I Am Grateful for Thanksgiving Laughter

Photo by Toa Heftiba Yesterday in Church our Pastor gave a children’s message focused on gratitude. After asking the children what they were grateful for, she passed around a clipboard asking each of us to share something we were grateful for. I wrote down “meaningful work”, which I am grateful for every day. Since yesterday as I thought about all the stress in the world these days, I have reminded myself how really grateful I am for good laughs – something we have always had around our family’s Thanksgiving table over the decades. So this week I thought [...]

By | 2017-11-20T15:03:05+00:00 November 20th, 2017|Credibility & Inspiration, Team Leadership / Teamwork|

Two Russians Who Saved America

I worry sometimes what would happen if one of our world leaders, one without critical thinking skills, ordered the use of an atomic weapon. Hopefully, someone would step in and stop it. If you want to feel encouraged (or really scared) here are two stories about two Russians who saved America. Vasili Arkhipov. In October 1962 at the peak of the Cuban Missile Crisis Arkhipov was on a Russian submarine B-59 with nuclear torpedoes ready to launch. He was one of three superior officers on that submarine. On October 27th their submarine was submerged near Cuba when the U.S  aircraft [...]

By | 2017-11-09T08:06:54+00:00 November 9th, 2017|Core Values, Credibility & Inspiration, Uncategorized|

Did Steve Steal $1,000,000 from his Last Employer?

No, I did not, steal $1,000,000, but I got your attention. One thing I learned this week is if I had written that headline using another person’s name and did not say it was true in the article, I would not be guilty of libel. Headlines put in the form of a question, even though they give the reader a negative impression, are not illegal. That’s why you see so many on those magazines in the grocery aisle and in your e-mail. These strategies are at the heart of what you are seeing in “fake news.” And fake news is [...]

By | 2017-10-26T06:30:10+00:00 October 25th, 2017|Ethics, Human Behavior|

No Goals – Just Do What You Want

Do you know anyone who strives to be average? While few people admit this is true, about half of us do. And, of course, the same is true of companies and organizations because they are only as good as their people. What I have observed is that average and below average performers either do not have goals or their goals are flawed or their goals do not inspire them. One symptom of goal absence or weakness is when people do what they want to do before they do what they need to do. Do What You Need to Do First.  [...]

By | 2017-10-12T11:35:25+00:00 October 12th, 2017|Goals / Objectives, Planning, Uncategorized|

Step Out Into the Darkness

When I was 15 years old I had to really step out into the darkness. As faithful readers know I was Boy Scout and in 1968 I was “tapped” to enter the Order of the Arrow, a Boy Scout honor society. At a campfire at Goshen Scout Camps in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia someone tapped my shoulder. I was told to go get my sleeping bag and return. When I returned I was blindfolded and my hand put on the shoulder of another Scout. Then we were led out into the dark George Washington National forest. For about [...]

By | 2017-09-28T09:24:53+00:00 September 28th, 2017|Change Leadership, Leadership|

Carving Out and Filling-up Jobs in Your Business

Have you ever noticed in football and baseball today there are several carved-out, specialty positions? For example, in baseball you have “closers,” like the Red Sox’s Greg Kimbrell. Closers are pitchers who only pitch the 9th inning when a team is leading by three or less runs. In football, for example, you have place kickers and punters. The players who fill these positions have very specific skills that help the team perform more successfully. And when they perform well, their teammates love them even though they don’t play very much. The same thing is happening in business. Many employers today [...]

By | 2017-09-14T11:23:11+00:00 September 14th, 2017|Business, General|

The Business of Staying Cool

Not long ago Johnny, one of our Board members from Florida, asked me, “Did you know the invention of air conditioning was the most important factor leading to Florida’s development?”  As logical as the premise was, I admitted it was news to me. And, of course, Johnny’s question piqued my curiosity. Air-Conditioning in the 1800s. In the 1830s Dr. John Gorrie from Florida, often referred to as the father of modern air-conditioning, used a system of suspended natural ice to cool the air and create a more comfortable recovery environment for his patients. He later invented a cooling system using [...]

By | 2017-08-31T14:26:59+00:00 August 31st, 2017|Business, General, Uncategorized|

A Turkish Shepherd and American Yogurt Entrepreneur is Changing the World

If you are like most Americans you have never heard of Hamdi Ulukaya. And, if he was in an immigration line today and disclosed he was a Turkish-Kurd “political science” major at Ankara University, he would most likely be sent home. But, what if I told you he created, here in America, the leading Greek yogurt brand, Chobani, would you want him deported? Ulukaya, who is nicely profiled in Rob Brunner’s article I’m a Shepherd and I’m a Warrior in Fast Company, grew-up in eastern Turkey in a family of shepherds and cheese makers. He immigrated to the United States [...]

By | 2017-08-17T12:36:19+00:00 August 17th, 2017|Business, Entrepreneurship / Innovation|

When Do We Get Small?

When do you admit to yourself you have the wrong perspective? I heard a very cute story on a podcast recently that helps make this point.  A woman was sitting in the middle seat on a plane and a cute little girl about five years old sat next to her in the aisle seat. Her family was sitting in the three seats across the aisle. This was the girl’s first plane ride and she was very excited. After takeoff when the plane was airborne the girl looked-up at the woman and asked, “When do we get small?” Kind of a [...]

By | 2017-08-10T14:30:15+00:00 August 10th, 2017|Change Leadership, Leadership, Uncategorized|

What if Your Summer Transportation was a Stagecoach?

We think nothing today of jumping into our air-conditioned cars and buzzing off for a 100-mile weekend get-away or even flying-off to Atlanta to visit friends. We certainly under-appreciate how lucky we are sometimes, especially when we are stuck in traffic. But what would it be like if you had to take a stagecoach to get to your destination? I enjoyed reading recently on the St. Croix Historical Society website about what a 36-hour, 100-mile stagecoach ride was like in about 1840 from Bangor to Calais, Maine, a trip I have made dozens of times. Imagine you are one of [...]

By | 2017-07-27T14:17:19+00:00 July 27th, 2017|Entrepreneurship / Innovation|

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