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Everybody Shufflin'

Uncategorized Aug 23, 2021

I’ve met many people who’ve taken a new path in the past 18 months or so - some because they were laid off or furloughed by their employer, likely a restaurant, gym, or music venue -  and many more just “looking for something different”.  These aforementioned folks are remaking themselves and finding new areas of work - those not still on funemployment anyway - and the data suggests that even among those currently in stable jobs, many are actively entertaining a change.  There are millions of unfilled positions in the economy today, but for many of those roles the people are collectively saying “meh”.  Why work in the service industry or construction when I can freelance from home or Tik Tok or otherwise control my own time?!  

 

This circumstance has created challenging times for employers - especially for small employers - nobody wants the entry level or manual labor type jobs anymore!  Why, when you can...

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Summertime and the Living Ain't Easy

Uncategorized Jul 27, 2021

Sitting at my patio table in the morning is my normal routine this time of year.  I’m an early riser, and my Honey Bear would prefer to sleep in a little, so the backyard becomes my office for a couple of hours most mornings.  It’s pretty nice, I must say, the chickens are scratching and pecking, I’m shaded from the early morning sun by our maple tree trunk, and my goldfish pond fountain is bubbling away nearby.  Aside from the sound of traffic on Laporte, it’s as peaceful and quiet as can be - and before 7 am, traffic is pretty light.  

I’m an auditory learner - if I sit through a lecture and take notes - I’ve pretty much got it. What I’ve been hearing lately from some of you, and from my team, is that some of my musings - the May blog most recently - On Liberty, Anti-Vaxxers, and the Free Rider Problem - were viewed as insensitive and irresponsible by some of our readers, and therefore divisive and...

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View from the Middle - Leadership at Every Level

Uncategorized Jun 30, 2021

June is a wonderful month that I look forward to every year.  For all of us, it marks the halfway point of the year, the end of Q2, the summer solstice!  The solstice is the longest day of the year for those of us here in the Northern hemisphere, and thus the shortest night.  For our family, June also means the birthdays of my beautiful wife, her twin sister, my sister, my brother’s wife (all born within a two years and two-days span), AND the beginning of camping season.  New this year is the Federal holiday for Juneteenth, which caught a lot of companies and holiday card manufacturers flatfooted, but recognizes and affirms the important truth that all men (and women) are created equal.  

 

That’s what I’m going to write about today, is this notion that we are indeed created equal, though we might occupy different roles and positions along the journey.  Oftentimes, when we talk about leadership, we’re talking about...

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On Liberty, Anti-Vaxxers, and the Free Rider Problem

I went to Greeley the other day, and attended a club meeting of the Centennial Rotary Club in a side room at the Gourmet Grub Scratch Kitchen.  It was a new “new normal” for me, with about 8-10 members choosing to Zoom into the meeting, and perhaps a few over 20 club members in attendance - and often seated side-by-side one another!, and all without masks!   

I enjoyed connecting with my fellow Rotarians, had a wonderful lunch of beef tips, gouda mashed potatoes with demi glaze, and learned all about onions from the CEO of the National Onion Association - HQ’d nearby in Eaton!  We learned about transportation subsidies that allow Denmark to ship onions to Japan for less than American farmers can from California, onion-dumping across the US-Mexico border by the cartels to launder drug money, California’s potentially disastrous ban on a widely-used fungicide, AND we got a recipe book focused on the great and powerful onion!  Also,...

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On Seasons and Death and Taxes

business death seasons taxes Apr 27, 2021

As is our general custom round these parts - or at least in my circles, I’m asked often how things are going.  “It’s been a season” has been my response to those I feel most comfortable with just lately.  And it has been.  We all have got the Covid crisis (and response) still going on (vaccines open now if you want one!), my wife (and I and many others who loved her) lost her mom in a tragic accident this fall, and one of my best friends (who moved his family to NoCo last fall when his job in Seattle went remote this spring) died of a sudden heart attack in February.  I’ve been angry and depressed, and my psoriasis went from an annoyance on my elbows to painful cracked lips!  And now, I must announce that this is the first LoCo Perspective newsletter that won’t have been largely put together by Rory Schaar in almost two years.  

 

It has been a season, and yet I have joy, and still I have...

