Or more succinctly: Be a humble human

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Photo by Jules D. on Unsplash, edited by Author

One of my long-term employees is retiring this month. She’s done a fantastic job. She worked her way up to a very high level in our group, and she has been incredibly reliable. She’s one of those “one in a million” employees who understand that while you may be “the boss,” you’re also human: You have good days and bad days, you can be moody, and you are sometimes misunderstood.

Merrie and I clicked. We worked well together. She managed as I would manage, handled situations with class and dignity. She was super dependable, and I was privileged to work…


Whether you have the virus or not

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Photo by Tiago Bandeira on Unsplash

I met with a colleague last week who obviously was not her usual ebullient self. She’s usually quite talkative, energetic, and always ready to accept life’s challenges. At the conclusion of our meeting, I inquired (with genuine concern) if she was OK.

“You seem a bit more reserved and tired today,” I told her.

Her response made me think.

“You know — I’m just tired,” she said. “I’m really tired. That’s exactly it.”

When she left, I reflected on that feeling, and I had to admit I felt it as well.

I’m tired — physically and mentally — from the…


Let me get ‘personnel’ with you for a moment

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Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com

Yes, I know “personal” is misspelled, but that’s because I’m referring here to PERSONNEL — or, as they’re known these days, “Human Resources” (as opposed to non-human resources, but I’m not going there).

Let’s face it. Dealing with personnel issues (I’m sorry, “human resource issues”) is typically NOT something any manager wants to do. Dealing with personnel problems (which often involve personal problems — HA! See what I did there?) is often one of the biggest reasons people don’t like being in management. …


Are you making the best use of your time right now?

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Photo by Murray Campbell on Unsplash

I have a small, gold card in my wallet bearing various quotations regarding “Time Management” (the subject of the card). In the bottom left-hand corner, in EXTREMELY small print (especially for an old person), the card bears this copyright: “© 1993 David Bruno.”

From what I can tell, David Bruno is a purveyor of ultra-thin, very chic and pricey watches in London, U.K. (That’s really all I could find related to time management and David Bruno. If you have other ideas, please let me know. I like to give credit where credit is due.)

I’ve had the card in my…


Who’s rowing your boat and where is it going?

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Photo by Hakan Tahmaz from Pexels

My Grandfather Seth wasn’t really my maternal grandparent, but he was my maternal grandmother’s husband. (She married a few times.) But Seth was her last husband, and he was quite the guy. He liked to “tickle the tonsils” (as he used to say) with a “good beverage” quite a bit, to the consternation of my teetotaler grandma.

But he had lots of redeeming qualities, one of which was to tell lots of stories about running a fishing camp in southern Wisconsin. …


What you need is ‘useful practice’

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Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash

I’ve heard a lot about “best practices.” Best practices in incubation; best practices in entrepreneurship education; best practices in yadda, yadda, yadda (with apologies to Seinfeld).

Best practices are procedures generally accepted as superior to other ways of accomplishing a desired outcome because they produce optimal results or can be done more efficiently. (I pieced that explanation together using several of the 1.7+ billion entries Google gathered for “best practice.”)

But the truth is, one person’s best practices may be another person’s follies. “Best” isn’t always best. There are many variables to consider. What really makes a practice “best”?

I…


Smart managers hire smarter employees

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Photo by Jehyun Sung on Unsplash

My last writing effort was about some of the key characteristics of “leadership.” I’ve read a lot of books over the past several years about being a leader. I have to admit, one of my favorites was by a U.S. Navy Seal named Jocko Willink, “Extreme Ownership.” Jocko (whom my son later met, which was cool) wrote about “owning your successes AND your failures.” That’s an important step, accepting responsibility and (as I may have mentioned once or twice in previous blogs) making new decisions.

Today, I’m thinking of a quote from Lee Iacocca, the former CEO of Chrysler Motors…


Readers (of this blog) make leaders — if they take this to heart

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Photo by CoWomen on Unsplash

I saw a “Dilbert” cartoon by Scott Adams that depicted the “pointy-haired boss” considering how he might demonstrate his leadership. He then announced that the employees would participate in an “‘iron man’ team building competition.” (In the late 1990s, team building outings and obstacle courses were in fashion; physical experiences or trials were thought to encourage people to work together as a team.)

In response to the boss’s announcement, Dilbert says, “What a bunch of leadership!” (I’m sure he was thinking of another word to express his true feelings. See the comic strip yourself here.).

So what might have distinguished…


Read this and change the way you think. You can.

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Photo by Cassiano Psomas on Unsplash

It’s a new year. A perfect time for a fresh start. A new-and-improved you for what we all hope will be a new-and-improved year. (Good riddance, 2020!) To make changes in yourself, consider reading any of the zillion motivational books available. If you prefer, you could listen to or watch any of the thousands of motivational speakers and motivational podcasts.

(Or you could read my blog. This one. I mean, since you’re already here and all.)

Trust me, you can find all sorts of self-help books and talks to help you become “You 2.0,” whatever you envision that model to…


How do you build 800K ventilators when parts aren’t available? Go to Home Depot

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This open-source technology has been created to address predicted ventilator shortage worldwide due to the COVID-19 pandemic and host open-source contributions

Dr. Samsun Lampotang, the Joachim S. Gravenstein Professor of anesthesiology and the director of the Center for Safety, Simulation and Advanced Learning Technologies (CSSALT) at the University of Florida, has spent his career engineering solutions to medical problems. At the start of 2020, Lampotang’s focus was on designing, building and validating mixed reality guided intervention simulators to train physicians and nurses in medical procedures without putting patients at risk.

But then COVID-19 changed all this.

“You have to think about where we were in mid-March. There were all these dire predictions that we would need one million ventilators in the…

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