Connecting Collections – Teams and Leaders

Photo by Jessica Ruscello Yesterday afternoon our 34 year-old company enjoyed a wonderful, year-end virtual celebration. Over 300 faithful team members from over 30 markets tuned-in. Proud of everyone, I was inspired by our wonderful teams and leaders  that deliver rewarding service in often challenging circumstances. We are a wonderful set of connected collections; each with its own unique forces to contend with and pictures yet framed. So today, driving back to New Hampshire after being with our Rhode Islander Team yesterday, I could not help but think of what I recently read about what two research projects [...]

By | July 21st, 2016|Organizational Culture, Teams & Culture|

Working Smarter – Five Tips

Sometimes I just work stupid. Last week I was trying to do too many things at the same time and a funny thing happened.  I was trying to coordinate a phone conference with one of our vendors, who I’ll call Sally, and our wires got crossed.  Sally sent me an e-mail asking what number she should use to call me. I wrote an answer to her while speaking with someone else and I was clearly distracted. Sally didn’t call me on time, which surprised me because she is very prompt. After another e-mail exchange I called her and we connected. [...]

By | July 13th, 2016|Goals / Objectives|

Business of Fireworks

It just would not be Independence Day without fireworks. They are a blast to watch. We first celebrated this holiday in 1777, one year after the Declaration of Independence was adopted. Among the cities that lay claim to that first 1777 celebration are Bristol, Rhode Island (oldest parade) and Philadelphia, which had a fireworks celebration that first year. Trivia note – Rhode Island was the last of the 13 original colonies to join the United States and did so a full year after George Washington was inaugurated. I guess the folks in RI then really wanted to be independent. Origin [...]

By | June 30th, 2016|Business, Family Businesses|

Here, Lead this Established Team

The Red Sox are again wearing me down. I was at the game on Monday when they got the bases loaded in the ninth inning at home in a tie game with no outs. They did not score and they lost the game. They then lost the next two games in painful ways. I am beginning to wonder if they need to replace the manager, John Farrell. Torey Lovullo, the bench coach, is the logical choice. He filled-in for Farrell last year when Farrell had to step away for medical treatment. So I wondered if I was Lovullo, what would [...]

By | June 23rd, 2016|Hiring & Team Composition|

When Today is History

What if most everything we are writing now in this information age is lost, forever? What will peoples centuries from now know about us? Those are the questions raised by Vint Cerf in a Newsweek article by Grant Burningham this week. Vint Cerf is considered one of the fathers of the Internet and was a manager with the United States' Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in the late 1970s that developed the foundation for the Internet. Today he works at Google as its “chief internet evangelist” and is really a futurist, using his wide experience to help frame the [...]

By | June 17th, 2016|Vision & Mission Statements|

Lessons Learned from a Motorcycle Skills Test

Owning and riding a motorcycle has been on my bucket list for several years. I had been hesitant to move forward because of the obvious safety hazards. No doubt this hesitancy was helped along by both my cousin, an emergency room physician in Boston, who calls them “donorcycles,” and Patti, who reminded me of my family responsibilities. Last month with the encouragement of Patti, who apparently is now less worried about family responsibilities and more worried about me sitting around the house after I retire in a few years, I bought a Honda PCX 150. Okay, technically it is a [...]

By | June 8th, 2016|Learning Styles & Skills|

Memorializing 100 years of Norman Rockwell

Perhaps my favorite artist is Norman Rockwell. I saw last week was the 100th year anniversary of his first cover illustration for the Saturday Evening Post. As I think about Memorial Day when we honor the brave men and women who died serving our country, I can see many Norman Rockwell illustrations flash across my memory screen. I first really became aware of Norman Rockwell when I was in the Boy Scouts because many of his illustrations involved Scouts, which caught my eye. One of his early professional jobs was as an illustrator for Boys Life magazine where his first [...]

By | May 26th, 2016|Just Plain Interesting|

The Power of a Kind Word

Ellen and James "Jim" Labrie Last week I went to the memorial service for a friend and fellow Rotarian, James “Jim” Labrie. Over Jim’s lifetime he became a very successful businessman and quiet, community philanthropist. Jim was one of those special people who had a way of making you feel like you were his close friend in the moment he was talking with you, even though you were not. He cared about you as a person. During the memorial service his son, Mike, shared with us how a single act of kindness early in Jim’s life changed him [...]

By | May 19th, 2016|Leadership Lessons|

No More Tips for You

The Modern restaurant at the Modern Museum of Art in NYC The first night Patti and I were in Friedrichshafen, Germany last fall I noticed there was no place on the credit card slip to give a tip. When I asked the waiter about this, in broken English he said something like “no tip on receipt.” So we left him a tip in Euros on the table. Little did we know then that Germany was pretty much a “no tip” country. We proceeded to give tips even though none of the credit card machines let us. While we [...]

By | May 17th, 2016|Entrepreneurship / Innovation|

Warby Parker Makes Eyeglasses Cool to Wear

When I was nine or ten years old I got my first set of glasses. Like many kids at the time, I was embarrassed to wear them and was often referred to as “four eyes”. In fact, one of my very first and few fights was when someone picked on me for wearing glasses. Today, thanks largely to the upstart billion dollar business Warby Parker, wearing glasses is cool. Heck, there are people wearing glasses with only clear glass (plastic) in them – what a world! Warby Parker. In 2008 four MBA students at the Wharton School in Philadelphia were [...]

By | May 5th, 2016|Entrepreneurship / Innovation|