Yes, Real Leaders Can Say “I’m Sorry”

I did not hear any of our political leaders apologize to the 800,000 federal workers they used as poker chips during the record government shutdown. As I thought about it, I couldn’t remember many other apologies for past political decisions either. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) This made me wonder why more leaders don’t apologize and if they did, what made the apologies effective or not. Why Do Most of Us Willingly Say, “I’m sorry?” If you have any level of empathy, it is naturally human to feel badly when your actions hurt someone else. Beginning at a very young [...]

By |2019-02-08T18:25:20+00:00February 8th, 2019|Credibility & Inspiration|

What Were You Thinking?

Maybe it's just me, but lately I’ve been baffled by some decisions people make. Quite often I say to myself, “What Were You Thinking?” Dogs making bad decisions, like getting a head stuck in a cat door, now that’s understandable. But managers and leaders have something dogs don’t have, the “ability to reason.” At least that’s what I learned in biology class. A few weeks ago I watched Jamie Dimon’s interview on C-SPAN after Joe Leddy recommended it to me. Dimon is the CEO of JP Morgan Chase and is a great example of a competent leader. Given how most [...]

By |2019-01-24T14:38:36+00:00January 24th, 2019|Leadership Lessons, Uncategorized|

Three Ways You Might Contribute to Road Congestion

It seems like it was just a few years ago that we relied only on our faithful mail carriers to deliver our very few mail order packages. And most of this mail was delivered by two legs on the sidewalk. But two relatively new consumer habits have changed all that and are helping clog our streets – 1) Single product, online purchases from places like Amazon; and 2) The use of Uber and Lyft. And soon a third force is going to really impact traffic - driverless vehicles commonly called autonomous vehicles or AVs. Package Delivery. In the days leading [...]

By |2019-01-15T11:47:00+00:00January 15th, 2019|Just Plain Interesting, Uncategorized|

Holiday Wonder – Ugly Sweater or Food?

Why is it we can order an ugly holiday sweater on-line and have it delivered tomorrow, and at the same time throw away 40 percent of our food while 40 million Americans don’t have enough to eat? This is one question I am curious about this holiday season. Ultimately the food problem is a distribution challenge in need of leadership and there is one leadership story on the food front I’ll share in a moment. Package Delivery Innovation. This week I happened to spot this 1931 picture of a New York City post office flooded with packages at Christmas. Since [...]

By |2018-12-20T09:02:07+00:00December 19th, 2018|Change Leadership, Leadership Lessons|

Five Leadership Gifts from George H.W. Bush

Author Steve Wood on far right Last week many Americans paid their final respects to George H.W. Bush, our 41st President. I had a very high regard for President Bush, as many people here in the seacoast of New Hampshire and Maine did. Thousands of we locals met him, as I did four times including when I played one hole of golf with him a few decades ago. Our daughter, Alie, has fond memories of serving he and Mrs. Bush when working at Foster’s Downeast Clambake, a Maine business owned by our friend Kevin Tacy, who did a [...]

By |2018-12-20T09:03:56+00:00December 13th, 2018|Credibility & Inspiration, Leadership, Uncategorized|

Job Quitting is a Symptom of Low Resiliency

One of the problems with low-unemployment is that young workers find it too easy to quit and find another job. What they do not understand is that quality employers recognize this pattern as a symptom of low resiliency and often pass on hiring them. Photo by REUTERS/Brian Snyder At least that used to be the case. Many employers are getting so desperate today they ignore this symptom and hire candidates knowing they might be short-term solutions. And, of course, all this does is enable the low-resiliency job jumpers unless you add resiliency-building to your work culture. What Can [...]

By |2018-11-30T11:12:24+00:00November 30th, 2018|Human Behavior, Leadership Lessons, Learning Styles & Skills|

Tell Me a Story Why You Work Here

In a moment I have a connection challenge for you. Workshops on storytelling and writing narratives are very popular for leaders right now. Why? Because good stories create human connection. Better connections with team members help us inspire and retain them. Creating a connection with a candidate can make all the difference in recruitment. Our Love of Stories. Our company is in its 37th year and most of our senior team has been together for between 20 and 25 years. I believe one of our cultural threads is that we are open, we like each other, and we can laugh [...]

By |2018-11-16T09:06:18+00:00November 15th, 2018|Credibility & Inspiration, Leadership|

Walt Disney Never Saw Obstacles Only Opportunities

I think it is a good time to celebrate entrepreneurs because without them the world would be a far darker and undeveloped place. Since this month The Walt Disney Company will celebrate both Mickey Mouse’s 90th birthday and Disney World’s 55th anniversary, I thought it would be a perfect time to revisit the life of Walt Disney, arguably the world’s most creative entrepreneur. Mickey Mouse continues to be one of the top one or two best known characters in the world and is the image most closely connected to Disney. What many people don’t know is that Disney is the [...]

By |2018-11-08T11:35:37+00:00November 8th, 2018|Entrepreneurship / Innovation|

Honestly, Are You Trustworthy?

It seems like no one trusts anyone today. Have you recently asked yourself if you are trustworthy? This week on Halloween, my colleague, Marcia, told me how she was listening to the radio and the DJs were focused on how we should start “tricking” little kids. They recommended we suck out the peanut butter in Reese’s peanut butter cups and replace it with spicy, hot sauce. While funny to older teenagers and 20-year-olds, I’m sure, this will not build trust in little kids. Today trustworthiness seems to be a fading attribute even as everything we read about leadership and teams [...]

By |2018-11-01T16:59:08+00:00November 1st, 2018|Leadership, Leadership Lessons|

Leaders Beware – Google Done Taught Me Everything I Know

I have been a defendant in only one court case. Sadly, that case contributed to my loss of interest in teaching college and is directly related to today’s topic. I’ll tell you that story later. When our founding leaders formed the United States, they wrestled with this paradox – How to protect individual rights and protect individuals from themselves. Well-educated in the history of mankind, these founders knew that humans are naturally social beings and very susceptible to going along with the crowd. They worried how misguided crowds could destroy the great country they envisioned. One social trend that really [...]

By |2018-10-19T09:43:05+00:00October 18th, 2018|Just Plain Interesting, Learning Styles & Skills, Uncategorized|

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