Tom Brady – Two Tips for Success in the Clutch

Even some of Tom Brady's biggest critics are in awe of his performance in Sunday’s Super Bowl. Like most of us, they admire two things: His ability to execute at the highest level and stay calm and focused at the end of the game; and to do all this when he is 39 years old. Brady is a great example of a credible leader and I could write pages on why I think this is true, but I will spare you – you saw that yourself. We also know that he keeps himself in incredible physical condition, working-out often longer [...]

By | 2017-05-19T19:54:46+00:00 February 9th, 2017|Credibility & Inspiration|

I Think We Need More Mattress Stores, Don’t You?

Okay, maybe I am crazy, but the other day as I drove by the third Mattress Firm store within about 500 feet of each other I thought, “Why do we need so many mattress stores?” The next day I was visiting one of our client work sites in a Macy’s department store and learned that successful Macy’s mattress sales people can make $100,000 per year. I thought, “Excuse me, say that again, I think I misunderstood what you just said.” (But I heard correctly.) All this mattress business stimulated my sleepy business brain. I had to learn more about why [...]

By | 2017-05-19T19:54:46+00:00 January 31st, 2017|Entrepreneurship / Innovation|

Effective Leaders are Not Clowns

I was recently sitting in a very nice car dealership while my car was being serviced. While I was there I could not help but eavesdrop on a number of conversations among a sales manager, salesman, and a few customers. While I thought the sales people and sales manager sounded professional to me, apparently the husband of a female customer did not think so. When they were alone he said to his wife, “I like Barry (the salesman), but that sales manager is a clown. I don’t want to do business with him.” As I was listening I was reminded [...]

By | 2017-05-19T19:54:47+00:00 January 19th, 2017|Leadership Lessons|

Respect Generations Don’t Label Them

I think it is interesting that we now like to “label” the generations. And, while it does make for some interesting conversations and some fun, I do not think it really does anything to help build healthy work cultures. The only label that does is “mutual respect.” At the end of this article I will share an interesting story about “respect” between the late John Glenn and baseball great, Ted Williams. In two weeks on Wednesday, January 18th from 9-10 AM I will be leading a free Spectrum Webinar called Four Generations in the Workplace – How Could Communication Be [...]

By | 2017-05-19T19:54:47+00:00 January 5th, 2017|Credibility & Inspiration, Leadership|

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|

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+00:00 December 7th, 2016|Books, Just Plain Interesting|

Learning from the Pivots Around Us

I find stories interesting about how entrepreneurs and businesses pivot and change directions. Later in this article I’ll share four of my favorite “pivot” stories from brands you will likely recognize. But first let me tell you about Barry Sansoucie. Barry Sansoucie was one of the most interesting entrepreneurs I knew in my early banking days. He was a person who saw every glass as half full. He was a veteran of the Vietnam War, where his job was to parachute solo behind enemy lines and clear areas of jungle vegetation for helicopter landings. After the war Barry joined his father’s [...]

By | 2017-05-19T19:54:47+00:00 December 1st, 2016|Entrepreneurship / Innovation|

The Business of Thanksgiving and Black Friday

In this week when we give thanks for all our blessings it seems crazy to me so much attention is on expanding our bounties. But that is the reality. So this week I thought I would look at the business that is Thanksgiving Week. But first, let us not forget the first “Thanksgiving.” It happened in late September or early October 1621 when the Pilgrims harvested their first crops – corn, squash, beans, barley, and peas. They also shot many migrating ducks and geese. They harvested and boiled the then plentiful lobster. William Bradford organized a harvest celebration and invited [...]

By | 2017-05-19T19:54:47+00:00 November 22nd, 2016|General|

Investigate This – Theft, Deception, Sex, and Extortion

Unfortunately I have had to deal with dishonest and unscrupulous people over my professional career. And their behaviors - including stealing, sexual harassment, false harassment allegations, theft by deception, and extortion – were so foreign to me that when I first experienced them I was left feeling naïve and dumbfounded. What I have learned and do believe is that the “good” people among us far outnumber the “bad” ones. Over 40 years I have come in contact with thousands of people and employees and my list of dishonest and unethical people is short. However, one responsibility is to properly and [...]

By | 2017-05-19T19:54:47+00:00 November 9th, 2016|Leadership Lessons|

I Wish My Dreams and Goals Would Come True

This morning there are many happy Chicago Cubs fans. Their dream and millions of wishes have come true - they are baseball’s world champions for the first time in 108 years. We are a dream and wish society. When we are children we are encouraged to “dream big” and “reach for the stars.” As adults we are offered racks full of encouraging books and many programs that teach us how to achieve our dreams. While many of these are wonderful and help us feel good, once the day’s reality sets in and distract us, our dreams often fade into the [...]

By | 2017-05-19T19:54:47+00:00 November 3rd, 2016|Goals / Objectives|

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