Will I Stay and Can You Trust Me?

This week Susannah Chance and I did a webinar about effective communication and employee coaching. One thing I mentioned during the webinar was for coaches to remember that making a decision and taking action are two different things. For example, I might decide I would like to go skydive and later not be able to jump. A coach, who can communicate effectively, can help me jump.

Decisions and Actions. I have been attracted to human behavior my entire career and in no two places in business is this more important than in advertising and human resources. This week I was fascinated […]

By |March 26th, 2015|Business, Human Behavior|0 Comments

A Thank You Note from Steve on a Shelf

Just over three years ago I launched this Blog not knowing how it would go. Writing a piece every week has been challenging sometimes, especially since I want the information in it to be valuable to you. Recently, with the help of two very skilled people, we have created a new look for the site that I hope you will enjoy.

Steve on a Shelf. Since I often write about books I am reading, I wanted the website banner to have books in view. I also wanted something different and amusing. That was when the very creative and talented photographer, Kim Shimer, stepped […]

By |March 18th, 2015|Organizational Culture, Teams & Culture|2 Comments

Power of High Expectations

Low expectations are all around us and successful leaders know it. They also know it is their job to raise expectations and help people achieve more in their lives.

Last week I listened to a powerful podcast on This American Life about Daniel Kish, a visually-impaired man known as Batman, who is changing the world of expectations for blind people. Daniel, who uses echolocation or clicks to find his way around, was not held back by his mother when he lost his eyes to cancer at 18 months old. She did not put limits on her expectations and, as a result, […]

By |March 11th, 2015|Credibility & Inspiration, Leadership|0 Comments

Five Ways to Manage Angry Internet Posts

I have grown accustomed to receiving feedback, good and bad, over my 40 years in business and education. The feedback I dislike the most is that which comes from anonymous sources because it is hard to know what to do with it. Since you cannot loop back around and talk to the person you must ask questions and then make assumptions.

Until the past few years I tried to look at comments from anonymous sources as learning opportunities – times to reconcile discrepancies between what we thought we were doing and what the actual perception was. And sometimes, in cases when […]

By |March 3rd, 2015|Human Behavior|0 Comments

A Tale of Two Interviews and Lying on Resumes

Because we are always in pursuit of quality employees I am always reading and looking for insights that might help us with our recruiting. Here are three items I stumbled across this week.

How Random Disrespect Can Hurt You. In a piece on Mashable, Tim Chester told a story about how a man on the subway was rude to another passenger and that passenger turned-out later to be the person interviewing the offender for a job. Here is what Chester wrote:

“The man was travelling on the London Underground Monday when a fellow passenger blocked his way. He responded in the traditional London […]

By |February 26th, 2015|Human Behavior|0 Comments

Leaders Should Learn to Forgive

People quite often “stretch the truth” or lie, even experienced and wise people like Brian Williams. While it fascinates me why the public so passionately takes shots at Williams, who really has not hurt any of us, I will put aside my opinion about that for another day. However, since I have encountered lying behavior many times in my career, I have wondered how injured parties can be better “forgivers.”

Last week I read a terrific article in the New York Times by David Brooks called The Act of Rigorous Forgiving. In this article, Brooks articulates very well four steps for […]

By |February 19th, 2015|Leadership|0 Comments

Entrepreneurship Can Make a Difference in Africa

Entrepreneurship is always required if you want to build a robust and healthy economy. Entrepreneurs are people who see opportunities where others do not and who see barriers as a way to invigorate their life.

I always enjoy reading about entrepreneurship in Africa because it is especially hard to be successful. The barriers in many African countries include corrupt governments, poor infrastructures (e.g. Education, roads, public utilities, transportation), and very low personal incomes.

Westerners have gone to Africa and taught people how to build micro-enterprises and many have been successful. My friend from Rotary Dr. Bob Herald, for example, helped develop and […]

By |February 11th, 2015|Business|0 Comments

Were the Patriots Just Lucky?

I am a huge New England Patriots fan and acknowledge that maybe luck was in our favor on Sunday night when the Patriots won the Super Bowl. In football, like many sports, when two equally talented teams play it is often just the bounce of a ball that can determine a winner. Like many fans, I thought the lucky bounce of the football had once again “done us in” when the Seattle receiver, Jermaine Kearse, made a remarkable catch of a ball that bounced from hand to body to hand many times.

Then Malcolm Butler made a great interception on the […]

By |February 3rd, 2015|Teams & Culture|0 Comments

I Wonder How We Will Manage the Robots

For decades fans of science fiction have only wondered when, not if, robots would someday think and act like humans. In a month or so a robot named Chappie will make its movie debut and the story line appears to give it human qualities we humans will connect to.

While robots and computers may never think and feel like humans, although Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk believe we are getting closer by the day, they are quickly changing the workplace landscape. And not just in factories.

My friend Danette, who is a very accomplished corporate attorney, recently sent me a link to an […]

By |January 27th, 2015|Business|0 Comments

Mathematically Speaking, How Many People Should I Interview?

This past week my colleague, Jim, and I interviewed our second candidate for a technology position in our company. Like the first candidate, there were some things we liked and some things we did not. Knowing that we may never find the “perfect” candidate, Jim said to me, “I wonder what our “n” number is?” When I asked him what he meant, he gave me a fascinating answer that I thought I would share with you.

Square Root of “N” plus one. The interview research project from the 1950’s and 1960’s was likely devised by American mathematician Merrill Flood and later […]

By |January 12th, 2015|Books, Just Plain Interesting|1 Comment