitled-thinking.

Ryan’s Brain Drain thesis is dark and provocative; it will not resonate well with those who are unable to change or face the rigors of our emerging global economy.

Kim Izzarelli

Briarcliff Manor, NY



This is not your typical boring business book. It is interesting and insightful, with a delightful splash of comic relief thrown in. The author includes lots of statistics to back up her claims but interjects many of her own real-life experiences. Bab's vision, and her thought-provoking arguments have made me look at corporate practices a lot differently. This book is a must read for managers who wish to hang on to their best and brightest employees.

Carol P.

West Newbury, MA



Have you ever wanted to be a fly on a corporate headquarters’ wall? If your answer is yes, Ryan’s book is a must read. With her vast experiences so vividly exposed, you can’t help but feel you are in the midst of the chaos that commonly happens in large corporations. It makes you wonder how these large companies are still in business. Oh, wait a minute, some of them have recently gone belly up! No surprise!

This book is a must read for future business novices as well as CEO’s. Ryan’s writing also takes one to successful foreign countries’ headquarters where one can feel the creative energy of it’s employees respected and encouraged. America’s Corporate Brain Drain is a fascinating and enlightening book for all to read, even non business people such as myself.

Jill Beausoleil

Cumberland, RI





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America’s Corporate Brain Drain

Why we leave, Where we go, How we can reverse the flow


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