Tag Archives: loyalty

Leading by Teaching

What does a great pastrami on rye have to do with leadership? Read below.

I’d like to share with you a story about my deli guy.  Why a story about a “deli guy” in an HR/leadership blog? Because, in addition to making great sandwiches (“I’ll take a ‘Gerty’— corned beef and pastrami on rye with Russian dressing and a side of coleslaw— thanks!”), he’s also one of the most natural teachers that I’ve ever observed, and therein lies the story.

Dad’s Deli (and Training Academy)

Doug, a longtime restauranteur and caterer, co-manages Dad’s Deli with his wife, Debbie.  Located in a nondescript building in a suburban setting, Dad’s has developed a loyal following.  Beyond the quality of the sandwiches, this is due in no small part to the friendly, everyone-knows-your-name atmosphere (think “Cheers” in a deli) that starts with Doug’s greeting as you enter the door.  A natural networker, Doug goes out of his way— even in the busiest rush periods— Continue reading

Memorial Day Tribute to Servant Leaders


With summer quickly approaching, we’ve arrived at Memorial Day weekend in the US — a time when we pause to pay tribute to those who have given their fullest measure of devotion to preserving, protecting, and defending our way of life.  In the almost full-year since this blog began, we’ve written on a number of occasions about different aspects of leaderships.  In honor of Memorial Day, I wanted to offer an audio-visual tribute (click below) to those who lead through their service in our armed forces — “servant leaders,” truly.

Thank you, with appreciation beyond measure.

An Unexpected Lesson (or two) from “Lombardi”

The other day, I had the good fortune to take in the Broadway play, Lombardi, about the legendary Green Bay Packers coach, Vince Lombardi.

The legendary coach, Vince Lombardi

Told with humor and emotion, the show was terrific, the cast was uniformly outstanding, and the production (as theatre in the round), was intimate and engaging.  (Note: It is only running through March — so if you’re a fan of the NFL, or of great leaders, definitely make plans to see the show, if you’re anywhere near New York).

Growing up as a sports fan, I had read a number of books about Lombardi and the great Packer teams of the 1960′s.  My brother, who accompanied me, played football for four years in high school — so we were both looking forward to the show and even got in a football-and-red-meat frame of mind with a steak dinner at Ben Benson’s Steakhouse in the Theatre District before the show. Continue reading

In Thanksgiving of Mentors

The First Thanksgiving, painted by Jean Leon G...

Image via Wikipedia

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’ve been reflecting on people from my past professional lives for whom I am deeply grateful, mentors all.  As is the nature of relationships, some I had the good fortune of knowing and working with for many years, while others I knew closely for only a short time.  Whether our time together was long or short, each has had a lasting impact on me personally and professionally.

What Is A Mentor — and Where Do They Come From

The dictionary defines “mentor” as: Continue reading

My Boss Is A Mensch: A Rare Gift, Indeed

Bosses From Hell

I fully sympathize with those who are forced to work for”bosses from hell.”  In my HR role, I do my best to help organizations weed out these bad-actors as quickly as possible (for any number of legal reasons, to say nothing of the damage these folks wreck on the people who are subjected to them).  In fact, this was one of the primary reasons that I got into HR in the first place — seeing the impact that bosses with unrestrained egos and boorish temperments had on family members and friends subjected to their whims.

This Isn’t About That

This isn’t about any of that, though, as I’ve always been fortunate to work for good people   Continue reading

When Does “Loyalty” Turn Into “Insanity” (or “Hubris”)?

“They’re Not Really Re-hiring Him, Are They?!?!”

Welcome Back??

I was driving into work the other morning, listening to my favorite sports talk show when one of the hosts said something about “Isiah Thomas returning to the Knicks.”  “Nahhhh,” I thought — “that couldn’t possibly be right.”  But, amazingly, it was true.  This set me to pondering the question of “loyalty” (or perhaps, “blind loyalty”).  Where does it stop being a virtue and become something else — something that, when taken to the extreme, can end up “doing no one any favors,” as the expression goes?  And, taken far enough, can it really be a sign of hubris more so that a quality best exemplified by “man’s best friend”?

Continue reading