The Value of Vacations

I just finished 18 days away from home – 7 days at a remote resort near Mt Baker, WA with no cell phone service, 5 days with my younger son’s family waiting for the latest grandson who arrived after we left, and four days in Portland, OR for the […]

The Immigration Crisis and the 5 Whys

Children being torn from their parents at the border, countries refusing to allow survivors to land on their shores and millions huddled in refugee camps throughout the world – we’re seeing these scenes on television and social media every day and they spark intense debate.  What are we to […]

Non-profits – Can’t Fly by the Seat of Your Pants

I’ve got nearly 40 years’ experience working with non-profits as a member, officer and board member.  I’m a big fan of non-profits because they promote good in their communities and enable people to come together for a common purpose.  I’ve had a lot of great experiences with non-profits.

I’ve also […]

Discrimination is Subtle but Real – Part 3 – Solutions

In my previous two posts I’ve discussed two examples of discrimination my business partner experienced recently.  In the first, our landlords kept trying to contact me when I was out of the country even though Meredith was available – her name and phone number are on our front door.  […]

Discrimination is Subtle but Real – Part 2

Years ago, I was teaching a class in quality management when a student asked me about a situation they were dealing with – a supervisor in a department won’t work with my student on improvement programs.  After the situation was described, I said, “Let me guess, the supervisor is […]

Discrimination – Subtle but Real – Part 1

Two things happened recently that relate to how my business partner is treated and reveals a subtle form of discrimination.  In the first, our landlord tried repeatedly to contact me because they lost the monthly lease payment check.  In the second, I offered my partner’s mentoring because I was […]

Objective Reality

The Soviet military had a problem.  Communist doctrine was used to dictate military strategy and tactics.  However, what doctrine dictated usually didn’t result in practical or effective practices on the battlefield.  Because people in the Soviet military aren’t stupid, they responded to this conflict between communist doctrine and battlefield […]

Good Things from Bad People

I learned two valuable lessons when I asked to be released from a position where I was dealing with an abusive superior.  The first was a question I was asked, “Have you learned anything from this experience?”  My reply, “Yes, how not to act in the position of the […]

Perfection is Not Required

In my home, there is a watercolor painting that I treasure – to me it’s perfection.  It was painted by my older daughter when she was in junior high school.  It is the only painting we have of our daughter’s – in fact, it’s the only painting she’s ever […]

Family First, Business Second

When I started writing this post, I was in an exam room at a medical clinic with my daughter and grandson – my grandson had been sick.  I here as moral support after a frantic phone call an hour before.  Since I was planning on working in my woodshop, […]

Caring for the Customer – Facebook and State Farm – NOT!

I tend to be a loyal customer – I’ve had the same personal insurance companies for nearly four decades, I frequent the same big box home improvement store over multiple locations for nearly 30 years, my cell phone company is the same I’ve started with – I value the […]

To Make Change, You Have to Make Trouble

Change is hard – I know because I’ve made a lot of changes in my life.  But while change is hard, in the business world you can often make a very good case for change by citing money – making money, saving money, and not losing money.

When I was […]

Appearances Count

My wife made what seemed to be a random comment while we were on the road through town.  “That property management firm . . . isn’t one I would use.”  Since I wasn’t aware we were in the market for property management firm, I asked, “What?”  She explained, “It’s […]

Who Rules Who?

As a new officer in the US Navy, I was assigned to be the Command Duty Officer on a rotating basis.  The Command Duty Officer’s duties were to spend the night at the command, answer the phone, investigate any security breech, and respond to any occurrence of any nature […]

$20 an Hour

What would you be doing if you had to pay $20 an hour to do it?

In the early twentieth century, physicists devised a technique to test the new theories of relativity and quantum mechanics dealing with the very large and very small – places where you couldn’t actually go.  […]

Hard Work Doesn’t Equal Results

I’ve recently been struck by the number of memes, pithy sayings and outright declarations that equate hard work with success.  Don’t get me wrong on this, hard work is necessary for success, but it’s not the determinate factor.  You can work hard and fail or barely survive.  NO, the […]

Priorities – What are yours REALLY?

I’ve written a lot about the importance of planning – and it is important – but I haven’t written too much about execution which is where most failures occur.  It’s really all about priorities – what we think ours are and what they really are.

One example of my priorities […]

The Saga of the Dishwasher – A Customer Service Parable

Our dishwasher died a week ago.  It had given good and faithful service for many years (it came with the house 12 years ago).  So, I began the search for a replacement.  My wife found an offer from a mainstream retailer that appeared to come with a special 30% […]

Now is the Only Time

I heard a story about Napoleon wanting trees to be planted along the roads of France, so his troops could march in shade.  He was told that the trees wouldn’t provide shade for many years.  To which he exclaimed, “All the better to plant them now!”  This story parallels […]

The Me in #MeToo

We are in the midst of a major social struggle – a struggle between decency and misogyny.  And while many are trying to support the women who are reporting sexual harassment and assault with the #MeToo haswhtag, there are others who worry about due process and even dismiss the […]