Monkeys

There’s a story about when Donald Rumsfeld was the Secretary of Defense under George W Bush. Apparently, Mr. Rumsfeld was supposed to do a press conference at a government compound on the edge of a forest in India. When they scouted out the property in the weeks before the conference, they discovered thousands of aggressive […]

Doing Hard Things

When there is that difficult thing in front of us that we don’t want to do, it is easy to come up with lots of ways to avoid doing it. I’ve always respected those people that look at the difficult task and simply roll up their sleeves and get to it. When I attack a […]

Coward

I would play cards often with my grandfather. When I would pause during the game to try and decide if I should take the safe way or the aggressive route, my grandfather would inevitably say “God hates a coward.” I’m not sure if this is theologically correct or not but his point was clear, nonetheless. […]

Do Nothing

Meetings are often the bane of existence for a leader. “We do nothing in a meeting, we could have done all of this in an email” is a common perspective for a leader. And they are probably correct. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have meetings. You should, instead, have the right meetings. With the […]

Difficulties

Albert Einstein was once asked for his telephone number. He looked it up in the directory said it to the person that asked. “You don’t know your own telephone number?” they pressed. “Why should I memorize something that is so easy to look up?” Einstein responded. Apparently, Einstein never bothered to memorize anything that could […]

Courage

It’s a throw-back kind of day. A quote from Andrew Jackson and a song from Johnny Horton. I wouldn’t say that I agree with Andrew Jackson’s fiscal policy or his stance on human rights. But the man was tough. And brave. There is something intriguing about a person who will stand in the face of […]

Correcting Bad Behavior

One of the most difficult parts of my job is having difficult conversations with employees about correcting their bad behavior. There is always the temptation to not address the problem, hoping it will go away, avoiding the confrontation and uncomfortable interaction. This is always a mistake. I have made this mistake many times. This mistake […]

Pain

We spend so much time trying to avoid pain. But so much good comes after the pain. Our bodies get stronger through pain. We work hard at our jobs and feel the pain of being wore out and tired, but the reward can be great. I grew up on the Great Plains in northeastern Montana. […]

Rules

Chuck Yeager is the most famous test pilot of all time. To say he was fearless is almost an understatement. He was a fighter pilot in World War 2. He was once asked about what he thought of the first German Jet Airplane he ever saw. “The first time I saw a jet plane? I […]

Lifelong Learning

Becoming a lifelong learner is a decision to put pressure on yourself. When you finish school, there are no more tests, there are no more homework assignments. No teacher is asking if you did your work. It is all on you now. That should be less pressure, right? I think if we are doing it […]