Gentler negotiations

May 1, 2021

I watched an online presentation recently about how to keep your personal feelings from intruding on professional situations. I followed it with a discussion about how to deal with difficult people. I was trying to keep myself calm during thorny contract negotiations with a publisher over a book I wrote. My desire to be published …

Obstacles to success

March 1, 2021

In a former life I managed a large team of writers and editors. My job, as I saw it, was to remove obstacles that prevented the team from being successful. These obstacles were the same for every person on the team: a lack of focus, perfectionism, poor time management, difficulty with conflict and a lack …

Fundamental Change

January 1, 2021

A recent Inc.com article described the months since COVID-19 hit as, “15 years of behavior change in 30 days.” Indeed, the amount of change and adaptation our business and personal lives have undergone would have been unimaginable less than a year ago. The changes have been a mixed bag; some positive (pivoting to PPE, helping …

Leaning into uncertainty

September 1, 2020

Business author Stephen Covey said, “If there’s one thing that’s certain in business, it’s uncertainty.” That’s true in every facet of our lives right now, thanks to the coronavirus and economic and social turmoil. Some part of us may hope that things will eventually calm down and get back to “normal.” But it seems to …

Light on your feet

July 1, 2020

Agility is defined as the ability to change your body’s position efficiently. It requires a combination of balance, coordination, speed, reflexes, strength and endurance. The same is true for your business. Long-term business survival means responding rapidly to changes without losing momentum or vision. Business agility requires adaptability, flexibility and balance. If you’re busy providing …

Keep calm and do your best work

May 1, 2020

I am writing this in mid-April amid the swirl of anxiety over health concerns and financial worries. It might seem impossible to do your best work under these circumstances, but keeping your focus on work—no matter what it is—can help you find stillness during the daily rush of doubts and distractions. Your work might include …

Seeing success

March 1, 2020

How do you define business success? While there is no single definition, most people consider business success to be a combination of factors, some more obvious than others. Financial rewards are typically part of the mix; a profitable business is an important motivator for hard work, risk taking and persevering through failure. For many, the …

Time really is money

February 6, 2020

Track time for better bidding By Sigrid Tornquist Just as the first step in money management is to understand your spending habits, the first step in shop efficiency is to know how your workers are spending their time. The formula to figure out how much chargeable time versus non-chargeable time your shop spends is simple: …

Realistic Resolutions

January 1, 2020

The tradition of making New Year’s resolutions is thousands of years old—possibly stretching back to the ancient Babylonians. The word resolution means being purposeful; intentionally deciding to do or not do something and then following through.  Resolving to do more of what works and less of what doesn’t may sound obvious, but it requires an …

Embrace change

September 1, 2019

We all know that change is inevitable. This knowledge is a relief when things are going poorly and worrisome when things are going well. The transition to Fall brings changes to the weather and perhaps a gradual slowing to the frenetic pace of marine work. It’s a good time to take stock and commit to …