Business/Leadership


04Feb 2011

Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen,… Understanding Social Change

If you are like me, you may be intrigued by the events of the past two weeks in the Middle East.  The rapid social change that is happening (or trying to happen) in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Jordan, and potentially other countries is both fascinating, curious, and sometimes scary. I clearly have little knowledge or expertise of Middle Eastern politics or

05Nov 2010

Rethinking Family Businesses & Cultural Biases and Questionable Research

Last week I had the privilege in participating in a “think tank” about family businesses at Pepperdine University. Led and organized by Dr. Ken Canfield (formerly the director of the National Center for Fathering, now the director of the Boone Center for the Family at Pepperdine), a small group of professionals who serve family businesses met for two days discussing

24Oct 2010

Reflecting Reality — Sometimes Means Telling People Things They Don't Want to Hear

When working with people in my role as a coach or counselor, I often tell them that part of my role is to “reflect reality” to them — to give them objective and honest feedback on how I see their situation, and what choices they actually have (versus the choices they wish they have). Some examples include: *Helping family business

10Oct 2010

Core Principles for Life

As I travel, meeting with various families, businesses and organizational leaders, I am exposed to a wide range of people, situations and subcultures (usually within the U.S., but also with English-speaking families overseas [I acknowledge much of my life experience is limited by a North American bias]). These experiences, in combination with the changes occurring within our economy, government and

02Sep 2010

Brief Personal Note: Two Significant Milestones

Friends, I thought I would briefly share about two significant events in my life this week. 1. My wedding anniversary. As of September 1, my lovely wife, Kathy, and I have been married 31 years. So it’s not one of those “special” years, but this year does seem special — partially, I think, because all four of our adult children

24Aug 2010

Rejuvenation — What re-energizes you?

I am just returning from a few days off. And it never ceases to amaze me how different people are in what constitutes a “vacation”. I think it is critical to know what rejuvenates you and to actively include these activities in your schedule. I will admit that I am not very good at taking long vacations (although I am

01Aug 2010

"How Will You Measure Your Life?" + Some Observations

Sometimes someone writes an article, or gives a speech, that is noteworthy. Their thoughtfulness and manner of communication is remarkable. And you really can’t add much to what they have already said. But you want to share their thoughts with those important to you. Such is the nature of the article, based on his commencement speech to the 2010 graduating

08Jul 2010

Understanding the Nature of Trust

I wrote about trust in business relationships a few months ago. But the issue of trust in relationships keeps coming up again and again in the work I do. Really, it is the lack of trust that continues to reappear. The issue is so foundational to healthy relationships, I feel compelled to write on the topic again – and explain

06Jun 2010

Walking, Jogging & Sprinting: Some Observations and Life Lessons

Recently, I went to our state high school track and field championship meet — it is a wonderful spectacle — thousands of student athletes, coaches, friends and family members in one stadium. Vibrant colors are displayed in the uniforms, supportive T-shirts and baseball caps, and tents (to keep the students out of the sun). Lots of sunshine, sunscreen and water

27May 2010

Key Issues for Business Owners to Address Prior to Selling Their Business

As many of you know, I do a fair amount of consulting with family owned businesses. One of the common issues I help business owners and their families work through is the sale of their business (either preparing to do so, or dealing with the results afterward). Recently, a friend who meets with a number of business owners starting to

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