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|

The Link between Grit and Success – Part 1

Every four years when I watch the Olympics I am inspired by the personal stories of how hard these top athletes have worked. For every one of their stories there are hundreds of stories of talented athletes who never get there. They might be just as talented, but may not have the “grit” it takes to succeed. For decades psychologists have been studying what makes high achievers successful. Every year or so a new theory and book comes out that gives us more insight. This month I have been reading a terrific book called Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance [...]

By | August 11th, 2016|Human Behavior, Uncategorized|

Lessons from a Lost Cell Phone and a Mattress in the Road

Photo by Jamie Street What moves you or me to take action? Over the last week this question has crossed my mind several times as I pondered human behavior involving a lost cell phone and a mattress in the road. A few weeks ago while riding my mountain bike on a familiar trail near our lake house I lost my cell phone. I noticed it was gone about halfway where I turn around and head back over the same trail. So on the way back I looked for it and didn’t find it. I wondered if I had [...]

By | August 4th, 2016|Ethics, Human Behavior|

Connecting Collections – Teams and Leaders

Photo by Jessica Ruscello Yesterday afternoon our 34 year-old company enjoyed a wonderful, year-end virtual celebration. Over 300 faithful team members from over 30 markets tuned-in. Proud of everyone, I was inspired by our wonderful teams and leaders  that deliver rewarding service in often challenging circumstances. We are a wonderful set of connected collections; each with its own unique forces to contend with and pictures yet framed. So today, driving back to New Hampshire after being with our Rhode Islander Team yesterday, I could not help but think of what I recently read about what two research projects [...]

By | July 21st, 2016|Organizational Culture, Teams & Culture|

Working Smarter – Five Tips

Sometimes I just work stupid. Last week I was trying to do too many things at the same time and a funny thing happened.  I was trying to coordinate a phone conference with one of our vendors, who I’ll call Sally, and our wires got crossed.  Sally sent me an e-mail asking what number she should use to call me. I wrote an answer to her while speaking with someone else and I was clearly distracted. Sally didn’t call me on time, which surprised me because she is very prompt. After another e-mail exchange I called her and we connected. [...]

By | July 13th, 2016|Goals / Objectives|

Business of Fireworks

It just would not be Independence Day without fireworks. They are a blast to watch. We first celebrated this holiday in 1777, one year after the Declaration of Independence was adopted. Among the cities that lay claim to that first 1777 celebration are Bristol, Rhode Island (oldest parade) and Philadelphia, which had a fireworks celebration that first year. Trivia note – Rhode Island was the last of the 13 original colonies to join the United States and did so a full year after George Washington was inaugurated. I guess the folks in RI then really wanted to be independent. Origin [...]

By | June 30th, 2016|Business, Family Businesses|

Here, Lead this Established Team

The Red Sox are again wearing me down. I was at the game on Monday when they got the bases loaded in the ninth inning at home in a tie game with no outs. They did not score and they lost the game. They then lost the next two games in painful ways. I am beginning to wonder if they need to replace the manager, John Farrell. Torey Lovullo, the bench coach, is the logical choice. He filled-in for Farrell last year when Farrell had to step away for medical treatment. So I wondered if I was Lovullo, what would [...]

By | June 23rd, 2016|Hiring & Team Composition|