A Short History of Manipulating You – Interested?

The recent story of Facebook and how it sells us out has been a surprise to many. What you might not know is that human “attention” has been manipulated and sold for years. And this is exactly what Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Google are doing – they are watching what gets your attention and then they sell this knowledge. The buyers then work hard to manipulate your buying behavior. Tim Wu in his new book The Attention Merchants tells us the history of how businesses have studied what gets our attention and then how they sell that attention-grabbing knowledge to [...]

By |2018-06-25T21:53:24+00:00June 25th, 2018|Books, Just Plain Interesting, Uncategorized|

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+00:00June 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+00:00May 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+00:00April 25th, 2018|Books, Just Plain Interesting, Uncategorized|

Add Originality to Your Leadership

I love baseball, so I am excited the season opens next week. Anytime I read a book that has a baseball reference, I am instantly intrigued. That happened recently when I read about how Jackie Robinson’s birth order contributed to him being the perfect person to break the color barrier in baseball - more about Robinson in a moment. The book is Originals by Adam Grant. In this book, which I found fascinating, Grant explores dozens of studies and concepts that contribute to where personal originality comes from. (Steve Tip - I first listened to the book, but then purchased [...]

By |2017-05-19T19:54:46+00:00March 30th, 2017|Just Plain Interesting|

A Little Known Terrorist Program after Pearl Harbor

Today we remember and honor those who died or were injured in the attack on Pearl Harbor 75 years ago. Until the 9/11 attacks when 2,996 people were killed and more than 6,000 wounded, Pearl Harbor was the worst attack on United States property when 2,403 Americans died and 1,178 were wounded. Since 9/11 most of us are wary of terrorist attacks here at home. With 24/7 news and social media coverage today, we learn about terrorist threats and attacks instantly. What I did not know, though, was that during World War II Japan carried on a very aggressive, and [...]

By |2017-05-19T19:54:47+00:00December 7th, 2016|Books, Just Plain Interesting|

Dude Ranches, Ghost Towns, and the Leadership of Charley Parkhurst

Over these past weeks Patti and I have been exploring the northwestern United States and have been learning many things. I thought I would write this week about the business of dude ranches, silver mining ghost towns, and a woman, whose compelling story teaches us how women can, in fact, do a “man’s job” better than a man. The Ranch. Along the way we spent two days at the Turpin Meadow Ranch, which borders Yellowstone National Park on the southern border. The Ranch was recommended by my colleague, Ryan, and the chef there, Jason, is a graduate of the University [...]

By |2017-05-19T19:54:48+00:00September 15th, 2016|Just Plain Interesting|

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 |2017-05-19T19:54:49+00:00May 26th, 2016|Just Plain Interesting|

Five Brain-drops and Was Babe Ruth Underpaid?

Once in a while I write a Blog I call Braindrops where I share a few random topics I find interesting. So this week, here are five. Chris Davis of the Baltimore Orioles hits a three-run home run against the Chicago White Sox in Camden Yards on April 29 in Baltimore. Game played without spectators due to the social unrest. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images) Playing in Empty Stadiums. I had a high school memory flashback when I noticed the Baltimore Orioles played a game against the Chicago White Sox in an empty stadium. (For security reasons no fans were [...]

By |2017-05-19T19:54:53+00:00May 21st, 2015|Books, Just Plain Interesting|

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