No is your most productive word

I was listening as my friend debated with herself on whether or not to accept the position of committee chair.  She is a busy woman, juggling the demands of a career and young children.  She leads a Girl Scout troop; chaperones school field trips and heads up the library committee. 

Get off your keister!

Happy New Year!  I bet you’ve been told that dozens of times.  You’ve probably also been asked if you had a nice holiday the same number of times. How come no one ever asks  

The Most Important Question You Can Ask Yourself

Once upon a time we were our past selves.  The decisions we made are reflected in our lives today. As the new year approaches, you may be thinking about making resolutions and setting goals.  

The Best Presence

In 1998, a friend and I took an amazing trip to China.  One of the most fascinating moments was when we walked out of the airport terminal and saw all the people on cell phones.  Cell phones were just taking off in the United States.  I don’t think any of us realized just how much they would invade our lives.  

Boldness, audacity, chutzpah, sisu

No matter what you call it, it implies a person willing to take risks, try the untried, improve on the unproven.  Bold people are open to new ideas, willing to try new things and imagine possibilities. Chutzpah is the quality of audacity, for good or for bad.  The Yiddish word has been “Americanized” to describe courage, determination and passion in

Differentiate: Find Your Secret Sauce

When I owned a machine shop, it was a challenge to market the company.  There were thousands of small job shops just like mine in Minnesota; to “differentiate” the company was difficult. Buyers knew shops had different capabilities.  They machined round parts or square; aluminum or steel; big parts or small.  Some shops specialized in government contracts, while others preferred

I am Thankful for…

Today is Thanksgiving; a day to count your blessings and be grateful for: 1. A roof over your head 2. A family that loves you  

How Do You React In A Crisis?

Bad things happen to good people.  You could be enjoying a concert (Las Vegas), taking an afternoon bike ride (New York), sitting in a college class (Virginia Tech), waiting out a tornado in your basement, fleeing wild fires or driving down the road in your car.  When disaster strikes, you have a crisis to deal with.  

Should volunteering be part of your corporate culture?

Giving makes you feel good and it can be good for your business, especially if you encourage your employees to volunteer for causes they support. Some people are wired to be generous even to strangers, they jump at the chance to lend a hand.  Others take a little more convincing, then there are those who would love to do more

“Why’d He Bring That Chicken Hawk?”

My husband’s grandparents emigrated from Finland to a small farm near Chisholm.  Northern Minnesota was rugged country in those days.  Timber wolves and bears were plentiful; they found domestic livestock easy prey. To protect their animals, everyone carried a rifle when they left the house.  My husband’s five uncles were skilled shooters; they passed that ability on to their young