A Gratitude Lesson from The Fonz

Today many of us are just speechless. We are tired of all the bullying, name-calling, and rancor. Most of us are kind humans just trying to get through the week. And then something wonderful happens and you just feel better. Yesterday morning, for example, Patti and I received the most wonderful note from an 80-year-old woman in our Church showing gratitude to us personally for all the ways we both quietly help our Church family flourish. We were both speechless. Then, I happened to re-listen to Henry Winkler’s wonderful segment on Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me.  Winkler, whose Jewish parents [...]

By |2020-03-05T13:30:02-05:00February 6th, 2020|Change Leadership|

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|

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 |2018-12-20T09:02:07-05:00December 19th, 2018|Change Leadership, Leadership Lessons|

Customers Want Solutions Not Sympathy

Not too long ago I was really, really mad at Southwest Airlines and I must tell you why, but I am really, really sorry if this bores you. Patti and I were flying home on Southwest Airlines from Orlando with a connecting flight in Baltimore. The plane in Orlando had mechanical problems and we got started 90 minutes late. (When planning we knew connecting flights were problematic so we allowed over two hours for the connection.) On our flight from Orlando there were about 20 passengers who were trying to make the same connecting flight in Baltimore to Boston. We [...]

By |2018-01-18T08:45:41-05:00January 18th, 2018|Change Leadership|

Step Out Into the Darkness

When I was 15 years old I had to really step out into the darkness. As faithful readers know I was Boy Scout and in 1968 I was “tapped” to enter the Order of the Arrow, a Boy Scout honor society. At a campfire at Goshen Scout Camps in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia someone tapped my shoulder. I was told to go get my sleeping bag and return. When I returned I was blindfolded and my hand put on the shoulder of another Scout. Then we were led out into the dark George Washington National forest. For about [...]

By |2017-09-28T09:24:53-04:00September 28th, 2017|Change Leadership, Leadership|

When Do We Get Small?

When do you admit to yourself you have the wrong perspective? I heard a very cute story on a podcast recently that helps make this point.  A woman was sitting in the middle seat on a plane and a cute little girl about five years old sat next to her in the aisle seat. Her family was sitting in the three seats across the aisle. This was the girl’s first plane ride and she was very excited. After takeoff when the plane was airborne the girl looked-up at the woman and asked, “When do we get small?” Kind of a [...]

By |2018-01-02T20:16:10-05:00August 10th, 2017|Change Leadership, Leadership|

Fearing Failure is Really Fearing Shame

What are you afraid of? Coincidentally, within just a few hours the other day, I talked with people who were either terrified of public speaking or of having to fire someone or of Donald Trump being elected President. Then I read an interesting article about the anti-fear guru, Tony Robbins. So, naturally, I was curious to explore “fear” a little deeper. Fortunately, I do not have many fears. But I have one fear that I bet I share with you – fear of failing. And, if we do not recognize it and face it head on, this fear limits our [...]

By |2017-05-19T19:54:47-04:00October 6th, 2016|Change Leadership, Leadership|

Don’t Leave Execution Up to Chance

There are times when our chance encounters have interesting outcomes. Last October when Patti and I were in Denver we had coffee with one of her high school friends, Cindy, at Starbucks. At the table next to us was a woman working on her laptop. Sitting on the edge of her table was a book. The book was upside down to me. Being the book nerd I am I kept sneaking a peek at it, trying to see the name and title. I finally figured-out the title, but I wanted to know more. As we were leaving I asked the [...]

By |2017-05-19T19:54:51-04:00January 14th, 2016|Change Leadership, Leadership|

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 [...]

By |2017-05-19T19:54:51-04:00November 3rd, 2015|Change Leadership|