Shadowboxing

Growing up, my father worked two jobs to support his growing family. It was unglamorous work, the kind that requires sturdy boots year round and insulated overalls during freezing winter months. After work, he liked to unwind with a couple of beers while he sloughed off the day. As a child, I was sometimes fascinated […]

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The Art of Make Believe

Not long ago, I found myself listening with fascination to a radio piece on NPR about a family growing up in Chicago during the 1980s. The father, Jim Steinfel, had been in the Navy as a young man. Now married with 12 children (yes, that’s right, twelve children), he invented an elaborate game in order […]

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Four Walls of Freedom

Yesterday, I sat on a beach watching my son as he filled a bucket with briny slop, his face a study in concentration. Then a wave came crashing in and swept the bucket away from us. After righting himself and collecting his bucket, he then set about his task again with a singular focus – […]

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Adaptation

While I am not usually drawn to military memoirs, I found I could not put down General Stanley McChrystal’s Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement For a Complex world. The book is an easy read, even for military know-nothings like myself. He does a masterful job of telling his own story, while extrapolating from […]

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Adult Education

When you’re a kid, nothing spells your doom quite like those ubiquitous “back-to-school” ads running through the full month of August. Even now, they still have the capacity to conjure that sinking feeling that heralds the end of lazy summer days and a return to normal operations. Once again, I am 9-years-old, going with my […]

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Typecasting

When he was a 9-year-old schoolboy, Neil deGrasse Tyson first visited the Hayden Planetarium in New York. Sure, he had glimpsed at the night sky before, but that was from the rooftop of an apartment building in the Bronx. Never before had he seen the Milky Way like this. Lit up like a Christmas tree […]

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Castles in the Air

As a child, Foster Huntington dreamed of living in a treehouse. Now, at the ripe old age of 27, he divides his time between two adjoining treehouses – one to live in, the other to work in – both perched precariously on a grassy hilltop overlooking the vast wilderness of the Columbia River Gorge in […]

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Weeds

Ask anyone who owns a garden and they will tell you that weeds are a constant battle – and an absolute nuisance. These pesky, seemingly indestructible super plants will take over any patch of dirt if you let them. You can pull them out or whack them down, but like credit card bills and dental […]

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The Art of Persuasion

Most of the work I do with executive leaders and teams could be summed up in a single word: communication. How to get it right, and what to do when things occasionally go wrong. Whether you are selling a product, pitching an investor or negotiating a peace agreement in the Middle East – the goal […]

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