What you hear when you actually listen

  I was in St. Louis a couple weeks ago attending a conference.  As I waited in line for a lunch table I listened to the conversations around me.  What I heard made me realize that we live in a world of divergence.  People seemed to either totally agree on a topic or totally disagree.  There wasn’t much discussion or

“They beat me up… But I kind of liked it.”

One of the things that I enjoy most about my work is that I get to meet all kinds of people in many different types of businesses.  Each individual brings his/her own unique personality, skill set and strengths to the table.   

Shrink-wrapped cars & other amusing things

I was on my way to my father’s home in Boyceville, WI last week and stopped in Amery to pick up a few groceries.  As I pulled into the parking lot I saw something I have never seen before – an SUV wrapped in shrink wrap.  Someone clearly was playing a joke.   

Better technology isn’t the answer

This is a true story. Imagine you’re 93 years old and living in a nursing home.  Your days run one into another with little diversion.  As you sit in your chair, stories of your life play through your mind: your favorite song, your first kiss, your wedding day, your bowling team, the tragic death of your daughter and on and

You just don’t know about people

I’ve been in meetings this week with people I don’t know – even though we’ve been meeting 5 or 6 times a year for the past four years. Our meetings have always focused on business, not each other.   

Sometimes it Pays to Pester

In the early years of our business, my husband did the sales.  He was pretty good at selling but he absolutely hated it.  He was tremendously relieved when I came on-board at Raven Machine & Tool and took over the sales and marketing.   

Can you also walk on water?

In a previous life I was a headhunter.  I scoured the region looking for just the right people to fill jobs.  Applicants were screened and tested and interviewed.  Only the best two or three got “live” interviews.  The role I played was mostly detective; the higher the position, the deeper I dug.  It was pretty easy to ferret out the

Mistakes were made Lessons were learned

I had lunch recently with Sam (not his real name) who owns a property development business.  He company purchases land all over the country, usually close to college campuses.  Their specialty is building apartments for student housing.  They would own and manage the properties for a few years and then sell them.  Life was good for a long time —

This isn’t how I thought I would be spending Christmas Eve

No one likes to get a call late at night and the call I got on December 23rd at 10:30 was bad news. My younger sister LuAnn had died suddenly and unexpectedly from a heart attack. To complicate matters, LuAnn lives with and cares for Charlie, her 21 year old autistic son. My sister had done minimal end-of-life planning. What