Learning from the Pivots Around Us

I find stories interesting about how entrepreneurs and businesses pivot and change directions. Later in this article I’ll share four of my favorite “pivot” stories from brands you will likely recognize. But first let me tell you about Barry Sansoucie. Barry Sansoucie was one of the most interesting entrepreneurs I knew in my early banking days. He was a person who saw every glass as half full. He was a veteran of the Vietnam War, where his job was to parachute solo behind enemy lines and clear areas of jungle vegetation for helicopter landings. After the war Barry joined his father’s [...]

By | December 1st, 2016|Entrepreneurship / Innovation|

The Business of Thanksgiving and Black Friday

In this week when we give thanks for all our blessings it seems crazy to me so much attention is on expanding our bounties. But that is the reality. So this week I thought I would look at the business that is Thanksgiving Week. But first, let us not forget the first “Thanksgiving.” It happened in late September or early October 1621 when the Pilgrims harvested their first crops – corn, squash, beans, barley, and peas. They also shot many migrating ducks and geese. They harvested and boiled the then plentiful lobster. William Bradford organized a harvest celebration and invited [...]

By | November 22nd, 2016|General|

Investigate This – Theft, Deception, Sex, and Extortion

Unfortunately I have had to deal with dishonest and unscrupulous people over my professional career. And their behaviors - including stealing, sexual harassment, false harassment allegations, theft by deception, and extortion – were so foreign to me that when I first experienced them I was left feeling naïve and dumbfounded. What I have learned and do believe is that the “good” people among us far outnumber the “bad” ones. Over 40 years I have come in contact with thousands of people and employees and my list of dishonest and unethical people is short. However, one responsibility is to properly and [...]

By | November 9th, 2016|Leadership Lessons|

I Wish My Dreams and Goals Would Come True

This morning there are many happy Chicago Cubs fans. Their dream and millions of wishes have come true - they are baseball’s world champions for the first time in 108 years. We are a dream and wish society. When we are children we are encouraged to “dream big” and “reach for the stars.” As adults we are offered racks full of encouraging books and many programs that teach us how to achieve our dreams. While many of these are wonderful and help us feel good, once the day’s reality sets in and distract us, our dreams often fade into the [...]

By | November 3rd, 2016|Goals / Objectives|

Final Thoughts About Trump’s Brand Value

Last November I wrote about how I thought Donald Trump was not running for President, he was running to increase the value of his brand name. In that article Trump is Running for His Brand, Not for President I postulated that because of the free media attention Trump knew he would receive, he would stay in the campaign until he started to lose, and then take his toys and go home. Since then two interesting things have happened. First, he won the Republican Primary, much to my and many others’ surprise. But, second, like relatives staying too long on a [...]

By | October 20th, 2016|Bullies & Misbehavior, Human Behavior|

Fearing Failure is Really Fearing Shame

What are you afraid of? Coincidentally, within just a few hours the other day, I talked with people who were either terrified of public speaking or of having to fire someone or of Donald Trump being elected President. Then I read an interesting article about the anti-fear guru, Tony Robbins. So, naturally, I was curious to explore “fear” a little deeper. Fortunately, I do not have many fears. But I have one fear that I bet I share with you – fear of failing. And, if we do not recognize it and face it head on, this fear limits our [...]

By | October 6th, 2016|Change Leadership, Leadership|

I Am Just Curious

Curiosity is interesting. Have you noticed that what makes you curious sometimes is of no interest to other people? While other times you discover that you and others are curious about the same thing? For example, I took this photo of floating homes a few years ago in Victoria Harbor in British Columbia. To this day I am still curious about the orange-haired manikin sitting on the second story deck in the upper-left corner. The owners must be interesting people. Why did they do this? Where did they get the manikin? When I share this with others, sometimes, they think [...]

By | September 22nd, 2016|Business, Entrepreneurship / Innovation|

Dude Ranches, Ghost Towns, and the Leadership of Charley Parkhurst

Over these past weeks Patti and I have been exploring the northwestern United States and have been learning many things. I thought I would write this week about the business of dude ranches, silver mining ghost towns, and a woman, whose compelling story teaches us how women can, in fact, do a “man’s job” better than a man. The Ranch. Along the way we spent two days at the Turpin Meadow Ranch, which borders Yellowstone National Park on the southern border. The Ranch was recommended by my colleague, Ryan, and the chef there, Jason, is a graduate of the University [...]

By | September 15th, 2016|Just Plain Interesting|

Credibility – Yearn for It, Earn It, Vote for It

If you have been a faithful reader, you may remember a few years ago when I first wrote about how important credibility is to leadership. Given the upcoming election and the two candidates, I thought it might be helpful to review the four qualities of leaders who have credibility. This summer I finished reading the book George Washington, A Life by Ron Chernow, which is a very compelling book on arguably our most accomplished president. When we read about George Washington it is easy to see why he was one of the most admired leaders in history – he had [...]

By | September 8th, 2016|Credibility & Inspiration, Leadership, Uncategorized|

The Link between Grit and Success – Part 2

According to Angela Duckworth, Grit is the product of our passion for something and the perseverance we have to pursue it long-term. In my last article I introduced you to Duckworth and her research into grit. I also gave you a link to her free and quick Grit Assessment, which takes less than five minutes. In this article I will recap the assessment and then share tips from Duckworth on how we can develop grit in ourselves and when we coach others. Grit Assessment.  When Duckworth designed the grit assessment, she structured 10 questions that help us understand whether we [...]

By | August 25th, 2016|Human Behavior|