Teams & Culture

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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 |2018-01-02T20:17:20-05:00December 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 |2017-05-19T19:54:48-04:00July 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 |2017-05-19T19:54:49-04:00June 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 |2017-05-19T19:54:49-04:00April 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 |2018-08-03T12:26:01-04:00June 8th, 2015|Hiring & Team Composition, Teams & Culture|

Brady Suspension is Sign NFL Out of Control

When I heard this afternoon that Tom Brady was suspended for four games, which is equivalent to 90 days for the rest of us working Americans, this confirmed for me that the National Football League (“NFL”) is out of control. I will get back to that in a minute. DeflateGate. If you have not been paying attention to this issue because it just, frankly, makes no sense or does not interest you, I completely understand. As a woman colleague said to me recently, “only a bunch of men would make such a big deal out of whether a football was [...]

By |2017-05-19T19:54:53-04:00May 12th, 2015|Organizational Culture, Teams & Culture|

Five Attitudes of a “Yes we Can” Culture

On Sunday when I was at Hannaford’s grocery store a wonderful thing happened. As I walked out of the store, a very happy little girl was dancing out the door with her dad. It had just started to rain hard and her dad said, “Oh no, it’s raining.” And the little girl looked up at him and said, “What’s wrong, Daddy, isn’t rain good?” Her father and I smiled at each other and he said, “You know, you are right, rain is good.” Positivity is infectious. A “Yes We Can” Culture. One of the most important threads in the fabric [...]

By |2017-05-19T19:54:53-04:00April 23rd, 2015|Hiring & Team Composition, Teams & Culture|

How Four Secrets on Living to 100 Impacts Your Business

Today is my 38th birthday in the 50-0 Club. When my friends and I started turning 50 everyone joked that it was all downhill from there. So I began reversing their ages every birthday, reminding each that the goal was to get back to zero. So, the next year they were 49, then 48, and so forth. An older colleague of mine just bought a new sports car on his birthday and I thought, isn’t that what a 23 year-old should do? In Dan Buettner’s new book The Blue Zones Solution we learn details about six behaviors researchers have discovered [...]

By |2017-05-19T19:54:53-04:00April 9th, 2015|Organizational Culture, Teams & Culture|

A Thank You Note from Steve on a Shelf

Just over three years ago I launched this Blog not knowing how it would go. Writing a piece every week has been challenging sometimes, especially since I want the information in it to be valuable to you. Recently, with the help of two very skilled people, we have created a new look for the site that I hope you will enjoy. Steve on a Shelf. Since I often write about books I am reading, I wanted the website banner to have books in view. I also wanted something different and amusing. That was when the very creative and talented photographer, Kim Shimer, [...]

By |2017-05-19T19:55:07-04:00March 18th, 2015|Organizational Culture, Teams & Culture|

Were the Patriots Just Lucky?

I am a huge New England Patriots fan and acknowledge that maybe luck was in our favor on Sunday night when the Patriots won the Super Bowl. In football, like many sports, when two equally talented teams play it is often just the bounce of a ball that can determine a winner. Like many fans, I thought the lucky bounce of the football had once again “done us in” when the Seattle receiver, Jermaine Kearse, made a remarkable catch of a ball that bounced from hand to body to hand many times. Then Malcolm Butler made a great interception on [...]

By |2017-05-19T19:55:08-04:00February 3rd, 2015|Teams & Culture|