My Insurance Exam

Everything I’m reporting below is true, with no embellishment. I was asked to take a physical exam to renew my major life insurance coverage. I showed up at a place in Warwick, RI. A very nice woman was assigned to work with me. She had very long nails (How would she do the blood test?) and quite a bit of makeup. She spoke English and Spanish fluently. She told me there were a lot of questions, and proceeded to read …


I hope you’re all considering sending whatever donation you can for relief services in Houston, primarily for people, but also for animals. Unfortunately, we’re about to see the tragedy worsen as people learn how totally inadequate flood insurance is in the US, in terms of acquisition, claims approval, and amounts paid. It’s an inadequate program, poorly run, and nowhere on Congress’s radar.

The Ultimate Stupid

A TV station in Virginia removed a veteran sportscaster from covering a basketball game, Robert Lee, because they were afraid his name would “offend” some viewers. There is a movement to ban the movie Gone with the Wind, because of the racist attitudes —historically accurate, heinous attitudes—portrayed in the Academy Award-winning film (for which Hattie McDaniel won the first Oscar ever for an African-American actor). Where does all this stupidity end? I’ll tell you: With no child understanding history and therefore …

Careful, This is the Acme Company, Not America

It’s always seemed more than ironic to me that America has thrived on believing in and supporting free speech, even if obnoxious, because to shut it down is counter to everything that has made us strong, yet in business we often fire people for engaging in it. Are we saying that encouraging free speech is good for the country but bad for business? Perhaps free speech would have avoided the Wells Fargo mess and created more sensitivity at United.

On Winning

When we chose sides for games back in school—whether athletic or intellectual—we tried to get the best players on our side. When I advised clients on hiring, we tried to get the best candidates. Companies that promote and reward their best people succeed the most. We try to choose airlines that do the best job of on-time arrival, safeguarding our baggage, and comfortable seating. We look for the best deals when we buy something. When we ask for referrals, we …

Using Your Head

The proportion of deceased football players whose brains show serious degradation is alarming, something like 97%. I wouldn’t let my son play football today, nor would I allow him or my daughter  to “head” a soccer ball. the NFL is a multi-billion dollar operation. Let’s see what happens now….

Up, Up, and Away

Federer wins at 35. Venus Williams reaches the finals at 37. Tom Brady wins at 39. Why are people so astounded, newspaper headlines enlarged? We’re all living longer and performing at a higher level longer. Tony Bennet will sell out Madison Square Garden at 90. There is an ageism bias in our society, and just as gender bias removes half the talent in the equation, so does ageism.

Dignity and Respect

I was listening to Professor Jordan Peterson at the University of Toronto lecturing in his classroom about dignity vs. respect ( courtesy of Lorie Morrero.. His point is that we should treat people with dignity until and unless they prove unworthy of it. However, respect has to be earned. That reminds me of the entire political correctness movement, with its concern about “micro-aggressions” and that every minor, trivial grievance be heard and accommodated. I’m happy to treat people with dignity …

A Good Idea Until You Think About It

For many years I’ve been underscoring the fact that small businesses in the US (and Canada) are the primary generators of net, new jobs in the economy. Larger organizations tend to use automation and lean practices to reduce employment, and hire people as replacements—they tend not to create new jobs. Today I’ve learned that over the past decade, start-ups have specifically been the largest net, new job creators. Yet, in the US. that is exactly the group that will be hurt most …