The secret ingredient

Coca-Cola has its closely guarded classic formula.  KFC has its 11 herbs and spices.  My Grandma’s famous noodles are made without a written recipe.  Each one has created a long-lasting legacy based on “the secret ingredient.”  The magic that holds it together… the one thing you can’t do without.  But what’s the secret ingredient that…

The endangered cup of coffee

What’s the difference between a non-fat vanilla latte with a sprinkle of cinnamon at most coffee shops, and the same drink at the Pacific Coast Café?  It’s the secret ingredient – Donna.  She’s in her mid to late 30’s, with dark brown hair neatly tucked under her cap, and glasses that slightly magnify her smiling…

Your favorite martian?

I was talking recently with a friend of mine who considers himself a real man’s man.  He made a sweeping, but interesting, generalization about women.  He said “most women just expect a man to be strong…showing too much emotion is a weakness.”  Is there some truth in that statement?   In his book, Men are…

Dress to impress

“Hey, you got a job interview today?” “You must have an important presentation today.” “Oooooh, lookin’ sharp!” By simply adding a sportcoat to my usual button-down shirt and dress pants, I got these reactions from co-workers yesterday.  But why?  The correct response was #2, a presentation, which I made more important by dressing up a notch. …

Good timing

“If you’re going to speak in front a large audience, tell a good joke to warm them up first.”  That’s the advice that many company presidents follow when they get up to present in front of their quarterly all-hands meetings.  And that’s what my company president…let’s call him Bill… did in January of 1992.  I’ll…

Silent but deadly

Meetings can be a mix of madness, manipulation and occasionally… magnificence.  It’s amazing what can happen when a bunch of smart people are dragged into a room with a common mission and a time limit.  Sometimes the result is a brilliant and creative action plan. Sometimes it is a complete and utter waste of time. …