Learn How to Learn

woman on couch with Spanish grammar book on her face

I’ve always wanted to speak Spanish, so this year I finally took the plunge and started learning it. At first I was using an online application (Duolingo), and then I started doing two one-hour sessions per week with a teacher. My wife Heidi is also learning the language, but she finds it much easier than I do and is way … Read More

A New Manager’s First Task

My wife and I have a handful of restaurants that we regularly enjoy, but there’s one in particular that we go to at least once a month. Over the years, we’ve gotten to know one of the servers very well and consider her a friend – we even socialize with her outside of the restaurant. We have always really liked … Read More

Responsive Leadership – Be Available

Recently a friend of mine was complaining about her boss’s habit of taking several days, or sometimes a week, to respond to email queries or meeting requests. Like many employees, my friend appreciates her independence and values autonomy, but she sometimes runs into an issue that requires her boss’s input. However, their unresponsiveness makes her feel like her work isn’t … Read More

Micromanaging Is Underrated

After reading former Disneyland CEO Robert Iger’s book, The Ride of a Lifetime, I was struck by a phrase he references: “Micromanaging is underrated.” It was often used by his predecessor, Michael Eisner, and Iger describes how Michael had the ability to see things others didn’t. And when he noticed these things, he demanded they be paid attention to. It … Read More

What’s Your Muse?

In the late summer and early fall, I found myself travelling to multiple states and provinces within the same month. It was the first time I’d had this type of travel schedule since the pandemic started. In a short period, my senses were being hit with more new sights, sounds, tastes, and experiences than I had become accustomed to. As … Read More

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

I was having a conversation with a friend the other week and she expressed frustration that her boss has high standards for her and the other employees, but he repeatedly doesn’t hold himself to the same expectations. He gets upset if someone is late, even if it’s for an emergency, and yet he is regularly late himself; he expects a … Read More

Shift Judgement to Curiosity

The following excerpt comes from A Little Book About Trauma-Informed Workplaces, which I am a co-author of. The chapter, Shift Attitudes, explores the importance of moving from judgement to curiosity when interacting with others. While trauma awareness is valuable at a knowledge level, an attitude shift is necessary in order to change how we engage with people. By shifting attitudes, … Read More

Take Time for an Intern

My son is a culinary student, and as part of the program this summer, he has an internship at the White Barn Inn Restaurant in Kennebunkport, Maine. He’s loving the experience, learning a lot, and having a great time. In early spring when he began exploring places to do his internship, I knew that finding the right placement would make … Read More

The Importance of Organizational Values

Here is a scenario I have seen played out multiple times: Someone from leadership, human resources, or the board has decided it’s time to create or update your organization’s value statements. As a way to get people excited about talking about values, a date is set for meeting off-site at some high-end retreat centre – golfing and spa fees are … Read More

The Culture Question: Book and Survey

I’m excited to share that I, along with three members of ACHIEVE’s leadership team – Eric Stutzman, Wendy Loewen, and Michael Labun – am finalizing ACHIEVE Publishing’s most recent book titled, The Culture Question: How to Create a Workplace Where People Like to Work. The formal release date of the book will be in January of 2019. However, the book … Read More