Monthly Archives: October 2013


If you are a fan of baseball, you’ve likely heard about the bizarre call that ended Game 3 of the World Series. Just when it looked like the Red Sox had clearly tagged a Cardinals’ base runner out at home plate, the umpire called him safe. You can watch the play here:

He was safe based on an interference call. Most people watching the game didn’t even know that rule existed in baseball. Almost no one would imagine that such a call could be the deciding factor in a World Series game. But there is a leadership lesson here:

Leaders do the right thing, even when it is hard.

There’s no question that the umpire made the right call. There’s no question that he knew he would be criticized forever for it. But he made it, and he made it without hesitation.

Doing the right thing is not always easy. Most of the time, it is the hardest thing to do. But it is what good leaders do, no matter what. And especially when the stakes are high.

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Posted by on October 28, 2013 in Uncategorized


Where is Your Volume Control?

Around our house, we’ve re-entered the baby phase. It has been a while since we were last in this phase, and I’d forgotten how many “things” come with having little ones around. Our living room has been taken over by toys and other little kid stuff.

One particular toy we have caught my attention the other day. It is one of these toys designed to make your baby smarter, so it has lots of blinking lights and sounds and music. The one thing that caught my attention the other morning though, was the volume control.

On this toy, there is a little button that is just for parents. It is not big and easy to manipulate, like all the other buttons. It is small and discreet, so kids might hardly notice it. But it is a volume control.

This feature of the toy is great, because it gives me, the stressed out parent, control over the obnoxious toy. The manufacturers know that their product could be annoying, and they’ve done something about it. By adding this small feature, they’ve given me and other parents a sense of control. We can make the product better on our own. They have given us enough power to be able to improve our experience with their product.

It’s brilliant, really. Because now I find myself looking at the other noise making toys in our house and wishing they had a volume control. If I buy new, noisy toys in the future, guess what I’ll be looking to see if they have? Volume controls.

As a marketing tool, it is counter-intuitive. They’ve acknowledged a weak spot in their product (“this product will slowly drive you crazy with all the noise and music”), and they’ve used that weak spot to give me a positive experience about their product, and make me want more of it. They’re honest about their weakness, and it has given me more respect for them and their work.

So what is your volume control? 

What is the area in your own leadership that you need to acknowledge as a potential problem? 

How can you turn that into a positive?


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Posted by on October 14, 2013 in Uncategorized