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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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Trick or Treat or Sacrifice?

Uncategorized Oct 26, 2020

Halloween, different this year, I reckon. But I’m sure the traditional costuming and seeking of treats will continue. Halloween has a very interesting (and some would say, disturbing) provenance.  Basically a merging of Celtic Pagen and Roman harvest festival traditions, this holiday is celebrated around the Western world and beyond, and as Americans we spend the second-most annually on this holiday, second only to Christmas.  As an armchair economist and philosopher, it holds a special fascination for me I have to admit.  In our time, costumed children wander the streets gathering candy from strangers - the treats - who provide them willingly lest they face the threat of tricks.  

 

To call a duck a duck, it’s forced handouts under threat of harm, amiright?  And this teaches our children what?  

 

I was musing on this notion the other day, as I considered my PPP loan forgiveness application and worked on contingency...

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Falling Into Recovery

Uncategorized Sep 28, 2020

 The typical human walk, scientists say, is really a controlled fall.  We twist our hips a bit and fall forward, but strategically place our foot in just the right spot to propel us along to the next controlled fall.  If we didn’t do it this way, we’d have to shuffle, and we’d all wear out our shoes much faster and go along our way more slowly.  

 

I think there are some parallels to be drawn with an economy from this perspective.  In regular times, it’s just cruising along in a controlled fall - jobs are created, jobs are destroyed - sometimes by market forces, sometimes by regulatory changes, but it keeps moving forward, one step in front of the other.  Children are born, they get big enough to do chores and then menial jobs, often fall in love and have new babies and get better jobs, and then they get old and consume lots of medical services and then they die, and the cycle of life and commerce rolls along. ...

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Good Debt Pays for Itself, Bad Debt is a Drag…

Uncategorized Aug 24, 2020

Top 3 Takeaways: 

  1. How to identify good debt and bad debt 
  2. To consider the history of government debt & why it matters
  3. The multiple effects of bad spending decisions

 

I thought we’d muse today on how presidential leadership and economic policy impact government budgets and deficits and ultimately, how our perspective on debt affects us as individuals, businesses, and the nation.

 

Donald Trump has been a remarkable President, in many ways, but I’ll limit myself to one area of focus today.  With a Presidency predicted by the Simpsons 16 years before Trump first took office, our national debt has grown at a ferocious pace, up to a new record for the good old US of A at 136% of GDP.  Of course, we just added a fresh $3T or so, to a whopping $26.5T.  (The T stands for Trillion, if you’ve been living under a rock).    

https://www.debtconsolidation.com/us-debt-presidents/

 

Prior to this point, Trump was...

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