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 | 2017-08-10T14:30:15+00:00 August 10th, 2017|Change Leadership, Leadership, Uncategorized|

Immigrant Entrepreneurs and Your Fireworks

Photo of fireworks by Alejandro Scaff What gets lost in the immigration rhetoric today is how many of our American businesses got started by immigrants. So as you watch beautiful fireworks this weekend, remember it was two immigrants to this country, Angelo Lanzetta and Antonio Zambelli, who created the two largest fireworks companies in the United States today -  Fireworks by Grucci and Zambelli Fireworks. If you would like to learn more about the fireworks industry in the United States you can read my article Business of Fireworks. Photo - Felix and Concetta Grucci - Grucci Website [...]

By | 2017-06-29T10:43:48+00:00 June 29th, 2017|Business, Entrepreneurship / Innovation, Uncategorized|

Getting to the Point, Do You BLUF or BLAB?

Effective leaders know how to get to the point. Have you ever read a long email that never seems to get to the point? I know I have so I work very hard not to be one of those writers. Recently I read that military leaders train people to practice “BLUF” when speaking or writing. BLUF stands for “Bottom line up front”. My first reaction was that since this acronym did not fit the purpose, it would be easily forgotten. I was wrong. I can’t seem to get it out of my mind. I shared this concept with someone I [...]

By | 2017-05-23T17:31:28+00:00 May 23rd, 2017|Leadership, Leadership Lessons, Uncategorized|

Deal With Problems One-on-One, Not in Group

Last week I saw this recurring behavior, again. And, every time I see it, I recognize it as a symptom of a supervisor who is avoiding conflict. It is something all supervisors, including me, have done at some point in our careers. What was it? It was a “training” for a whole team of mostly experienced, competent people on a topic that only one person was deficient. As I looked around at the faces of the people in the group, I saw each person become more and more disengaged. It was a waste of valuable time. A few years ago [...]

By | 2017-05-19T19:54:46+00:00 March 2nd, 2017|Bullies & Misbehavior, Conflict Resolution, Uncategorized|

Wait a Minute, What Did You Say?

One of the most common leadership weaknesses is hearing without listening, to steal a phrase from Simon and Garfunkel’s powerful song Sounds of Silence. As I meet with teams and leaders every week it is interesting how many times I watch people display poor listening skills. I actually find it very helpful to observe others because it helps me improve my own listening skills. Two of the most important times leaders need to practice good listening skills are in team meetings and when meeting one-on-one with team members. So enhancing our listening skills is an area of continuous improvement. Symptoms [...]

By | 2017-05-19T19:54:46+00:00 February 23rd, 2017|Leadership Lessons, Uncategorized|

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 | 2017-05-19T19:54:47+00:00 December 20th, 2016|Uncategorized|

Credibility – Yearn for It, Earn It, Vote for It

If you have been a faithful reader, you may remember a few years ago when I first wrote about how important credibility is to leadership. Given the upcoming election and the two candidates, I thought it might be helpful to review the four qualities of leaders who have credibility. This summer I finished reading the book George Washington, A Life by Ron Chernow, which is a very compelling book on arguably our most accomplished president. When we read about George Washington it is easy to see why he was one of the most admired leaders in history – he had [...]

By | 2017-05-19T19:54:48+00:00 September 8th, 2016|Credibility & Inspiration, Leadership, Uncategorized|

The Link between Grit and Success – Part 1

Every four years when I watch the Olympics I am inspired by the personal stories of how hard these top athletes have worked. For every one of their stories there are hundreds of stories of talented athletes who never get there. They might be just as talented, but may not have the “grit” it takes to succeed. For decades psychologists have been studying what makes high achievers successful. Every year or so a new theory and book comes out that gives us more insight. This month I have been reading a terrific book called Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance [...]

By | 2017-05-19T19:54:48+00:00 August 11th, 2016|Human Behavior, Uncategorized|

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