Funny What Grandma Might Be Thinking This Thanksgiving

Make no mistake about it, many of our grandmothers are or were the leaders of our families. I thought you and your family could use a good laugh this Thanksgiving, although I admit I have a twisted sense of humor sometimes. I am sorry I cannot acknowledge the anonymous author of this piece, but perhaps sharing this with you is thanks enough. I wonder if your mother or grandmothers have or had these exact thoughts, but kept them to herself?

Dear Family,
I’m not dead yet. Thanksgiving is still important to me. If being in my Last Will and Testament is important to […]

By |November 25th, 2015|Women Leaders|1 Comment

The Business of Being Wimpy

Sometimes in life you end-up living a different dream than the one you expected. That was one of the cool messages I learned from studying Jeff Kinney. More about Kinney in a moment.

Patti and I are lucky to have two cool grand-nephews that we are close to. For the holidays every year we buy them books and we enjoy shopping for them and reading the books. (I’m sure they are now getting to the age where they are thinking, “Oh boy, another book.”)

One of the books we discovered was Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney. As a frustrated […]

By |November 23rd, 2015|Business, Entrepreneurship / Innovation|4 Comments

Trump is Running for His Brand, Not for President

I usually stay out of commenting on politics. But since Donald Trump is really a businessman, who happens to be running for President, I cannot resist writing my opinion. I think Trump is using the media and his followers to advance his brand name and is not running out of respect for America.

Unlike this political sign here in Exeter, when he says something controversial his brand is not damaged, it is strengthened. News channels like CNN and BBC broadcast his image internationally, free of charge. Many people agree with him and some buy or lease units in his properties. And when […]

By |November 12th, 2015|Business, General|1 Comment

Zappos – Could it be the Wrong Thing for the Right Reason?

Have you experienced this with youth sports? You cluster a bunch of five-year olds together into their first soccer program. You try to teach them the basics. You go to the first “game” against another team of five-year olds. The parents and coaches tell the kids, “We are not keeping score, just go out and have fun.” The game ends and some kids are sad and some are happy. And the happy kids are jumping around saying, “We beat them 10 to 5.”

No matter what well-intended rules the parents put in place, the kids know the score. It is just […]

By |November 3rd, 2015|Change Leadership|1 Comment

The Business of Begging

What a weird title for a blog, right? Well, I just spent four great days in Denver, mostly downtown, and I came to realize very quickly that next to restaurants the most common business at street-level was begging. And, if you spend any time watching beggars practice their “craft,” you can see they understand the customer need they are trying to satisfy, the importance of location, and how to deliver a compelling message.

We stayed at a hotel on Curtis Street and frequented the 16th Street Mall every day because it was only a few minutes away. The 16th Street Mall is really […]

By |October 19th, 2015|Bullies & Misbehavior, Human Behavior|0 Comments

Why Failures are Good for Leaders

Last week I talked with a leader who was going through a very difficult situation and knew she/he contributed substantially to the problem. Today I know some of you reading this are going through a similar difficult situation – one where you know you messed-up and should have done something differently and it is affecting other people, perhaps even people who look up to you on your team. I can tell you personally this has happened to me many times and every leader I know has been through the same situation.

What we know is strong leaders have the courage to […]

By |October 6th, 2015|Leadership, Leadership Lessons|0 Comments

A Safe Home for the Brave

I think leaders are responsible for creating safe homes for their people. This is true whether you lead your family, a team, an organization, or a country. Unfortunately throughout history many leaders have failed at this responsibility and have actually hurt the people they should make safe, usually for personal financial gain and power.

Over the last two weeks Patti and I have had the lucky privilege of traveling around Austria. While the beauty and architecture of this region are arguably unmatched, it is the less visible history of the people and their struggles that has caught our attention.

Two examples of […]

By |September 23rd, 2015|Ethics|0 Comments

Saving in a Group Can Launch a Business

How well do you save money? Imagine you have no credit cards and no other cash resources and you are virtually homeless. You make money from odd jobs here and there. And in the back of your mind you have an idea to start a business, but you have no money. Where would you get it?

A few months ago I mentioned a Rotary – Friends Forever program I was working on to introduce visiting young Ugandan adults to entrepreneurship and we did that last week. Among these dozen visitors were two entrepreneurs – a woman who made women’s handbags and […]

By |September 10th, 2015|Entrepreneurship / Innovation|1 Comment

It Is Your Employees They Want You to Replace

When well-meaning legislators pass laws they usually have no idea what might happen afterwards. Quite often laws create governmental jobs and whole departments that work hard to sustain themselves and create unintended, poor service side effects. In a minute I will share one example with you.

One way to prevent this is to have meaningful “sunset” provisions. In basic terms a law that has a sunset provision means that at a certain date the law ceases. This forces citizens, bureaucrats, and legislators to review the law’s substance and refine and tweak it or the law ceases to exist. In our business […]

By |September 1st, 2015|Strategic Planning|0 Comments

Sometimes You Have to Have Fun with Crazy E-Mails

In my current role I receive and review lots of e-mail messages. Some are written by just plain angry people with dark corners in their souls. Others are obviously computer-generated phishing messages. While I usually just hit the delete button, I have to admit once in a while I am tempted to write back and express what I really think.

I think we all have received one of those e-mails from a prince in Nigeria or from an allegedly familiar person, who is stranded in some foreign country without money. While most of us delete these e-mails, my cousin, Ron, recently […]

By |August 21st, 2015|General|2 Comments