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Learn How to Lead to Win

My friend and flight school roommate, Mike Manazir, was a real-life Admiral and Top Gun grad. As many of you may know, that is what pilots are called who complete the Navy Fighter Weapons School, now known as the Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor program. I love seeing my fellow Navy alums share their knowledge of leadership…

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When Pivoting Changes Your Life for the Better

What does flying a plane, business school and a lot of bureaucratic red tape have to do with business? On the surface, not a lot. But my story about getting out of the Navy and into business school is really about two things: how making the wrong decisions impacts us and how failure can prepare…

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Lessons in Business from Test Pilot School

The release of Top Gun: Maverick has got me feeling a bit nostalgic about my own experience flying in the Navy. While my skills were better suited for hunting submarines and not flying the kinds of airplanes Maverick flew, my primary flight training would have been the same as his. I think this is a…

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How Flight Training Prepared Me for Life

As many of you know, I graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1981. It’s one thing to say I flew planes, and quite another to talk about what, exactly, that entailed. More importantly, how I got there (i.e., the training part) and what I learned from it that I carry with me every…

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The Risks and Rewards of Partnership

When Dave Phinney, the founder of bourbon company, Savage & Cooke, had dinner with basketball legend, Scottie Pippen, a thought began to distill: why not partner together on creating a new bourbon? As most of us know, partnerships are risky. What is generally supposed to be an equitable arrangement, often turns into one party doing…

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Humans Define Companies

I was intrigued by a pearl of wisdom shared by one of my LinkedIn connections, Paul Carpenter. He commented on one of my posts awhile back, and said, “companies don’t define humans. Humans define companies.” That stuck with me, and I’ve been reflecting on that for some time now. Like many of you, I like…

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Your EQ Is Higher Than Your IQ

Once upon a time, people with high emotional intelligence were looked at as a bit superfluous in the workplace. It was the organizational equivalent of giving someone a pat on the head, and saying “isn’t that nice?” then moving on to the next thing. In other words, people with high EQ were sent to the…

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Never Let a Crisis Go to Waste

Have you ever given a second thought to kelp? Other than when you’re on the beach, and you step over it, or see it tangled up in the waves? Kelp is kind of like the grass of the sea, and if you really think about it, we don’t give any thought to the grass beneath…

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Thankful for My Italian Connection

On my first morning in Palermo, the man at the front desk greeted me kindly. “Buongiorno, good morning,” he said, smiling. “Buongiorno,” I replied, “Can you direct me to a phonebook, please?”  As I scrolled through the names, I felt nervous. When I finally got to “C,” I slowed down and then I stopped. Above…

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Congrats, you got off the couch!

There’s a myth that has been going around for a long time that basically says that you’re not productive if you’re not producing. What this actually translates to mean is that if you’re not a super-human robot, churning out only things that will change the world, you’re basically like an old computer from the 80s…


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