Why is a Food Truck Like an Auto Auction?

On the face of it — they aren’t alike. What if I told you that auto auctions are not bounded by geography? Most of us think of auto auctions in terms of place. But what if you were thinking of an auction as a process, not a particular place. If you think of it that way, your decisions can change

How We Fool Ourselves

In the 1960’s my parents invested in acreage in the western part of North Carolina. They paid what we came to understand was a low price for a large tract of land. It would later sell for something like 50 times what they paid. It was a terrific investment but they were not good stewards of their money. Later, while

Emotion – The Invisible Decision Trap

When most people picture the executive suite they imagine the elegance of mahogany wainscoting, rarified air and extreme rationality. Well, abandon those thoughts. No one, not even the well-heeled executive, is immune to decision traps. Why is that? The traps are made of our limited abilities of perception and judgment. Even those equipped with extraordinary intelligence can fall prey to

Is Your Need for Control Deadly?

Last night, I watched a sad outcome on Shark Tank. Two smart, hard-working fellows came on and pitched their product idea. The story was good, they were convincing and the product makes sense. It’s their “baby” and that is the good news and the bad. Why good? Their creation was born because it solves a problem faced by many parents.

Want Courageous People?

I heard from a client who had just complained at length about someone, “Well, that’s just George.” This is one of the most common ways to dodge responsibility. Sigh, shrug and insist that the situation cannot be improved. In this case, I was asking about why someone is allowed to continue to be a human speed bump (the nickname given


Yesterday I spent the morning on the campus of Emory University at the Goizueta School of Business. Named for Roberto Goizueta, former Chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola, it is a beautiful place. I was there with Joanne McRae, a talented photographer, to have photos taken for my forthcoming book. Joanne encouraged me to be enthusiastic and animated. This sort of

How Daniel Kahneman Saved My Life

The week of April 3rd will be remembered as horrific for travelers on the east coast of the US. My flight from Washington, DC was postponed multiple times and eventually cancelled. Knowing the weather system headed up the east coast was ugly I booked a rental car for the next day. Hard rain, fog and hail made for misery and

Today’s Bandage – Tomorrow’s Belief

The first time a situation emerges for which there is no clear resolution, we may well decide to use a bandage. Perhaps some bailing wire or duct tape is involved or bubble gum. You know the circumstance. A customer needs something; they are upset; you feel the heat so you grab the nearest means of “solving the problem.” Crisis averted

The Value of Joyful Work

Dr. Ronald McCurdy, Professor of Music at USC and Director of the Grammy Jazz Choir and Combo The leaders I find most interesting are those who generate great value and have an obvious joy in doing so. Enthusiasm is an underrated and at times, derided characteristic, which is a shame. Mistaking enthusiasm for foolishness or irrationality is to misunderstand it

Inertia – The Enemy

This time of year, many of my clients are talking about resolutions. Some are business related, some are personal. Yet, by the end of January, many will have been forgotten or abandoned, even if some small improvement in habit or outcome was quickly achieved. The makers of the resolutions will accept the inevitability of their lack of follow through, some