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+00:00March 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+00:00February 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+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|

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