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The Maker's Marks

Uncategorized Mar 30, 2021

I shared a photo of my new messenger bag in the lead-in, designed and crafted from local materials by my friends Andrew and Charlotte Isbell.  Both are wonderful and fascinating polymaths, Charlotte a high-level brand strategist, business consultant and executive coach - and amazing painter and designer - and Andrew a former senior explosives ordnance officer in the military, now occupational safety specialist, musician, and fine leather craftsman.  I was honored to learn that my bag was the first to feature their maker’s mark - their leather stamp had just come in, and they decided to add it to the bag, even though it wasn’t in Charlotte’s original sketches.  

 

This bag immediately became one of my most-treasured items!  Mine was a prototype of sorts, and they gave me a screaming deal on it - and it’s so beautiful and functional and NOBODY has one like it.  I am truly honored to have been one of the earliest clients for...

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Love in the Workplace!

culture leadership Feb 23, 2021

In last month’s musings on How Leaders Grow, I posited that leaders grow most as they Listen, Learn, and Love.  For some, the mixing of the term love into a “work environment” was likely a bit awkward - inspiring thoughts of backroom romances or worse.  But it’s no stretch to say that the best business leaders I know love their people the most, and in ways that inspire no talk of scandal.  From my perspective, love is more made of action than it is of emotion, and what makes it all the more confusing is that people give and receive love in so many different ways.  And, love is such a pliable term - I love my wife, mom, team, motorcycle, creative cooking, and ice cream - all in wildly different ways!   

 

Read on for an expansion of Curt’s thoughts on love in the workplace, and how leaders need to:

  1. Show love and appreciation for team members in a way that is received well by those individuals
  2. Remember that love is...
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How Do Leaders Grow?

growth leader leadership Jan 25, 2021

 

Fresh start. Clean slate.  New year, new you.  This year is gonna be different.

Well, yeah, kinda - but probably only a little bit.  For most of us, each year doesn’t represent an opportunity to transform, or to start from scratch - instead it’s a chance to build upon a foundation that was already there.  Whether you’re talking about building a business, pursuing a professional career path, or nurturing a family - each day and each week/month/year represents an opportunity to grow - and change a little bit.  

 

There’s a marketing agency here in Fort Collins - Old Town Media - that has a slogan that I find clever - 1% better every day!  I had a fun conversation with one of their leaders, that it needs to be more like 0.1% better every day because 1% was simply unsustainable.  With the power of compounding, that would be like 400% better every year, and what organization or person can sustain that magnitude...

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Looking Ahead through the Rear Window

Uncategorized Dec 28, 2020

As I begin this post, Team LoCo has recently completed our first-ever offsite retreat - LoCo Advance we branded it, as we do not retreat!  But we did get away for a couple of half-days of facilitated strategic planning with the amazing Drew Yancey, to the foothills near Horsetooth Reservoir, for a masked and socially-distanced time together.  We were in-person though, which gave me some joy, and frankly, yours truly could have it no other way - I am zoomed out and I needed some time in the same room as my team.  

 

To be real, it’s been a long and not-joyful season for me, starting with the lockdown response to the pandemic threat, growing through the racial tensions of the summer and the divisive partisan discourse of the election (and post-election!) - and continuing through the loss of a beloved family member in late October.  As with many of us, this year has been tough.  Harmony and peace and love are what feed me, not this junk food we...

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Gratitude is an Attitude - Make it an Action!

Uncategorized Nov 30, 2020

There aren’t that many new things in the world and often the “new things” are a revisit from the old things.  Gratitude seems to be one of those new things that people have been talking more about the last few years.  Leading up to this writing, I skimmed some articles and watched a few TedX videos and although it’s an old notion, most of the stuff I found was released between 2017 and today.  Have gratitude, and find your why, those are the biggies - and get your hustle on!  

 

Gratitude is the antidote for fear and anger they say, or the key to releasing anxiety or to moving through depression.  Want to be happy, they say - be grateful! - which is good because it sounds so much easier to be grateful than it does to be happy.  

 

But it’s a super-old concept of course - we’re approaching Thanksgiving as I write this piece, so...duh.  And Thanksgiving Day sounds so much better than Happiness...

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