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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Who’s REALLY to Blame?

Unfortunately, we’ve had a wonderful opportunity to see human behavior at its worst this weekend.  There’s no denying that any rational, emotionally feeling human won’t be repulsed by the events that occurred in Charlottesville with the deliberate murder and attacks on people doing what they are guaranteed the right […]

No, I Won’t – Why I Took a Hiatus

Over the past five years, my business partner and I have written more than 300 blog posts – more than one a week.  Usually we would post a new entry on Tuesday while having a Throwback Thursday re-post.  But we’ve recently skipped several weeks because our production system was […]

Promises Made, Promises Not Kept

I’m sitting in the waiting room of a major oil change shop.  That’s not special, but the reason WHY I‘m in this one is.  I normally go to a different oil change shop but today when I arrived there shortly after 8:00 am, there was no one there.  Now […]

Where There’s Smoke

We’ve written about sexual harassment before – there’s no secret there.  But I would like to examine the economic benefits and costs associated with harassment today.  This examination is prompted by Bill O’Reilly’s firing by Fox after it was revealed that five women had been paid $13.5 million to […]

Waiting Rooms, Use Thereof

I’ve spent a lot of time in waiting rooms – especially since my wife had her stroke.  And while waiting rooms, particularly doctors’ waiting rooms, are not the most fun atmosphere, I find waiting rooms very useful because I’m always prepared.

How do you prepare for a waiting room?

I prepare […]

Lists – Making and Use Thereof

We’ve all used them – lists of things to do, things to buy, places to go, people to call, tasks to execute – the list is endless.  It’s the simplest of management tools and one of the most damaging.  We even compile lists of lists.  Compiling a list is […]

Secrets Aren’t Secret

Because I’ve spent a lot of time in the Washington, DC area working in and for the federal government, I’ve been asked frequently about recent news reports coming from the national capital.  Most of the questions are of the type, “Can the President/FBI/CIA/NSA/etc. really do ___________________ and keep it […]