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The Summit

As a leader, will you go left or right?

“You can do it Griff!” My six year-old was tugging an inner tube twice his size up a steep hill for yet another adrenaline rush down the slopes. He looked back, smiled, and pumped his little legs to catch up with his brother a few steps ahead.

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When was the last time you checked under the hood?

“Are you the driver?” asked Ted, the chief mechanic at my Honda dealership. He approached me with a worried look on his face and a clipboard in hand. I saw a lot of scribbled notes and more boxes checked off than what I normally saw after an oil change. Uh-oh, I thought.

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The most surefire way to beat the competition

 “When did you really win this deal Justin?” My question caught my good friend off-guard. We were celebrating his most recent customer win over lunch in Seattle. In just a few weeks, Justin had flown to Atlanta, met with a bigtime CEO, and nabbed a new partnership from his main competitor. What a win!

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Delightful customer service is all about the magic moments.

My hat!” You could barely hear my anxious shout over the laughing and screaming on Disneyland’s classic ride, Splash Mountain. On a drop, my son had accidentally knocked my hat clear off my head.

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What's the value of values to a veteran?

One of the hardest transitions of my life was getting out of the Army, going to and graduating from college, and then trying to get a job in corporate America.

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What do you do with a poisonous newt?

One afternoon my son comes running in the house screaming, “Look what I found Dad!” 

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How to tackle that hairy problem

Getting a dog sucked. I don’t mean to say that I was forced to get a dog – or that I don’t love her now – but man, I really hated her when we first adopted her.

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If you’re not investing in minority suppliers, you’re putting your company at risk.

It’s no secret that the population of America is changing. But did you know just how dramatically it’s changing for businesses and consumers?

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If the team is laughing, you're doing something right.

How often does your team laugh at work? 

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Climber stories: How does a veteran show his strength?

“Climber Stories” is an ongoing series that highlights the stories of our amazing employees – “climbers” – at Populus Group.

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Your culture shouldn't come with training wheels.

Do you remember how much you wanted to learn to ride a bike as a kid?  When my oldest boy was three, we decided to buy him a “balance bike” -- a small bike with no pedals that he could push with his little legs. They’re big in Europe and started making a splash in the US a few years back. 

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Game of Groans? How to avoid worker misclassification drama.

Worker misclassification can come with a hefty price tag. In 2015, for example, the Department of Labor won judgements totaling over $700,000 against construction companies who made their workers form LLCs to avoid the federal and state wage and safety laws.

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Do You Have One Problem Or Two?

The CEO of a local startup reached out to me recently and asked for help talking through a big problem. We scheduled lunch and met at a cool place near the water in Seattle.

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How We (Mostly) Stopped Making Bad Hires

A bad hire can be more than just a bad experience. We, along with plenty of other employers, know that bad hires can drive down productivity, put a strain on morale, and hurt client relationships. A recent survey even states that 27% of U.S. employers reported a single bad hire cost their company more than $50,000. Why do bad hires happen, and how can you avoid them?

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How Can Little Jingles Impact Your Leadership Communication?

Finish this jingle: The best part of waking up…

…is Folgers in your cup. Why was that so easy to remember? How many times did you hear or see that commercial before you could recite it yourself?  Is it possible to make your internal communications as catchy as a jingle?

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