To Catch a Thief

I must admit, I used to be quite naïve. While I was fascinated with newspaper stories and movies of how crooks stole money, those stories always felt like fiction because they happened to someone else. After all, I thought, I only work with law-abiding citizens with solid sets of ethical principles – no one I know would ever steal money or product from their employer. Right? Wrong. Along came our very own John Robie – an unethical colleague who saw no problem in stealing from us. I’ll tell you more about our Robie case in a few moments. (By the [...]

By | 2018-03-06T13:39:26+00:00 March 6th, 2018|Business, General|

Do You Have These Four Leadership Traits?

Photo by Tommy Lisbin Just this week I have been thinking about our Company’s future. We are almost 36 years old and have wonderful leaders at every level of our company. Even so, we are trying to develop even more leadership capacity because we know we need to change – and only effective leaders can lead change. As we look to build leadership capacity, I wonder what traits we should look for in people who have the “potential” to be our change leaders? Four Traits that Predict Success. In the December issue of Harvard Business Review I read [...]

By | 2018-02-22T14:06:17+00:00 February 22nd, 2018|Leadership, Leadership Lessons|

Some Thoughts on Border Walls

View from El Paso toward Ciudad Juarez, Mexico In January Patti and I were near El Paso, Texas on a short birding trip and saw the Mexican border Wall close up. On our first day we followed the border and Wall southeast for about 35 miles along the Rio Grande River. What was interesting was that the Wall came to end about 30 miles south of El Paso (see picture below) where the pecan orchards flourished, the other geography harsh, and the spacing between houses on both sides of the border widened. Thoughts from Jesus. Among the people [...]

By | 2018-02-02T10:44:16+00:00 February 1st, 2018|Business, General|

Customers Want Solutions Not Sympathy

Not too long ago I was really, really mad at Southwest Airlines and I must tell you why, but I am really, really sorry if this bores you. Patti and I were flying home on Southwest Airlines from Orlando with a connecting flight in Baltimore. The plane in Orlando had mechanical problems and we got started 90 minutes late. (When planning we knew connecting flights were problematic so we allowed over two hours for the connection.) On our flight from Orlando there were about 20 passengers who were trying to make the same connecting flight in Baltimore to Boston. We [...]

By | 2018-01-18T08:45:41+00:00 January 18th, 2018|Change Leadership|

Four Tips for Becoming a Learning Leader in 2018

It is a new year and I wonder if you want to grow this year? By “grow” I mean learn new things or do old things better. Photo by Patricia Maxwell Wood Successful people and leaders resist the inertia to just keep doing the same thing. They seek opportunities to learn even when it requires them to become a novice again and embrace the failure that may accompany new learning. In a moment I will share four attributes researchers have connected to this group of successful learners. Patti Wood, Bird Photographer. My wife, Patti, is a Registered Dietician [...]

By | 2018-01-04T14:55:33+00:00 January 4th, 2018|Leadership, Leadership Lessons|

Five Cool Inventions in 2017

I have always admired people who invent helpful products and get them into the market. Many of you know and see this when you watch Shark Tank. This month Time Magazine published its top 25 inventions of 2017. Here are my five favorites. Glasses that Help the Legally Blind See.  My favorite invention is a set of glasses called eSight 3 from eSight Eyewear that helps the legally blind navigate the world. Using 3D technology these glasses take-in surrounding information and instantly create high definition images the person can see. This can reduce the need for canes and guide dogs. [...]

By | 2017-12-07T08:35:09+00:00 December 7th, 2017|Entrepreneurship / Innovation|

Why Sellers Might Flip-out and Overvalue Things

Human behavior can make us flip sometimes. A few weeks ago when I was visiting our Rhode Island market I had interesting conversations with two of our team members. In the first one I learned that Dave, one of our Providence team members, was a part-time realtor. That by itself was not really notable, but what I learned next was. Dave told me that he specializes in being a “buyer’s broker”. When I asked him why, he said, “Because buyers are almost always happy after the closing and often invite me to their first house party. Sellers,  though, are almost [...]

By | 2017-11-30T10:48:31+00:00 November 30th, 2017|Team Leadership / Teamwork|

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 | 2018-01-02T20:14:55+00:00 November 9th, 2017|Core Values, Credibility & Inspiration|

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|

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