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Gratitude for Challenging Times (and Challenging People)

gratitude Nov 30, 2021

Earlier this fall, I had an interaction with a business friend, during which I expressed that I was indeed doing fine, though struggling with anger over some of the measures taken in this pandemic crisis - and especially with what were then recently-announced measures.  I shared how my heart grieved for the nurses and medical workers who were being fired across the nation for refusing an experimental “vaccine” - despite in many or most cases having acquired what may be superior immunity through natural infection.  Perhaps worse, my intellect ached in considering why many millions of especially blue-collar workers would be mandated to get the jab or get fired at a time when labor shortages were already acute and supply chains fragile - as we headed into the holidays!  It seemed a sort of economic suicide pact forced upon the nation, and at least in my mind, my anger was righteous.  

 

My friend, much-experienced in meditation, and yoga, and...

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Face Your Demons - and Teach Them New Skills!

In my September blog - Too Much of Every Good Thing is Bad - I led off with a true story of a fun night out gone wrong - resulting in a brutal hangover, bruises and scrapes, and a broken iphone!  I got a lot of feedback to the post, including outreach from a couple of folks with more of a welfare-check approach than kudos for an entertaining and thoughtful blog.  

 

For those wondering the same, I’m good - and in fact, I’ve nearly completed the Sober October exercise I embarked on soon after.  No alcohol and no marijuana for a full month!  It’s probably been since I was 15 since I’ve gone that long a stretch without alcohol, and maybe since I was 20 on the MJ.  Admittedly the events of 2020/2021 initiated an uptick in the consumption of both, and it’s been a healthy reset for me I think - and not as hard as I worried it might be.  It’s interesting the sharp thoughts that result when I don’t dull them...

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Too Much of Every Good Thing is Bad

Uncategorized Sep 29, 2021

A few weeks ago my wife’s twin sister came to visit, and as they sometimes do, both sisters stayed with their brother and his family in Windsor.  So, I had a hall pass on a Friday night, and as I sometimes do, I chose to use my pass to go have some drinks and play some pool at the Trailhead Tavern.  

 

The Trailhead was my pub of choice in my early years in Fort Collins, and it’s now the closest watering hole to my house, so a few times a year I head down and knock the rust off my pool game.  On this particular Friday, I was on fire! - I nearly ran the table in my first game, and ended up playing some games with a few young men from my native North Dakota - one of which had just moved to town that week!  We had a whiskey shot (or two) to celebrate the new friendship, and I remember one of them bought me a double vodka Red Bull after a hard-fought win.  In a few short hours, I built a reputation on the tables, and one young lady asked me...

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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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