If you visit Mt. Vernon, Virginia or Quincy, Massachusetts at night these days you might hear some strange thumping sounds. President George Washington in his farewell address in 1796 talked about the dangers of partisanship and the formation of strong ...

Steve on Leadership

Can Our Dysfunctional Politics Industry be Fixed?

If you visit Mt. Vernon, Virginia or Quincy, Massachusetts at night these days you might hear some strange thumping sounds.

President George Washington in his farewell address in 1796 talked about the dangers of partisanship and the formation of strong parties.

John Adams, concerned with the Constitution’s limitations, said, “There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the Republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader and concerting measures in opposition to each other.”

So, the sounds you might hear in Mt. Vernon and Quincy are Washington and Adams flipping in their graves because their biggest fears have come true. The system they helped design has morphed over time, especially in the last 40 years, into a...

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When Doing Good was Simple

(Photo by Toa Heftiba)

If you are in business or work as a police officer, it is hard to do good today. Between social media and what seems to be lots of angry people and lawyers, no good deed goes unpunished.

That is why this cool story from 1959 caught my eye. It happened in the eastern Maine community of Calais, which is right on the Canadian border. The story was shared by Al Churchill, a local attorney there and writer of a Calais historical blog we enjoy and often published at the St. Croix Historical Society website.

The characters in this story are the local state trooper, Francis “Bull” Powers, the local newspaper editor, Jay Hinson, and the owner of a popular motel with beautiful water views, Mrs. Harry Heslin.

Calais...

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Yes, Real Leaders Can Say “I’m Sorry”

I did not hear any of our political leaders apologize to the 800,000 federal workers they used as poker chips during the record government shutdown. As I thought about it, I couldn’t remember many other apologies for past political decisions either.

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

This made me wonder why more leaders don’t apologize and if they did, what made the apologies effective or not.

Why Do Most of Us Willingly Say, “I’m sorry?” If you have any level of empathy, it is naturally human to feel badly when your actions hurt someone else. Beginning at a very young age most of us are taught to offer repentance for any of our actions. Apologizing is one form of repentance.

Let’s be honest, apologizing can also be a selfish action. Why?...

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What Were You Thinking?

Maybe it’s just me, but lately I’ve been baffled by some decisions people make. Quite often I say to myself, “What Were You Thinking?”

Dogs making bad decisions, like getting a head stuck in a cat door, now that’s understandable. But managers and leaders have something dogs don’t have, the “ability to reason.” At least that’s what I learned in biology class.

A few weeks ago I watched Jamie Dimon’s interview on C-SPAN after Joe Leddy recommended it to me. Dimon is the CEO of JP Morgan Chase and is a great example of a competent leader. Given how most of us feel right now about leadership incompetence, Dimon is a breath of fresh air. Even if you only watch a few minutes, you will quickly see how Dimon oozes common...

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Three Ways You Might Contribute to Road Congestion

It seems like it was just a few years ago that we relied only on our faithful mail carriers to deliver our very few mail order packages. And most of this mail was delivered by two legs on the sidewalk.

But two relatively new consumer habits have changed all that and are helping clog our streets – 1) Single product, online purchases from places like Amazon; and 2) The use of Uber and Lyft.

And soon a third force is going to really impact traffic – driverless vehicles commonly called autonomous vehicles or AVs.

Package Delivery. In the days leading up to Christmas it seemed like I saw more delivery trucks swerving around each other than passenger cars. And, in many cities, these trucks were doubled-parked everywhere causing further...

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