F-Bombs over Charlotte     

“I can’t believe you’re changing planes in Charlotte.”fullsizeoutput_e1a

That was the last thing my wife said to me as I packed my car to head for the airport. She had spent a very frustrating evening in said airport while the rest of the family celebrated our son’s graduation from college. But that was 20 years ago.

As it turns out, some things don’t change.

A mid-afternoon hailstorm had closed Charlotte’s airport for two hours. So, my 10 p.m. flight to Fort Lauderdale was delayed two hours – just like everyone else’s. My fellow passengers and I settled in for an uncomfortable wait, trusting that the chaos would dissolve into some semblance of order.

If only…

We sat glumly as the posted departure time deteriorated from 12:10 a.m. to 12:20 a.m. to 12:45 a.m. to 1:15 a.m. and so on. If you’ve been through this (and who hasn’t?), you know what’s most frustrating is that the airline staff rarely tells you what’s going on.

Around 1 a.m., an overhead announcement let us know that a limited supply of cots was Continue reading “F-Bombs over Charlotte     “

How companies can become good neighbors

communitarian-society-7-638I long for the days when executives said their people were their most important assets and really meant it. When I worked for a global corporation in the 1970’s, I was somehow convinced that was so.

By the late 1980’s, I felt a tremor beneath my feet. Shifts in technology, international trade relationships and the U.S. tax code changed the game. Automation meant companies could produce more with fewer people. Continue reading “How companies can become good neighbors”

It’s time for cities to lead from the bottom up

Adapted from my op-ed in the Rochester Business Journal dated February 3, 2017

I once asked the rhetorical question “Can the Nation’s Mayors Save the Federal Government from Itself?” The federal government was not designed to function well, I postulated. It was designed so that power would not be concentrated in one person whose dictatorial whims might lead the nation astray.

The change in our national political environment is driving new thinking at state capitols and in our cities. I recently heard Los Angeles Mayor Gil Garcetti refer to the constitutional right of states and cities to exercise the power not granted to the federal government. He was talking about the Tenth Amendment to the US Constitution:

Continue reading “It’s time for cities to lead from the bottom up”

Who can you trust? (Or, is it whom?)

shutterstock_250176199Last week, my friend Jack Altschuler asked me to weigh in on an interesting topic. As an entrepreneur, Jack attended a class on the Theory of Constraints (TOC). He learned the lessons well, applying the theory to his own business with great results. He now asks how TOC applies to our nation and what I think are the “undesirable effects of what is going on right now – what needs fixing.” I should mention that Jack, now retired from his business, writes a political blog expressing some far-left ideas about our national politics. Recognizing that my politics are “somewhat to the right” of him, he seeks to broaden his perspective.

Continue reading “Who can you trust? (Or, is it whom?)”

When to disagree with the boss


If your boss is a narcissistic tyrant, read no further. Go directly to Monster.com and find a new job. Do not pass Go; do not collect $200.

The rest of you should read on.

Businesses that are well conceived develop and can articulate their mission and strategies. In my experience, missions rarely Continue reading “When to disagree with the boss”

Of Evil CEO’s and the TV Interview

I’ve been working to promote The Reluctant CEO. A half dozen book signings, all local, complemented by social media advertising have had the desired effect. Still, there’s a way to go to achieve the sales goal.

Finally, a breakthrough!

My publicist arranged an interview on a local morning show, Good Day Rochester. It was set for Wednesday, December 21.

fox-interview-picThen came the preparation. He sent a few probable questions my way. I sent my draft responses. He made suggestions and so on.

We correctly anticipated most of the questions. Here’s one:

Continue reading “Of Evil CEO’s and the TV Interview”

Do you hate writing that end of year holiday letter?


You know the one I mean: a one-page summary of the year you’ve had. No one wants to talk about bad news. But, no one wants to be dishonest. Yet, there’s always someone who writes about their fabulous vacation, their terrific career and their youngest making the honor roll while the eldest is off to Harvard.

Who wants to compete with that?

Continue reading “Do you hate writing that end of year holiday letter?”

Who can you trust?


My book is available on Amazon.com, iBooks or Barnes & Noble

Trust has taken a beating in my lifetime. From the Watergate affair to the recent financial crisis, from Enron to Lehman Brothers, we have been failed by government and business institutions and lost our faith in them.

In light of these multiple failures, how do we function as a society?

In my book, the protagonist – CEO of a global corporation – develops a corporate culture based on trust. Espousing a communitarian ideal, he advocates that each of his employees from senior management down the front lines, think of how their actions affect the communities in which they live – their neighbors, their employees and their families.

Here’s how he puts it to the business press:

“Would you want your children to drink water that’s been polluted by the chemical plant you manage? Would you like members of your family to be treated shabbily by their employers? How can a corporate leader expect a company to thrive if the people in his or her community aren’t thriving?”

Culture starts at the top. A CEO must communicate his or her expectations clearly and Continue reading “Who can you trust?”

Deciphering the triggers: It turns out there’s a “code”

4m4jdmqq_400x400My last post (Your opportunity to be treated as badly as the men) struck a chord with more than a few women. The responses were mostly positive. The last line quoting John Wayne’s advice to Barbara Walters – “Don’t let the bastards get you down” – got this response from a former military officer and graduate of the Naval Postgraduate School:

Excellent take! In 21 years of active duty, my sole focus was on accomplishing the unit’s mission. Gender was the last thing on my mind at any given time. I never had any of these issues that the media seems so fond of focusing on.

An old friend simply said, “Go, John!” adding a few thumbs up emojis for emphasis.

It wasn’t all good news, however. One respondent agreed that my “point about women Continue reading “Deciphering the triggers: It turns out there’s a “code””

Your opportunity to be treated as badly as the men

8197322I attended a lunch to honor our nation’s veterans last week. A beautiful lady – a generation or so past her prime but still beautiful – pinned a red carnation on my lapel and thanked me for my service. It was a nice gesture.

The luncheon featured a panel discussion. Three impressive, successful female veterans sat behind a long table and told us of their experiences in the military. Had I been the moderator, I might have kicked off the discussion by asking how their military experience prepared them to succeed in civilian life. Continue reading “Your opportunity to be treated as badly as the men”