Thursday, July 30

Connecting to the History All Around Us

Just as I write about connecting to others, to a purpose, and to our environment, I try to live those values.  This past weekend, I stumbled into a wonderful opportunity to learn about and connect with a fascinating piece of the history of the town of Galesville, MD, where I have my cottage and boat.  I attended the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Galesville Hot Sox, our local black ball team.  Many of its players attended and told their personal stories.  The event was held in the newly dedicated Galesville Community Center, which was a Rosenwald School (  I also learned that our local school was the first school in Maryland to be integrated after the Civil Rights Act.  Maryland's governor selected it because he wanted to begin with a success story and the Galesville community was comprised of 50% blue collar whites and 50% blue collar blacks who worked in the seafood canning industry.

The Galesville Hot Sox will be playing an exhibition game on August 8th on the field restored by the Smithsonian  As a bonus, there is a women’s team, which also is going to play a game.  I love this little town and everything I learn about its history connects me to it more deeply.

What do you know about the history of the place where you live or work?  Do you know if it was inhabited by Indians, and if so, what tribes?  What did the settlers do for a living and why did they settle there?  This summer, dig a little into the history that lives around you.  Discover the feeling of really connecting to a place.  Start local and you may discover how you can connect to the broader communities that share our planet.

Wednesday, July 22

Music to My Ears

This past week, I had the new and exciting experience of crewing in a sailboat race.  It was so packed with organizational and team lessons that I finally understood why so many executive teams select a sailing experience to build leadership and team skills.  

Our experience after the race concluded was so powerful that I have to single it out to share.  It is something I have encouraged clients to do for years, yet I often wonder how many leadership teams take the time to do this.  Once the race was behind us and we were safely sitting on the boat in our slip, the captain asked his crew, “What did we learn today that will help us do better in the future?”.  Without any finger-pointing or excuses, the crew discussed what went well, what could have been improved, and how they could apply what they learned in future situations with varying conditions. 

In organizations, your position at the “finish line” is less clear unless you set clear measures of success for your goals. This makes it easier to adjust either the goal or the measure of success.  Even if one or both need adjustment going forward, every team can improve its performance by taking the time that our captain did to ask and then really listen to the crew’s answer to his question about what lessons were learned and how these can be used to boost performance going forward.  Thanks to Captain Chuck, my friend Tom Rodgers who got me onboard, and the other crew members who allowed me to participate and learn so much about sailing and performance.

Tuesday, July 7

"Walk in Their Shoes"

When I was a young girl, my dad always said you have to see the world through your customer’s eyes.  From there, I continue to practice trying to see the world through the eyes of others.  This morning, I read my dog’s mind as he thought, “If I didn’t work so hard, my person would lose so many tennis balls every day.”