A Winter’s Day

The sun reached its nadir this morning at 5:44 AM EDT, for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, and began its 6-month march to its zenith at the next moment. It’s no wonder that we are built for resilience as nature showers her experiences of recovering from the depths of winter’s darkness towards the fullness of summer’s long days like the clock that she is in our lives. At our home on the Allegheny River, we always joke about the Two-Suns that we see most winter days. The sun low in the sky over Penn Hills and then the sun’s reflection on the River both brightens and warms our house. It’s a treat we only have in the winter, Read More

Uh, Oh

I’ve already made several mistakes by the time you’ve started reading this week’s memo. And there is a reasonable chance that I’ll have a failure sometime soon given my propensity to try out new ideas. Mistakes and failures are inevitable and developing greater comfort and skills in managing failure is critical for success. I’ve just recently completed a corporate workshop for a new client that we called “Raising Phoenix” for its emphasis on helping the company’s business leaders address failures with their teams. The greatest challenge to handling failures better is overcoming our tendency to look to blame someone or something as the reason why the failure occurred. Culpability can be appropriate if we’ve been careless or disregarded procedures such Read More

Dad’s Birthday

Today is Pearl Harbor Day, the 75th anniversary of that day that lives in infamy. It would also have been my father’s 101st birthday. On that fateful day, my mother was preparing a birthday party for her fiancée. It wasn’t going to be a surprise party but there were lots of friends and family attending. The party turned out to be anything but a celebration and my dad’s enlistment happened a few weeks later. After training he was sent to Pearl Harbor, on a classified mission, assigned to the cryptography team responsible for tracking the Japanese military code. While in Pearl Harbor, he regularly wrote letters to my mother. When she received the letters portions of them would be highly Read More