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We are in a numbers business.  We track them all the time.  How many loads did we ship?  How much lumber did we use?  Was there any waste?  Are we getting better or worse? Most of us start the day with a number in our heads.   We know how much we are expected to produce.  Everyone has a number. The pros in our business accept the responsibility for delivering the number.  They know what’s expected […]

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Tension. Let’s call attention to tension. We’re ending five months of COVID-19. Our lives have been disrupted. We can’t freely go where we want to go. Can’t go see who we want to see. Our business and personal lives are altered. We’re working in altered environments and adapting daily to different situations. As tensions rise, tempers shorten. We’re more likely to snap back. To not get the joke. To be offended where no offense is […]

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Damian Lillard is a respected player in the NBA.  He was asked about what he does to change the pace and outcome of a game that hasn’t been going the way he prefers. “First, you remember it’s a long game.  Just because we are off to a bad start, doesn’t mean that things won’t change back our way.  So, you keep playing and trying to do the right thing.” He noted that it sometimes takes […]

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  “Life is difficult.” That’s the first sentence of A Road Less Traveled by Scott Peck.  I read the book about 40 years ago and it has stuck with me ever since.  I’ve frequently gifted the book to graduating high school seniors, hoping they will read it and adjust their expectations about what’s ahead in life. For me, time has proven Peck’s observation true. Life is difficult because it’s full of complexity.  It has other people in […]

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  These days are challenging, aren’t they? I listened to pro-basketball Coach George Karl talk about facing a challenge. Throughout his entire career, he was hired to take bad teams and make them better.  Though he never once coached an NBA championship team, he was hired often enough and won enough to be the sixth winningest coach in history. Here’s what he said about facing a challenge: “By its nature, challenge is hard!  If you don’t come […]

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I rode down the Chattooga River yesterday in a whitewater raft. They call it whitewater because there are points on the rafting trip that get bumpy and steep because of the water rippling over rocks. I’m not a whitewater expert.  In fact, it’s not something I would ever attempt without expert coaching and leadership. Our coach Paula has been leading rafting trips for 12 years, and she exhibited effective leadership in so many ways. She […]

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Do you identify as a leader?  Put another way, if you were asked if you’re a leader, would you nod your head yes?  Chris Lowney wrote a book called Heroic Leadership.   He makes this observation:  “We’re all leaders, and we’re leading all the time, well or poorly.”  Your actions have an impact.  Whether you have the title or the official responsibility, you lead.  Think about it:  If you extend your effort; if you choose safety […]

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Are you registered to vote?  When was the last time you voted? I am paying attention to the dialogue going on in our country these days.  There are widespread calls for “change” being directed to the leaders in our communities, our states and our country. For changes to take place, those elected to office have to be prone to listen to our voices.  One of the ways to do that is to make sure you […]

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Dr. Henry Cloud is a writer and speaker I admire.  I recently found this list of attributes that he says are apparent in people living meaningful lives. Gratitude: People who actively develop an attitude of gratitude and express gratitude regularly are happier people. Positive Thinking:  People who guard their thinking and whose thinking is rooted in faith are happier than pessimistic, negative thinkers.  They are also more successful. Purpose and Calling:  People who recognize and […]

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Leadership 101

  Leader Consultant Tim Kight interviewed Mark McCullough, an executive leader in the huge utility company American Electric Power. McCullough has worked for AEP his entire career. He started as a manager trainee at the bottom and worked his way up to a leadership position overseeing 5,000 teammates and 8,000 contractors. Kight asked McCollough to describe a formative experience.  He described an explosion that occurred in a power plant.  McCullough was a young trainee inclined […]

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