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 […]

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.  […]

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% […]

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 […]

When It – a Crisis – Hits the Fan

A client recently brought back memories of one of the most difficult moments/crisis in my naval career – I was the Deputy Assistant Supervisor of Shipbuilding in Pearl Harbor, HI and I received two days’ notice that my Contracting Officer was retiring.

Panic can’t describe what I felt at the […]

When You Make Mistakes

We all make mistakes.

Last night, I was making vegetable broth.  After straining out the vegetables, I decided that I would concentrate the broth, so I put the broth back on the stove and turned up the burner.  Then with the arrive of a visiting friend and a good book, […]

Getting Stuff Done

In my company, my job title is Director of Getting Stuff Done.  There’s two primary reasons for this title – (1) We hate the job title inflation that’s common in modern business, i.e., one-person companies having CEOs, etc. and (2) I get stuff done.  I achieve the second reason […]

Foresight is Crappy

I love to study history – there’s always something to learn.  In fact, my children claim I can relate ANYTHING to the battle of Midway because I did so many times when they were at home – Mostly during dinner time conversations when we would discuss their day’s activities […]

The Apple Battery Slowdown “Scandal”

I was recently asked for my take on the Apple Battery Slowdown “Scandal” by a nephew who works in the tech industry (Apple’s response is here).  My first impulse was what scandal and my second was submarine batteries – it may seem a weird connection but there is a […]

2017 Holiday Season

“Oh! captive, bound, and double-ironed,” cried the phantom, “not to know, that ages of incessant labour, by immortal creatures, for this earth must pass into eternity before the good of which it is susceptible is all developed. Not to know that any Christian spirit working kindly in its little […]

Conflict is Inevitable, Happy Resolution Isn’t

I’ve been struck by the story of Samson found in the Old Testament Book of Judges, chapters 13-16.  With the gift of unusual strength, he was the spark to freeing the Israelites from Philistine domination.  Be he had a fatal flaw – a rampant narcissism – that lead to […]

One-Offs – or Why What You Want to Do is Not Going to Work

Years ago, I read a short crime story in a society that had a computer that could predict crimes.  One day it predicts that there will be two murders.  The police quickly start tracking where and who will be involved in the murders.  Meanwhile, a woman is directed to […]

Why Do We Think We Are So Great?

It’s a modern arrogance to assume that the ancients were idiots because they believed the world was flat, witches could cause your cow to go dry, frogs caused warts to appear, or other beliefs we know to be false.  But they weren’t – they just started with less than […]

Three Mistakes to Death

In the 1980’s, I had the opportunity to take a course on submarine design from CAPT Harry Jackson, USN Ret.  CAPT Jackson had participated in the design of more submarine types than any other US naval officer.  And while I could still design a submarine based on what I […]