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Life Is How You Look At It, Stumbling Block or Stepping Stone: Your Choice

“One of the reasons I think I’ve placed a high value on life is that my father took his.” This is how Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, the U.S. Airways pilot who successfully ditched in the…

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“Set big goals and own the responsibility for meeting them”

Wendy Kopp, CEO of Teach for America, the company that recruits for difficult teaching positions in urban and rural schools, was recently interviewed by The…

Capt. Sullenberger, Flight 1549, and Deliberate Calm

How do humans make good decisions under conditions of intense pressure? How did Capt. Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger III manage to stay cool, calm, and…

PopCap: The Stupid Pursuit of Hyper “Safety,” or What Happens When Chicken Little Is In Charge

(Friday’s Populist Capitalist Blog Post) While I always fasten my safety belt, I understand that life has risks and comes without guarantees. I understand that…

Criticism: Friend or Foe?

If we choose to regard anything less than praise as an attack, then we cease to hear anything useful a critic may have to say.…

Courageous Acceptance of Personal Responsibility

The willingness to accept responsibility for our actions, to have the moral courage, the steadfastness of character to step up and acknowledge accountability is exceedingly…

Learning to Ring Pavlov’s* Bell Ourselves

Understanding How Social Cues Influence Our Behavior We are always picking up cues from our environment and responding to them, most of the time without…

Beware the Cost of the Middleman!

Understanding Systems and How to Make them Better Maine lobsters have plunged in price from $10 a pound a few years ago to less than…

PopCap: The High Price of Ego

(Friday’s Populist Capitalist Blog Post) The City of Portland’s port authority is scheduled to pay $3.5 million to Delta to persuade the airline not to…

Unseen Consequences, Forgotten Costs

In 2008, just under a half million American veterans, 442,695 to be exact, were treated for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (The New York Times, September…

“Any fool can make a rule…”

Most rules are made with good intentions and are designed to solve a real problem. Unfortunately, the people making the rules often do not understand…

Seven Easy Questions for Smarter Spending

1. Have I paid all my basic living expenses? Rent or mortgage payment, utilities, groceries, savings: these come first, prior to any discretionary expenditures. 2.…

Don’t Blame Your Genes

Study shows bodily abuse can stretch all the way down to the genetic level Okay, I’m relying on The Economist (“The Origin of Diabetes: Don’t…

Just Deal With It: Getting in Touch With Your Survival Instinct

(Friday’s Populist Capitalist Blog Post) Craig Fugate, the new head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is a man who evidently believes in speaking…

Self-Fulfilling Prophecies

“Sometimes when we anticipate the worst in people, we destroy what is best.” I have a tendency to worry. I expect things to go wrong…

Good Service Does Not Have to Cost Big Bucks

I think a lot about Customer Service because it is one very real way you can deliver better value to your Customer and differentiate yourself…

Why Do Some Succeed?

Why do some succeed, often spectacularly so, and others merely survive? What human trait is the best predictor of success? Which human trait should we…

PopCap: Full Disclosure, Complete Transparency: Basic Minimums of Trust

(Friday’s Populist Capitalist Blog Post) Markets, businesses, and relationships all flourish when trust exists. If I have to spend all my time guarding my back,…

Taking Calorie Counts With a Grain of Salt: Don’t Believe Everything You Read

Requiring restaurants, particularly chains, to put calorie counts beside each item is the latest skirmish in the battle against American obesity. But can you believe…

(3 of 3) Empowerment

Empowerment is a nice-sounding word that has been used a lot in recent decades. But what does it mean? Particularly in the context of the…

Reality Please

A lot can go wrong when we measure ourselves against bogus standards, standards that cannot be met because they are not real. They are fake,…