insecureties

The Emperor’s New Clothes: How Speaking Your Truth Develops “Culture”

“Culture does not make people. People make culture.” – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Maybe it’s because I’m now in my 50s that I can finally start admitting some of my insecurities. I like being able to say that I’m the luckiest cat in the world. And I believe it! I get to live my life on my terms. I’m also helping people and contributing in a way that leaves a positive

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cheesemaker

What’s Your Passion? Lessons from a Roman Cheesemaker (Part Two)

We arrived at 7:30 am, as planned, and things were just getting started. We found Deborah and she walked us down the hill to the big barn where the cows were still in their stalls.. Alex greeted us as he put away the portable milking device. We then turned our heads to see the small calf in the corner stall. This barn was a steel building with concrete floors –

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passion

What’s Your Passion? Lessons from a Roman Cheesemaker (Part One)

Deborah raced the tiny truck down the hair-pinned, rocky switchbacks with total confidence and passion. We’re on a mountainside that’s heavily treed and it’s raining. Deborah, our young, cute, tattooed driver is purposely hitting the bigger puddles so that we experience more of a water rollercoaster ride, each time loudly saying, “Scusami!” – Italian for “Excuse me” – and laughing. Reka and I are squeezed into the back, the Italian

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linking thinking

Linking Our Thinking: How Shifting Our Thoughts Connects Us with Others

On our hut-to-hut trip through the Dolomites of Italy, Reka and I befriended a couple from Scotland. Jasmine is a teacher and her husband, Ioan, is a professor. Ioan is a Welsh name for John and one that I struggled with pronouncing correctly. The primary reason I enjoyed his company so much wasn’t because we thought alike, but because we thought differently. We shared both the trail and a table

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history

History: Why Uncovering Your Company’s Past Helps You Stay on Course

Socialism versus capitalism…don’t like it? You’re a fascist. On our recent sabbatical to northern Italy, Reka and I began finding the crowds and heat unbearable, so we chose to head to Croatia and the Adriatic coast. Knowing little of the military history of Croatia, we decided to go to the museum located on a high point in the small seaport town of Pula. As we entered the old stone fortress,

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inclusion

Inclusion: How Engaging with the Unengaged Elevates Your Success

While resting at a beautiful hut perched high in the Dolomite Mountains, Reka and I shared a table with an older Italian couple that spoke no English and a German mom (about our age) with her 30-year-old deaf daughter. I know a handful (no pun intended) of American Sign Language from my sister, who teaches it, but I didn’t realize that sign language isn’t universal and actually differs based on

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Tribe Vibe

Your Tribe and Your Vibe: How Finding a Common Language Strengthens Both

As I mentioned in the last blog, our recent trip to northern Italy was incredible. Along the 90-mile hike, we noticed the diverse cross-section of people of all ages, sexes, nationalities, languages, and skill and fitness levels. Because we went nine days without seeing another American, we tended to congregate with other English-speaking individuals – those from England, Scotland, Wales, and Australia. Our ages, preparedness, or skill level didn’t seem

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Clarity in the Dolomites: Tribes, Discussions, and Disagreements

My wife, Reka, and I just completed a 90-mile hiking/climbing trip through the Dolomite Mountains in northern Italy. This trip through extremely jagged peaks was nothing short of amazing! Throughout the entire region, there’s a network of “refugios”, or huts, that offer a place for hikers to rest, eat, congregate, and rejuvenate. They were originally designed as simple shelters for hikers, climbers, and local herders to be protected from the

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The Tribulations of Travel: Whatever Happened to Customer Service? (Part 2)

I love to travel. Last week, I discussed how I’ve reframed my thinking when traveling. Because of a hip and knee replacement, I’m obligated to have much more patience with TSA and security personnel. I previously struggled with the notion of “forced compliance”, but I’ve reached a point where I don’t allow it to impact me. My goal is still the same: Because I love to travel, I need to

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The Tribulations of Travel: Whatever Happened to Customer Service? (Part 1)

My wife, Reka, and I are extremely fortunate to be living the lives we do. We’ve established travel as one of our top priorities and we wholeheartedly embrace it. So, for the sake of this blog series, I fully understand that experiencing frustrations as outlined below is very much a “first-world problem”.   On a recent backpacking trip to Italy, we experienced a challenging 36 hours of travel. Though the

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