“Whether you believe you can, or believe you can’t, you are right.”  Abraham Lincoln Leave it to someone from very humble beginnings, born and raised in the Midwest United States, who rose to the pinnacle of political power, to draw upon his life experience and come up with a quote that is the essence of common-sense.  Lincoln suffered many defeats before rising to the U.S. presidency, and it was his ability to honestly, objectively reflect on his actions and beliefs that guided him to lead a nation through the greatest moral crisis of its history.  To believe in something is to make a choice—a choice to believe.  Choosing to believe in yourself, is investing in your future.  Sure, some thingsContinue Reading


“No one ever listened their way out of a job.”  Calvin Coolidge Sage advice for those of us who might want to improve our listening skills.  In my work with leaders, I find that one of the most common complaints I hear from subordinates is that they just don’t listen to us.  The leader in question always has the “right” answer and will interrupt or speak over anyone trying to suggest another point of view.  That’s okay, some might say, and because I am the boss, I can do this whenever I want.  True, but…  The problem soon becomes on that the boss cannot talk their way out of.  Why?  Because people will stop trying to offer solutions and theContinue Reading


Of course, I am familiar with paper entry tickets that have probably got the number, your logo, and a few other details on them. But that is all that they can, right? And it is hard to sell them online. In one of my last summer articles, I was writing that art galleries might want to come up with something new and find new ways to engage with visitors. Now, it is time to get rid of dull paper entry tickets once and for all and cut through the noise. But people love to buy stuff online, and this is not going to change. They also prefer shopping online for your digital single-entry passes or digital season passes. They canContinue Reading

To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself. Soren Kierkegaard A significant force and thought leader in the 19th century, Danish philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard, was known for his focus on the importance of subjectivity, or the way we relate ourselves to objective truths.  There is a stark reality when you take this to an absurd length to prove its point, like say, refusing to believe that moderation has any importance in your life, until you begin to see the ravages of excess come on for an extended and very uncomfortable visit.  What this quote reminds me of is a study done many years ago among people who were in their seventh and eighthContinue Reading

“Nearly all men can handle adversity. If you really want to test his character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln Sober advice, indeed. When you stop to think about it, we wear, as a badge of courage, our overcoming adversity, which I think is proper and good. We are setting a good example for those around us. But, how often have we seen someone with what is equated with power today—wealth—treat others, mere mortals, with disdain? Someone once said that true test of character is how someone treats another person, when that person cannot do anything for them. Bringing this down to a day-to-day level we can all relate to, think about how you treat the waitstaff in a restaurant, orContinue Reading

“The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you never expect to sit.” Anonymous Being from the farm country and having lived around beautiful trees much of my life, makes the imagery of this quote so powerful to me. Put into the context of daily life, it really speaks to acts of kindness with expectations in return. I have often heard people say that they never felt so good as when they did something to help someone else, like volunteering at a homeless shelter, or serving a holiday dinner to people in need. These are the “trees” that grow to give us much more than the shade of a real tree. Good luck on your journey!Continue Reading

“Yesterday, I was clever and wanted to change the world. Today, I am wiser and want to change myself.” Rumi Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi was a 13th century Persian poet, philosopher, and lover of humanity. Over the centuries, his name has been shortened in the West to Rumi. When I read this quote, I am touched by its simple elegance and its ring of truth and clarity. To me, what Rumi is saying goes to the heart of what I call the “Physics of Life”, or cause and effect. It’s all about the example one sets in daily life that gives power to what one says and sets into motion a chain reaction. It’s the kind of thing you noticeContinue Reading

“You have to decide whether you live in a universe that is supportive of you or is hostile toward you. Once you have decided, the universe will behave accordingly.” Albert Einstein So much has been written in the last 50 years about mindset, but it’s nice to be reminded of its power from time to time. One way you could read this quote would be that it sounds awfully “new agey” and pollyannish. Then, there is the way that I think Einstein meant it to be read. There is something very significant that happens when you assume you are in a hostile environment. You become tense and your thinking becomes very narrow and focused on survival. However, when one feelsContinue Reading

“Whether you believe you can, or believe you can’t, you are right.” Abraham Lincoln There is nothing like a good dose of common sense with which to start your day and this wonderful quote fits the bill perfectly. Let me take it a bit further to see if I can help put it into context. It’s not saying that you can’t have some initial feelings of doubt when it comes to a challenge. Self-doubt can be healthy and keep you grounded in reality. However, the difference is that once you experience that feeling of self-doubt, it should automatically trigger the intellectual curiosity in you, as opposed to fear, and you begin to disaggregate the challenge and look at each aspectContinue Reading