Archive for the ‘A Better Way?’ Category

Despite MIT Dean’s Forced Resignation, Every Parent Should Still Read Marilee Jones’s Book on College Admissions

30 April 2007

less-stress-more-success-larger.jpgMIT Dean of Admissions Marilee Jones resigned after acknowledging fabricating her academic credentials when applying for an administrative assistant position in the seventies. Despite this, her advice on how the parents of high school juniors and seniors can reduce stress in the college admissions process is still spot on. Despite her resignation, every parent of a high school junior or senior should buy her book today.

I was lucky enough to receive Ms. Jones’s advice when she spoke to a standing-room-only crowd at our Boston area high school. For those not so lucky, you can obtain the advice in her book, Less Stress, More Success: A New Approach to Guiding Your Teen Through College Admissions and Beyond, coauthored with pediatrician Kenneth R. Ginsburg.

Parents – and their children – will benefit from Jones’s advice for two reasons: (more…)

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What I Miss About Ireland

12 March 2007

Taking the advice of Boston Globe columnist Eileen McNamara, I’m spending this day not joining my 15 year old son and his five friends on the slopes of Shawnee Peak in Maine. Rather, as Eileen suggests, I’m sitting by the fire in the lodge.

While my son, his friends, and I hang onto the last vestiges of winter at a cabin in Maine, my wife and my other sons are enjoying a springtime weekend in Dublin, where – as per a previous post – springtime arrives a full two months earlier than in Boston.

Though I’m thrilled to be back in the States after four+ years in Dublin, thinking of my wife Jules and the boys in Dublin reminds me of the many things I miss about Ireland, ranging from the significant to the trivial.

People: It was great to return to the States and our many friends. That said, we left so many friends behind in Dublin. I miss them dearly and I envy the reunions Jules is having this weekend. But I also miss the people in Ireland we did not get to know as friends, the proverbial ‘man in the street.’ Irish people really know how to enjoy life – maybe that’s because, according to The Economist, the Irish enjoy… (more…)

Monday Holidays: Ireland 6, USA 0

21 January 2007

I promised in my first post to write about areas where we Americans might consider doing things ‘the Irish way.’ Given The Economist has now reported that Ireland has the highest quality of life in the world – well ahead of our thirteenth place finish – I should get started!

One area where Ireland beats the USA hands down is on Monday holidays. Other than Memorial and Labor days, all other Monday American holidays (Martin Luther King, Presidents, Patriots, Columbus, Veterans, etc.) are not universally celebrated by government and business. Rather than making for a long weekend with family and friends, American Monday holidays have become juggling acts, where kids are out of school yet many parents are required to work. And for those Americans working in retail there never seems to be a holiday break.

In Ireland, Monday holiday weekends are true long weekends for virtually everyone in the country, including those working in retail. Six times a year Ireland has what is called a ‘Bank Holiday Weekend’ with Monday the holiday. These weekends are better than the ‘long holiday weekend’ in the States because… (more…)

Let’s Change Christmas to be a Monday Holiday

2 January 2007

Wasn’t it great having Christmas on a Monday this year? Paraphrasing the last line of Van Morison’s song Coney Island from the Avalon Sunset album, “Wouldn’t it be great if it was like this every year?”

For both business and social reasons, making Christmas a Monday holiday makes sense. This year, the week before Christmas was a ‘clean’ full week at work. Other than an afternoon for a ‘Christmas lunch’ on Friday, the only people who missed work were those sneaking out a day or two early on international vacations. (When I heard one was stuck at the snow-bound Denver airport and another at the fog-bound London airport, I could almost hear my long departed Irish grandmother saying… (more…)

My First Post; So I’m a “Change Agent”

22 December 2006

“So you’re a change agent!” With those words – change agent – the CEO of a European company recently summed up 30+ years of experience on my resume.

Previously, the most succinct description I’ve come up with is this:

I specialize in three areas, startups, rapid expansions, or turnarounds. I either start things, grow things that others have started, or fix things that others have broken.

The “things” being “started / expanded / turned around” include products (from all sorts of industries), sales organizations, factories, divisions, or entire companies. And of course it’s not me who accomplishes all this; rather it’s the incredible people I’ve been fortunate enough to lead.

My boss, Omar Khudari, has been bugging me to start a blog to share… (more…)