While it would be unheard of today, I walked to elementary school every day as a kid in the south. It was a long trek, about 25 minutes in total, through the old brick neighborhoods, then past the big steepled church, art deco post office, and the modern supermarket just beyond the edge of the main street.
The most exciting part of my journey was crossing the railroad tracks that split our town in half. If my pals and I got the timing right, we could catch the Northfolk Southern Railway freight train come roaring across our path.
“I can’t wait for you to get this childish hobby out of your system!” Marie shouted as Harry laid on the floor, wrestling with one of his students.
And with that, she stormed out of the gym in a huff.
Harry looked embarrassed…as if his mother just told him he was too old to be still playing with GI Joe’s.
As students, we weren’t used to seeing our action-hero smacked down like this. There was an awkward silence for a few breathless seconds. …
“So, what’d you think of my new girl?” Felix asked as if he were referring to a new convertible sports car he just leased.
“She seems like a wonderful human,” I said.
He was hoping for a more enthusiastic response from me. But I didn’t want to participate in this visual evaluation game with him like we were judges holding scorecards at a dog show.
Felix always had a new modelesque girl on his arm, but these relationships never went far beyond the first few dates.
My friend was a serial dater, and he had all the trappings of a…
I’d never seen my dad cry before, not even in the worst of tragedies.
He’s not a nostalgic or sentimental guy. But when I took him and my mom to ArcLight Cinemas to see the 2011 premiere of the documentary — Page One: Inside the New York Times — I watched as my dad wiped away a few hidden tears from his eyes as the movie credits rolled up.
What affected him so much? The end of the newspaper era.
My father spent his entire life working in the newspaper industry, from being a paperboy at 11 until he retired…
What do leaders do with most of their time at work every day?
They solve problems.
But the more a business grows, the more problems they have to solve.
If leaders spend their days just reacting to the daily problems that arise, they’ll never move their business to the next level of growth.
The art of great leadership is developing a system to determine which problems to solve in what order. The method I developed and used for the last 30 years is called the Four Box Focus Tool.
During any given month, my team and I will encounter numerous…
It’s not a pleasant expression.
Yet we’ve heard it so often that we forget to think about the word’s harshness.
Some say the expression “fired” came from when civilizations were evolving, and the expectation was for everyone in the community to do their part. But when someone didn’t contribute, members would burn their house down.
Other sources believe the expression originated in the early 1900s when National Cash Register (NCR) founder John Henry Patterson sent one of his executives to visit a customer. Upon his return, he found his desk set on fire on the headquarters’ front lawn.
Whenever a business group comes to our innovation design office for a tour, I see their faces light up with fascination as they glance at the creative work assignments on our design staff’s desk.
But midway through the tour, someone in the business group will invariably ask me this probing question: With so many innovation projects going on, don’t you ever run out of breakthrough ideas?
Instead of putting pressure on ourselves to be innovative, I explain to the group, we start our assignments by taking our creativity hats off and pulling out our detective notepads to ask our clients…
Few kids grow up dreaming about becoming a management consultant. It’s one of those obscure professions that people somehow fall into during their career journey.
But let’s not kid ourselves; consulting is big business! The size of the global management consulting industry is around $160 billion (USD) annually.
Why do companies hire consultants? There are a variety of reasons:
But more than any…
When people mention South Florida, they usually think of palm trees and beaches. But I grew up on the other side of South Florida, near the Everglade swamps. To get to our place, you had to endure a bumpy ride down a long dirt road and then make a hard left into the cypress tree swamps chock-full of slippery alligators, cottonmouth snakes, and blood-thirsty mosquitoes.
There wasn’t much to do in this rural community, so many of us spent our free time building elaborate 4-wheel drive trucks, swamp buggies, and airboats that could traverse any terrain. …