Archive for June, 2008

“No Problem?” Wrong. BIG Problem! »

It’s not enough to be anxious to please. One must please! The Issue: Celebrating my bride’s birthday at an upscale seafood restaurant in Clearwater this past weekend, Sue and I enjoyed the food, but were turned off by our waiter’s annoying habit of fielding our comments and compliments with the same lame reply: “No problem.” […]


Sometimes it’s not good enough just to be good enough, or even to have a good plan.  I’ve known people — including myself — who have been hammered on and hammered down at times by everything from financial setbacks to relationship upsets, to debilitating physical health problems to their own creepingly painful and dark mental […]

That Crucial Recovery Shot »

Even though I enjoy playing and one of my sons works for the Nationwide PGA Tour, by no stretch of the imagination am I an expert on the game of golf. At one time I assumed that great golfers hit each shot perfectly every time. Wrong, Tee-Box Breath. Sometimes they hit it too far to the right […]


 [This article first appeared in the June edition of Corporate Report Wisconsin (]  “For every failure, there’s an alternative course of action. You just have to find it.  When you come to a roadblock, take a detour.”                         — Mary Kay Ash  “When the going gets tough, the tough get going!”  When adversity strikes, knuckle […]


By now you know that I like to write about my hometown of Lawler, Iowa.  Normally,  the piece concerns a nostalgia-laden incident that happened years ago. Today, however, you are going to hear about an event that I witnessed within the past month in the village of my youth. My wonderful nieces arranged a terrific family reunion that was held several weeks ago composed of […]


As a businessman, I have learned that the one sure way to destroy what you are trying to build is to cut ethical corners.  The real irony is that it is almost always the finger-snapping smart alecks, the know-it-alls, who end up getting entangled in their own cool schemes and easy-mark snares.   The fact […]


Finding and Keeping Good Employees By Bill Willard The Issue: You’ve always wanted your own business, and now you have it. Your business has a name, you have products, a location, a business plan, and (we hope) customers lining up—out front or online. What’s missing? Employees! The question of the week: How to find the […]

A Lesson From Chicken Man »

It was one of those seemingly innocuous events that should have been long ago forgotten. Instead, it is so etched in my memory that I have even given it a name: The Gus Schael Syndrome. When I was growing up in the 1950s, Lawler, Iowa was a bustling little village. One of our local entrepreneurs, Gus Schael, owned […]


Divorce under any conditions can be a messy affair.  Roll a business into the equation, and divorce can become emotionally and financially devastating, not just for the divorcing couple and their family, but also for the business’s employees and co-owners. Part of the problem is that business can be high-stress and demanding.  I don’t know […]


My sons Tom and Greg, unlike their father, were talented high school athletes. Both did especially well playing basketball at a small parochial school with a rich tradition in the sport.  Unfortunately, in my high school days a generation earlier, I saw action only if the game was well in hand. Once my boys asked about my skills on the court, “Were […]


I would like to be able to blame my buddy, George Timlin, who had a knack for getting me into trouble when we were kids. A year older than me, he always had creative ideas on endeavors that were fun but all too often led to a bad ending. But truth be told, however, this one […]


Diversity: Decisive or Divisive? By Bill Willard Contributing Author The Issue: Diversity means understanding that each of us is unique, and that no matter who we are, what we look like, where we come from or what our backgrounds may be, there is a place for us. In the workplace, however, diversity has been a […]


Just a quick reminder, in case you forgot:  Life is tough, sometimes challenging, occasionally downright brutal. That’s how we grow, how we become stronger, both physically and spiritually — by running those ten miles, by pumping iron, by sticking with a tough project, by working through a difficult relationship … by just surviving sometimes.  Enjoy […]