Powering the Break Through – “A” Team Effort

In my last column, I asked: “Are They Better Than Nothing?” — meaning employees in our companies who may be doing more harm than good.  In this column, let’s get more positive and look at how to build your “A” Team. It’s clear we accomplish more together as a team, than as individuals.   So as…

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Better Than Nothing

The 2018 Jobs Reports have been great and overall that’s wonderful news for our economy.  Unemployment is at a 50+ year low!  Of course, for business owners, this is a good news/bad news story.  The good news is there are many employed people available to buy our goods and services.  The bad news is finding…

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Dog Training and leading people

Mark Twain once said, “The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.” For hundreds of years, people have compared their fellow human beings to man’s best friend. We just adopted a terrific Miniature Australian Labradoodle named “Harken” from the Labradoodle Corral in Hartford, Wisconsin. http://www.thelabradoodlecorral.com As the Corral’s owner, Jeff Nienhaus,…

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A world-class corporate culture

I was honored and fortunate to participate in Harken Inc.’s 50th anniversary celebration – first in Pewaukee, and then on to Italy. Harken enthusiasts traveled from virtually every continent, at their own expense, to help the company mark this golden anniversary with events both fascinating and fantastic. Founders Olaf and Peter Harken are true rock…

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Riding the Edelweiss Way

Greetings from Bayeux, France! We are wrapping up a fantastic 12-day motorcycle tour across France with the Edelweiss Bike Travel motorcycle touring company. Starting with two bikes, Werner Wachter and his wife, Coral, founded Edelweiss in 1980 in Mieming, Austria. Today, they have a fleet of nearly 200 bikes, 55 tour guides, 23 office team…

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If You Need a Friend, Get a Dog

About 20 years ago, I was in the midst of a business crisis. This tended to be a monthly occurrence, but this time, the situation was truly dire. I visited with Mike Dunham, founder of Effective Management Systems – EMS, a developer of ERP and CRM systems, today known as WorkWise/OnContact. I described my problem…

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The Recombobulation Area

For most who travel through Milwaukee’s Mitchell International Airport, we see a sign as we exit airport security identifying “The Recombobulation Area.” We probably take that sign for granted – perhaps we shouldn’t. First a little history. Recombobulation is somewhat of a made-up word, wryly invented by Barry Bateman, Mitchell International’s now-retired airport manager. According…

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I Want to Meet Bob Parsons!

Every time I go to a new city, I MUST make a pilgrimage to the local motorcycle dealership.  Last week while in Scottsdale, Arizona, I needed a little service work on my BMW F800GS.  The closest dealership was “GO AZ Motorcycles & Scottsdale Harley-Davidson.”  I didn’t know anything about GO AZ, but I was blown…

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The “F” Word

Fair, Fear, and Failure… I was inspired to write this article by watching A Christmas Story (for the 50th time at least!). When poor Ralphie accidentally uttered the “F” word, he brought down the wrath of Mr. and Mrs. Parker, ultimately getting a bar of soap in his mouth for his indiscretion. But it got…

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Why are you in business?

My best motorcycle buddy is Tom Myers, a partner at the law firm Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren, headquartered in Milwaukee. I met him more than 25 years ago. In my first meeting with Tom as his client, he asked me a crucial question: “John, what is your goal for the business?” I didn’t really understand…

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