Laugh Lines: The ROI Of Fun At Work

I’ve worked with some major league a**holes in my life.  The kind of people that made the working environment not just bad, they made it suck (technical term).  I don’t know if that’s the way they were taught to lead or if their Mom didn’t hug them enough when they were kids but it impacted […]

Value Added

“ARE YOU SERIOUS!?”  I thought to myself as I got off the phone with my supervisor.  This was the fourth time I had reworked this report – each time having had different directions,  parameters, and requirements.  Usually, I like things on my “done” list and not my “to do” list but this time I felt […]

What’s In A Name?

Growing up, my ol’ man had a nickname for everyone. I don’t know if it was because he couldn’t remember anyone’s name or because he thought it was funny. Whatever the reason, if you knew him (and he liked you) you got assigned a name. At his work there was a Flopjaw, Leo, Goliath, and […]


Yes, I still believe in super heroes! In a quick straw poll of the members of my household on what superpower they would want if given the opportunity, I was quite surprised with the answers. I had two that wanted to fly, one that wanted to be invisible, one that wanted to be able to […]

Don’t Wear Out Your Best Team Member

The Gunnery Sergeant assigned to my class during Officer Candidate School (OCS) was big, mean and made Lou Gossett Jr. (from an “Officer and a Gentleman”) look like a kitty cat.  Seemingly, he loved the heat; he loved to see us sweat; and he especially loved to have us march.  Our only form of transportation […]

Leading Leaders: How Do You Persuade?

“Want to bet on it?”  I said wryly as I put the folder in front of my boss. He knew that when those words came out of my mouth I had already researched the problem and I was giving him the best possible solution to the problem.  He would then mumble a bit about how […]


Giving someone their annual performance appraisal can be tricky if you aren’t mentally prepared.  My first crack at debriefing someone was an eye opening experience!  I had plenty of years on the opposite side of the desk (getting told how I was performing) and thought I knew how I wanted it to go but found […]

Common Sense Isn’t Common

The ocean swells were so large I thought I was reliving the beginning scene of Gilligan’s Island.  I had only been in the Navy for six months and out to sea for the last two.  I was pretty green (not only as a Sailor but also from the motion of the ocean).  Books, papers, and […]

CARE is the Key!

We as leaders can’t make our people happy. Happiness is a personal choice. What we can do is manage the mood – the “how people feel” about their work, their contribution, and the organization. As a young division officer, I inherited a department that had low morale, low productivity, and even lower initiative. Most of […]

Sweatpants Lie To You

Oh, sweatpants, how do I love thee?  Let me count the ways!  I love your comfort.  I love your flexibility.  I love the way you let me be free and how you never seem to get dirty (no matter how long I wear you).  I don’t, however, like how you lie to me. When first […]