Yes, a Feedback Face Slap is Bad, Try This

(Photo by Andrew Le) One of my colleagues told me that not long ago she saw a woman CEO of a large company slap her Vice President of Human Resources in the face in front of others because she didn’t like what she said. Yes, that is a bad feedback method and the worst kind of leadership. And, of course, we know that. What I didn’t know is that many of the feedback methods I have been using, and I suspect many of you, too, may not be helpful in helping our people excel. The Feedback Fallacy. In [...]

By |2019-05-09T09:43:29-04:00May 9th, 2019|Leadership, Leadership Lessons|

A Billion Dollar Russian Spy Who Colluded with America

Most of us like a good spy story – one filled with suspense and intrigue. Of course, we know there is no way a real spy could survive most of the antics the fictional spies encounter. Thanks to a book referral by my colleague, David, I just finished reading a non-fiction spy story that is intriguing, inspiring and sad. Adolf Tolkachev. The book is called The Billion Dollar Spy and was written by David Hoffman, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, national intelligence expert, and Washington Post reporter. The spy was a Russian citizen named Adolf Tolkachev. Tolkachev was an electrical engineer [...]

By |2019-04-18T17:34:52-04:00April 18th, 2019|Books, Just Plain Interesting|

Yikes, Why Can’t Everyone at Work Just Get Along

One of the toughest challenges leaders face is how to deal with two team members who aren’t getting along. It is especially problematic when each person on their own is a positive contributor, but the conflict between them is disrupting the team. If you don’t care about your work culture, you could do what one manager did – rent inflatable Sumo wrestling suits and have the two parties fight it out in front of their teammates. If you prefer a more peaceful approach I recommend you do what I do – listen to Judy Ringer. Judy is an expert in [...]

By |2019-03-28T11:06:01-04:00March 28th, 2019|Books, Just Plain Interesting|

Can Our Dysfunctional Politics Industry be Fixed?

If you visit Mt. Vernon, Virginia or Quincy, Massachusetts at night these days you might hear some strange thumping sounds. President George Washington in his farewell address in 1796 talked about the dangers of partisanship and the formation of strong parties. John Adams, concerned with the Constitution’s limitations, said, “There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the Republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader and concerting measures in opposition to each other.” So, the sounds you might hear in Mt. Vernon and Quincy are Washington and Adams flipping in their graves because [...]

By |2019-03-14T12:59:00-04:00March 14th, 2019|Change Leadership, Leadership|

When Doing Good was Simple

(Photo by Toa Heftiba) If you are in business or work as a police officer, it is hard to do good today. Between social media and what seems to be lots of angry people and lawyers, no good deed goes unpunished. That is why this cool story from 1959 caught my eye. It happened in the eastern Maine community of Calais, which is right on the Canadian border. The story was shared by Al Churchill, a local attorney there and writer of a Calais historical blog we enjoy and often published at the St. Croix Historical Society website. [...]

By |2019-02-24T10:09:47-04:00February 24th, 2019|Ethics, Human Behavior|

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 |2019-02-08T18:25:20-04:00February 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 |2019-01-24T14:38:36-04:00January 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 |2019-01-15T11:47:00-04:00January 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 |2018-12-20T09:02:07-04:00December 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 |2018-12-20T09:03:56-04:00December 13th, 2018|Credibility & Inspiration, Leadership, Uncategorized|

Send this to a friend