The Utility of Humility

A year or so ago our middle son took on a role apprenticing to become a heavy duty mechanic with a local logging outfit. He was thrilled getting the hands-on experience working on a wide variety of equipment from his first days at his new job. He was afforded the opportunity to work both at their shop as well as in the field where the logging occurs. One of his peers lives about a half hour from the shop but

The ABC’s of Improvement: Always Be Coachable

Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson have written that “Feedback is the breakfast of champions.” In order to improve, we need guidance as to how we’re doing. We need to face the cold, hard facts of reality. We need to embrace the unvarnished truth. Feedback from those that care about us and know the subject in which we’re seeking to improve can be incredibly valuable. Unfortunately, it’s something that we’re not good at receiving. Instead, we’re doing our best to flee

Towering Teachers

As we organize ourselves and others into a new school year, may our young ones be lucky enough to encounter a teacher as committed as the one featured in the great movie, Freedom Writers. The idealistic optimism of youth is a nice thing to see. This type of sentiment can be seen in those leaving education enroute to their first jobs. They bubble with enthusiasm at their belief in possibility and change. However, the real world can be cruel. Our


W2D WOW. It’s an acronym I’ve come up with over the years which stands for “willing to do what others won’t.” Value is the result of scarcity, of being rare. Being willing to do what others won’t by definition is an expression of scarcity. The hope is that by being willing to do what others won’t we’re in some way differentiating ourselves from others and distinguishing ourselves in a positive way. I slowly came to see the value of this

Letters to a Young Athlete – Book Review

Chris Bosh is a retired basketball superstar that played 14 seasons in the NBA. He played 7 seasons with the Toronto Raptors and another 7 with the Miami Heat where their team went to four NBA championships of which he won two. He played as an NBA Allstar 11 times out of 14 seasons. His career came to a premature end as a result of a non-basketball related health issue. His jersey was, nonetheless, retired by the Miami Heat as

How Do You Start Your Day?

Do you enjoy waking up each morning? How eager are you to start your days? What’s your favorite part of your alarm clock? Is it the snooze button? Are there some days that are easier to get up than others? Is there a pattern to those days where it’s easier to get up? Is it because you got a great sleep or because you’re looking very much forward to doing something that day or something else? A US fitness chain,

Academics v. Athletes and Artists

A business book, Blue Ocean Strategy, became a bestseller when released in 2004. Blue Ocean Strategy was written by Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne. They combined as professor and experienced business consultant in their review of break out businesses. Their suggestion was that businesses could “borrow” from two unrelated disciplines to come up with a unique approach in a established area. In many sports and most businesses, the arena is looked at as fixed. The fences close off the area

It’s Good to Be a Pillar of Pliability

Our natural tendency is to seek a state of homeostasis. We like what we know. We crave comfort. Change is seen as a curse or something to avoid. This is the path of most yet, as Brett Cyrgalis writes in Golf’s Holy War, “Fifty species a day become extinct on Earth and we’re still here, because we adapt.” The saying suggests that evolution is ultimately “adapt or die.” It’s the same in business. We can either try or cry. Crying

Become a Key Guy with Ikigai

Most filters exist to keep things out. We put filters in our water supply in order to keep contaminants at bay. We have filters in our engines to separate dirt from the circulating oil. Even our noses serve as filters screening dirt from the air we breathe before passing it on to our lungs. Our emails have filters seeking to keep what are considered annoyances away. Filters are intended to protect. Though, sometimes, the best of intended filters prevent us from

4 Cs of Customer Service: Care Component

Shane Parrish of Farnam Street presents a podcast called The Knowledge Project. In a episode, Parrish interviews author and speaker Seth Godin. During the conversation Godin offers the phrase “It’s just business” as an example of one that coarsens commerce. Perhaps, the one offering the phrase believes it and is using it in support of a belief that their actions in business are objective and independent of thoughts related to others. However, in any interaction involving two or more people,

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