February 5, 2021

​ I spent the past week helping to install a 400 kw boiler. Sounds glamorous. I started by sweeping the floor, putting things away and cleaning up the shop area. We started at 8 with a 30 minute break at 10 and a 30 min lunch break at 1pm. We finished at 5:30. The old chimney stack had to come down. Metal had to be cut and welded. I got dirty and it was great. ​ Normally the supplier would have a team on site to install and commission everything. Normally. As it stands it is down to the

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November 26, 2020

As a new immigrant in 1950’s Toronto, he got a job installing water heaters.Most people are like my dad. He used to say that he wasn’t a fast carpenter, and he wasn’t a slow carpenter. He was a ‘half fast carpenter’. Say it quickly and you’ll get the joke. Funny thing is he wasn’t a carpenter at all. He trained as a diesel mechanic in Denmark just before WWII. But he could do many things. As a new immigrant in 1950’s Toronto, he got a job installing water heaters. Turned out that he had a knack for it and

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November 23, 2020

"Why does it have to be so one-sided?"So, the interviews are over. The selection has been made. Everyone is wearing rose coloured glasses. Grins all around. What a future. The company has an exceptional candidate, the candidate is super excited to get started. All that remains is the paperwork. Handoff to HR. Pull out the boilerplate. Just sign here and we can get started.Why does it have to be so one-sided? So adversarial. HR and Legal have covered every eventuality. All negative. We can do this, this and that anytime we like, and you have no recourse. We can,

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November 11, 2020

Actually, do try this at home or wherever you happen to be these days.With all the tips and tricks and how-tos and how-not-tos and top five this and whatnots about running your business, I was thinking about life in general and some of the ways we can help ourselves. Whenever someone mentions work-life balance I always interject with the point that they have it wrong from the beginning. It is life balance with work being below, on the next tier down. Work is a part of life and should not compete with life. For most of us it is

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November 8, 2020

"Eight percent of success is showing up." Woody Allen, 1987 He was talking about playwrights and how so many would-be superstars never actually finished writing the play. The world has just kicked this up to 100 percent. A presence is now everything for many people. An online digital presence. Zoom meetings, Teams meetings, everything is remote. If you don’t literally show up, it’s as if you don’t exist. No one is going to walk by your desk and think ‘Hey why don’t we get her to do that.’ You’ve got to make some digital noise in today’s world. Asking

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November 3, 2020

Heading down to my place in the islands for a couple of months. Things are ticking along nicely given the events of the day and all. The new kid seems to have all in hand. The new kid has been on the scene for the past ten years. So not exactly new. The moniker will stick long after I am gone. New can mean a great many things. New ideas, new approaches to old problems, new ways of doing things with new tools. The new kid. Sure was lucky that I took her on after my daughter when on

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November 2, 2020

The day had finally arrived. Thirty odd years building up the company and now it was time to move on. A lot of hard work. Good times and bad. Now the doors were closing. One thing for sure is that a lot of people are going to realize what a good thing they had, now that it was gone. Nobody gives good service like that anymore. These days it’s all about fixing the symptoms without ever really getting to the root of the problem. No time for that anymore. He had certainly tried to keep things going but it

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October 29, 2020

Pick your battles. I think everyone would agree the wisdom in this statement. As always, the devil is in the details. Life requires discernment. Each of us is constantly making choices around how we spend our time, where we put our efforts. Some of us then spend a great deal of time reviewing those choices. Agonizing over them. Questioning each decision. But that is another discussion for another day. The point here is about how we make those choices. Is there a way to choose the right battles most of the time? Can we set things up in ways

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October 27, 2020

A business that lasts has a strong foundation built on how shit gets done. So how do you go about developing and implementing good systems and process? It’s like eating an elephant; you do it one bite at a time. ​So you have a business that is viable and making money. Your mother built it from nothing and she wants to give it to you. Or you built it with your own sweat and tears and you want your nephew to take it over. Now what? ​The days of flying by the seat of your pants are behind you...

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October 26, 2020

It takes a long time to make an old friend.I meet a good few people wherever we go and some are very interesting amazing people and in twenty or thirty years some of them will be old friends. It just takes that long. Sometimes you meet someone, and you just hit it off and you know that they will become old friends. But you can’t just go out and replace an old friend once they are gone. It’s just not possible. Among old friends are some really special ones. The ones who knew you when you were young. Ones

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