Five Attitudes of a “Yes we Can” Culture

On Sunday when I was at Hannaford’s grocery store a wonderful thing happened. As I walked out

of the store, a very happy little girl was dancing out the door with her dad. It had just started to rain hard and her dad said, “Oh no, it’s raining.” And the little girl looked up at him and said, “What’s wrong, Daddy, isn’t rain good?”

Her father and I smiled at each other and he said, “You know, you are right, rain is good.”

Positivity is infectious.

A “Yes We Can” Culture. One of the most important threads in the fabric of an energetic […]

By |April 23rd, 2015|Hiring & Team Composition, Teams & Culture|2 Comments

Communicating Lincoln’s Assassination Overseas

Today we will be reminded that Lincoln was assassinated 150 years ago by John Wilkes Booth on April 14th. When today’s stories are published they will be viewed around the world in just seconds. But what they won’t report is that in 1865 reports of Lincoln’s assassination would take weeks to move around the world. 

England and France, for example, would wait 11 days to hear the news. Barbara Rimkunas, an historian in Exeter, recently wrote about when a young Exeter man and friend to the Lincolns, Edward Tuck, learned of Lincoln’s death while serving in France. He wrote his father […]

By |April 14th, 2015|Business, Entrepreneurship / Innovation|1 Comment

How Four Secrets on Living to 100 Impacts Your Business

Today is my 38th birthday in the 50-0 Club. When my friends and I started turning 50 everyone joked that it was all downhill from there. So I began reversing their ages every birthday, reminding each that the goal was to get back to zero. So, the next year they were 49, then 48, and so forth. An older colleague of mine just bought a new sports car on his birthday and I thought, isn’t that what a 23 year-old should do?

In Dan Buettner’s new book The Blue Zones Solution we learn details about six behaviors researchers have discovered that […]

By |April 9th, 2015|Organizational Culture, Teams & Culture|1 Comment

Drink Up – You Just Can’t Make Sense of Nonsense

This past week, once again, I have been trying to make sense out of another state law that is, frankly, nonsense. In this case it is in Florida and it will definitely impact the recruitment of volunteer Board members. I will once again try to influence how this law and the subsequent rules it spawned are enforced, but I will leave that story for another day.

This week, too, we watch the State of Indiana wrestle with its controversial “religious freedoms” law, which could spawn many side effects. One of the problems I have with some laws is the carelessness with […]

By |April 1st, 2015|Books, Just Plain Interesting|0 Comments

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