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|

The 8-Cs of Our Company Culture

This week our Company had our annual “remote” celebration and it was no small feat. With about 35 teams of people located from Auburn, Maine to Palm Beach, Florida it was an amazing technological achievement for an organization like ours with limited financial resources, but plenty of heart. As I watched the live event this year with our Concord, NH team I was inspired by the wonderful culture our team members have created. As I thought about Paul Spiegelman’s 8 Cs of company culture, I think our team is right in line with him. Eight Cs of Company Culture. A [...]

By | 2017-07-20T09:06:27+00:00 July 20th, 2017|Organizational Culture, Teams & Culture|

Immigrant Entrepreneurs and Your Fireworks

Photo of fireworks by Alejandro Scaff What gets lost in the immigration rhetoric today is how many of our American businesses got started by immigrants. So as you watch beautiful fireworks this weekend, remember it was two immigrants to this country, Angelo Lanzetta and Antonio Zambelli, who created the two largest fireworks companies in the United States today -  Fireworks by Grucci and Zambelli Fireworks. If you would like to learn more about the fireworks industry in the United States you can read my article Business of Fireworks. Photo - Felix and Concetta Grucci - Grucci Website [...]

By | 2017-06-29T10:43:48+00:00 June 29th, 2017|Business, Entrepreneurship / Innovation, Uncategorized|

Will Cellphone Videos Limit Cop Promotions?

Last week I wrote about how important it is for us to know how to tell stories in less than 400 words, which, if spoken, is about four minutes. So today let me tell you an amusing 400 word story about why one older policeman might be glad we didn’t have 24/7 police video recordings in the 1970s. Policeman Thankful No Cellphones in 1970s I wonder how many of today’s police officers will never be promoted to police chief because of a publicly released cellphone video.  And I don’t mean a video of something bad they did, but rather of [...]

By | 2017-06-06T11:48:33+00:00 June 6th, 2017|Ethics, Human Behavior|

Five Tips for Writing Short Stories

I only know one Bart Simpson line, “I like Stories.” And I use this line often when someone says to me, “Do you want to hear a good story?” I bet you like good stories, too. Storytelling seems to be hot right now. Why? Because it is one communication strategy that really engages people when done effectively. Storytelling, whether spoken or written, is a skill. And it is a skill that effective leaders need to develop and continuously practice. This week I have done some reading about how to write effective stories. Here are my five tips for constructing an [...]

By | 2017-06-01T11:27:44+00:00 June 1st, 2017|Leadership Lessons|

Getting to the Point, Do You BLUF or BLAB?

Effective leaders know how to get to the point. Have you ever read a long email that never seems to get to the point? I know I have so I work very hard not to be one of those writers. Recently I read that military leaders train people to practice “BLUF” when speaking or writing. BLUF stands for “Bottom line up front”. My first reaction was that since this acronym did not fit the purpose, it would be easily forgotten. I was wrong. I can’t seem to get it out of my mind. I shared this concept with someone I [...]

By | 2017-05-23T17:31:28+00:00 May 23rd, 2017|Leadership, Leadership Lessons, Uncategorized|

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