Why Sellers Might Flip-out and Overvalue Things

Human behavior can make us flip sometimes. A few weeks ago when I was visiting our Rhode Island market I had interesting conversations with two of our team members. In the first one I learned that Dave, one of our Providence team members, was a part-time realtor. That by itself was not really notable, but what I learned next was. Dave told me that he specializes in being a “buyer’s broker”. When I asked him why, he said, “Because buyers are almost always happy after the closing and often invite me to their first house party. Sellers,  though, are almost [...]

By | 2017-11-30T10:48:31+00:00 November 30th, 2017|Team Leadership / Teamwork|

I Am Grateful for Thanksgiving Laughter

Photo by Toa Heftiba Yesterday in Church our Pastor gave a children’s message focused on gratitude. After asking the children what they were grateful for, she passed around a clipboard asking each of us to share something we were grateful for. I wrote down “meaningful work”, which I am grateful for every day. Since yesterday as I thought about all the stress in the world these days, I have reminded myself how really grateful I am for good laughs – something we have always had around our family’s Thanksgiving table over the decades. So this week I thought [...]

By | 2017-11-20T15:03:05+00:00 November 20th, 2017|Credibility & Inspiration, Team Leadership / Teamwork|

The 8-Cs of Our Company Culture

This week our Company had our annual “remote” celebration and it was no small feat. With about 35 teams of people located from Auburn, Maine to Palm Beach, Florida it was an amazing technological achievement for an organization like ours with limited financial resources, but plenty of heart. As I watched the live event this year with our Concord, NH team I was inspired by the wonderful culture our team members have created. As I thought about Paul Spiegelman’s 8 Cs of company culture, I think our team is right in line with him. Eight Cs of Company Culture. A [...]

By | 2017-07-20T09:06:27+00:00 July 20th, 2017|Organizational Culture, Teams & Culture|

Eight Character Questions from Theo Epstein

In our organization right now our focus is on building a culture that attracts and retains team members. We are especially focused on selecting the right people – unselfish people who want to be part of a team, who put the needs of others before themselves, and who, quite frankly, we want to be around every day. Pretty simple, right? No. In one of our divisions we have found we only hire three (3) out of 100 people we start with. It is really hard to find people who match-up with the criteria we are looking for. Even more, we [...]

By | 2017-05-19T19:54:46+00:00 April 13th, 2017|Hiring & Team Composition|

Is Your Team a Mixed-Doubles Team?

We have been talking a great deal lately about teams, especially about constructing effective teams. Our recent focus has been centered on how to choose individuals who have the right attitude and will help create positivity. Sometimes we quote Herb Kelleher of Southwest Airlines and say, “Hire for attitude, train for skill.” When you construct a team I think it is also useful to think about the type of team you have and remember this – not all teams are alike. A few years ago I wrote an article about how the late Peter Drucker described the three types of [...]

By | 2017-05-19T19:54:46+00:00 March 23rd, 2017|Hiring & Team Composition, Teams & Culture|

Loyalty Tips This Holiday Season from a Dog Named Molly

This holiday season I have been thinking about loyalty - loyalty to family; loyalty to friends; loyalty to co-workers and teammates, and loyalty to pets. I know what you are thinking, “Steve usually writes about human and leadership behavior, so why pets this time?” About two weeks ago Gordon, a brilliant and close friend of mine and many others in Portsmouth, passed away at the wise old age of 87. He lived alone out in the country and walked every day through his woods with his loyal black lab, Molly. That last day Gordon died of a massive heart-attack while [...]

By | 2018-01-02T20:17:20+00:00 December 20th, 2016|Team Leadership / Teamwork|

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 | 2017-05-19T19:54:48+00:00 July 21st, 2016|Organizational Culture, Teams & Culture|

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 | 2017-05-19T19:54:49+00:00 June 23rd, 2016|Hiring & Team Composition|

The Leader as Gardener

One of my favorite movies is Being There. It is a story about a mildly disabled man named Chance, played by Peter Sellers, and is set in Washington, D.C. The movie opens with Chance all alone in a lovely Georgetown townhouse. We quickly learn that he had been living there his whole life and his benefactor had just died and Chance has to leave. He packs a suitcase and walks out onto the streets of D.C. Uneducated, all Chance knows is what he learned from television and taking care of his benefactor’s small garden. Within minutes of leaving, he is [...]

By | 2017-05-19T19:54:49+00:00 April 22nd, 2016|Organizational Culture|

Leading Five Generations in the Workplace

Forty years ago this week was my first day at my first professional job out of college and it was at a bank. Yes, that’s how old I am. My mentor and primary trainer was a gentleman about my Dad’s age. His boss, the man who interviewed and hired me, was closer to my grandfather’s age. His first advice to me was to either grow a mustache or wear a conservative top hat so I could look older and look more creditable. I laughed and grew a mustache. It was fun then to be part of the younger generation in [...]

By | 2017-05-19T19:54:52+00:00 June 8th, 2015|Hiring & Team Composition, Teams & Culture|

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