There Are Always Two Sides

“No matter how thin you slice it, there are always two sides.” It’s wisdom I believe but sometimes fail to observe. From time to time, I get the opportunity to help resolve an issue among conflicting parties. Most of the time, this starts with someone sharing a grievance. Because I’m the boss, most folks are reluctant to bring me a grievance. So, when they do, there is usually some urgency, some emotion associated with it. […]

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Leaders Are Readers

I’ve heard it said that “leaders are readers.” If that is the case, these recent statistics provided by the Jenkins Group about reading would explain any leadership shortage that we have in this country. Check this out: 33% of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives. 42% of college graduates never read another book after college. 80% of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year. […]

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Address Setbacks As Quickly As Possible

While making progress every day is a key to a positive work life, it would be naive to think there won’t be setbacks. When setbacks come, the trick is to act to change the momentum as quickly as possible. One of the athletic coaches I admire most, most of you haven’t heard of. His name is Glen Rutenbar. He coaches the girl’s softball team at our local high school in Bartow. I became a fan […]

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The Progress Principle

I am reading a book called The Progress Principle. The essence of the book is simple: people want to feel positive about the work they do. The single largest factor that contributes to positive feelings is having a sense that you are making progress. You are probably thinking, “That’s obvious.” Me too. But the authors of the book studied several thousand workers and found that more often than not people didn’t feel positive about work […]

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Lessons from March Madness

March Madness is done. The top seed Kentucky wins. Ken Delle Donne, the general manager of our treating operations, won the pool. Congratulations Ken. In the aftermath, I listened to the comments made by the players and coaches. Under the leadership of coach John Calipari, Kentucky has been known to sign the top-ranked recruits, see them play one year, then forego the balance of their college eligibility to go professional. The “rap” on that approach […]

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Final Weekend of March Madness

Down to the last weekend of March Madness. I have no chance to win. But, I’m consumed with the coaches. My favorite quote this week comes from Kansas coach Bill Self who spoke to his team following their advance to the Final Four: “Be happy, be excited, by no means be satisfied.” Mastering momentum is a tough thing. Most folks don’t do it well. It’s human nature to achieve a goal then lose the grip […]

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Inspiration from General George Patton

George Patton was a famous World War II general. Yesterday I encountered from completely different sources two quotes of his. I figured it was a sign. The first was an inspiration posted on Twitter. It read: “You’re never beaten until you admit it. So, don’t admit it.” On one hand it sounds stubborn. But, there is power in having that kind of determination when we come up against a challenge. It’s the kind of belief […]

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Fear and Dread Keep Us from Action

Perhaps this is real obvious, but what we think and what we believe frequently govern how we perform. I have a young friend who is looking for a job. She has been dreading the experience. The dread was based upon the last time she was looking. The economy was bad. The avenues for jobs were few. Many times she knocked on doors seeking opportunities. Most times she was rejected. It was a discouraging process. This […]

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When You Feel Stuck, Take Action

Sometimes we get stuck and don’t know what to do. There could be a lot of choices and we are paralyzed because there are pros and cons each way. There could be no apparent choices and we are paralyzed because we think any action will be fruitless. When we get stuck, the best way out is to do something. Make a deliberate choice. Implement it. See what happens. You learn by taking action. You become […]

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Creating a “Lean” Culture

I sat glued to the television watching basketball last weekend. All my favorite teams advanced. I love watching the coaches. There are those I have seen for years. There are always some new faces as well. You get glimpses of how they conduct themselves in the timeout huddles, how they speak in the locker rooms, how they encourage and teach during the course of the action. Very few stand idle. Most are engaged with getting […]

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