10 Instincts that Hold You Back

We have been helping youth at risk of success for over 20 years. We do this by connecting youth to employers, who become helpful role models. What I have learned over the years is that the generalizations we make about “at-risk” youth are almost always wrong. Take Gary, for example. Gary was a 16 year-old youth, who was court-ordered to our program after he was arrested for a felony theft. Here is Gary’s theft story. One hot summer day Gary and his friend decided it would be fun to go canoeing on the Connecticut River, but they didn’t have a [...]

By | 2018-06-07T10:54:32+00:00 June 7th, 2018|Books, Just Plain Interesting|

When Challenges Choose You

You can learn a great deal about leaders when you see how they react to challenges they did not choose – the challenge chooses them. A few weeks ago, I attended a large, five district Rotary Club conference at the Mt. Washington Resort in Bretton Woods, NH. While there were several good programs, I was especially moved by a keynote speaker, Travis Roy, who I’m proud to say our Portsmouth Club sponsored. Roy was a very talented, highly recruited hockey player from Maine, who, just 11 seconds into his first game at Boston University, broke his neck after a clean [...]

One Narcissist You Want Off Your Team

Over the last 16 months we have read many articles about narcissists and many of them have been inaccurate. If you are like me I’m sure you have wondered what is the difference between a “normal” narcissist (one who mostly ruins their own life) and a “dangerous” narcissist (one who ruins the lives of other people.) Finally, I found a book that helped me understand the difference. Here is the opening paragraph of the chapter on the most highly destructive personality you may encounter in life – the narcissistic, high conflict personality (HCP). “Do you know someone who thinks they’re [...]

By | 2018-05-10T11:46:10+00:00 May 10th, 2018|Books, Just Plain Interesting|

Do You Enjoy Your Status Anxiety?

Photo by Michael Dam on Unsplash Have you ever seen someone overcome with joy when they got their very first job? I have and it is almost indescribable. And it is special when it happens to someone with a disability because for the first time they have an answer to the question, “So, what do you do?” Have you ever noticed how often you are asked this question? In our society employment has become a big part of our identity, our self-concept, and our status. And this week I want to talk about just that, status. Everywhere I [...]

By | 2018-04-25T16:16:30+00:00 April 25th, 2018|Books, Just Plain Interesting, Uncategorized|

The Amazing Banana King Entrepreneur

I love bananas and plantains, which are very similar to bananas and commonly found in the Caribbean. Until a recent trip to Trinidad, however, I had never given the banana industry second thought. On this trip, however, I listened to a terrific audiobook called The Fish that Ate the Whale and my hunger to learn more about the banana industry grew. The Banana King. The Fish that Ate the Whale - The Life and Times of America’s Banana King was written by Richard Cohen. It is a biography of banana entrepreneur, Samuel Zemurray, who was born in the Russian Empire [...]

By | 2018-04-05T15:09:36+00:00 April 5th, 2018|Business, Entrepreneurship / Innovation|

Five Amazing and Crazy Braindrops from March 2018

So many topics, so little time. Over the past few weeks I have encountered many interesting topics that might intrigue you – here are five. Africa is Much Larger Than I Thought. Because my family traveled so much when I was a little guy, I have always had an interest in geography. But recently I learned something new about Africa that still amazes me even as I write this. A few weeks ago we were in the Cayman Islands and visited our daughter Alie’s friends, Bridget and Richard. While they live in the Cayman Islands, they had just returned from [...]

By | 2018-03-22T11:21:23+00:00 March 22nd, 2018|Business, General|

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|

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