The Oswald Letter

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Dan Oswald, president of Business and Legal Resources, on management, leadership, and the workplace
Updated: 13 hours 10 min ago

Use summer as a chance to focus on what’s really important

Mon, 06/26/2017 - 11:30

by Dan Oswald Last week, we celebrated the first day of summer. With kids out of school for a few weeks now and the high temperatures we’ve experienced already, it seems like summer started quite a while ago. Either way, summer is here. It’s time for family vacations, afternoons at the ballpark, and concerts in the park. There’s something all...

Categories: Blogs

Recent visit to Apple Store raises questions about the company’s customer service

Mon, 06/12/2017 - 10:17

by Dan Oswald I recently had an experience that made me wonder, can a company become arrogant? We’ve all met arrogant people, but can a company be haughty or egotistical? Let me share the experience first, and then I’ll come back to my question. My son received a pair of wireless headphones for Christmas that had stopped working by May. They...

Categories: Blogs

Preds are on the power play! 4 lessons for creating ‘incredible’ work culture

Mon, 06/05/2017 - 11:56

by Dan Oswald You may have noticed that the Nashville Predators are playing in the Stanley Cup Final. Probably not a big deal to many, but it certainly is here in Nashville. This city is afflicted with Predators fever. There’s something magical about the Predators’ playoff run, and I think I know what it is. Sure, this is the team’s first...

Categories: Blogs

President Trump’s growing pains could benefit from business lessons

Mon, 05/22/2017 - 10:49

by Dan Oswald If he has learned one lesson in his four months as president, Donald Trump has certainly discovered that the scrutiny he receives as the “leader of the free world” and one of the most powerful people in the world is much greater than anything he has experienced previously. President Trump, long known for his publicity-seeking ways...

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My family and personal life are integral parts of who I am

Mon, 05/15/2017 - 11:01

This week’s Oswald Letter is a guest post from Elizabeth Petersen, Simplify Compliance’s Chief People and Strategy Officer. by Elizabeth Petersen Less than 10 minutes into the interview, I knew I was bombing. I was fresh out of college, interviewing for a “stretch” position as a program manager at a prestigious teaching hospital. I was a...

Categories: Blogs

Master self-awareness to grow as a leader

Mon, 05/08/2017 - 10:35

by Dan Oswald How well do you really know yourself? It can seem like a silly question. You spend every day with yourself. You’re privy to all of your most private thoughts. Yet how well do you know yourself? The ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu wrote, “Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is...

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Be relentless in pursuit of what you want most

Mon, 05/01/2017 - 10:20

by Dan Oswald In the blockbuster Disney movie Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Captain Jack Sparrow’s most treasured possession is his compass. This makes sense. Jack is a ship’s captain, and he needs his compass to do his job—navigate the high seas. The problem is that his compass doesn’t tell him which direction...

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Effective decision making requires two brain systems

Mon, 04/24/2017 - 10:41

by Dan Oswald As a business leader, it’s likely you’re continually looking for ways to make better decisions. If so, you might want to take a look at the book Thinking Fast and Slow by Nobel Prize-winning economist Daniel Kahneman. Kahneman’s book is an interesting look into how people think and make decisions and the biases that affect us...

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A little compassion would have gone a long way for United Airlines

Mon, 04/17/2017 - 11:28

by Dan Oswald Imagine you own a restaurant. It’s a small, cozy place that caters to families and has a great reputation not only for the food but also for the atmosphere. One evening, a customer comes in and orders that night’s special. When his entrée arrives, he takes issue first with the temperature and then with the taste of the dish....

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Learn great leadership skills from the pros

Mon, 04/10/2017 - 15:29

by Dan Oswald The other day, an adviser I work with who provides me with organizational development counsel sent me an e-mail. It caught my attention, not just because he sent it on a Sunday morning, which isn’t the norm, but because of what it contained. The sender has been providing advice and counsel to leaders for nearly 25 years, and he had...

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‘Culture of help’ benefits the company and the individual

Mon, 04/03/2017 - 10:34

by Dan Oswald Early in my publishing career, I took the “assist” part of my editorial assistant job quite literally, and I would volunteer for nearly every task lobbed at my team by our publisher. After one meeting in which I offered to take on a particularly tedious project, a senior colleague stopped by my cube to offer advice. “You need to...

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Uber says it’s time to stop tolerating ‘brilliant jerks’

Mon, 03/27/2017 - 11:43

by Dan Oswald How much are you willing to put up with from a talented employee? That’s a question that, as a manager, you’re bound to face sooner or later. It’s a question the Uber board of directors is faced with right now. Arianna Huffington, an Uber director, is leading a search for a new executive to serve under cofounder and CEO Travis...

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Predicting success is hard

Mon, 03/20/2017 - 10:22

by Dan Oswald How good are you at picking winners? If you’re one of the 70 million Americans who filled out a bracket for the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, you probably have a sense of how hard it is to predict success. You think you’ve done your homework. You do your research, looking at win-loss records, points scored, and common...

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Nurture employees’ passion to achieve success

Mon, 03/13/2017 - 11:53

by Dan Oswald Life is too short to do something you hate. It’s a simple statement that’s hard to dispute, but shouldn’t all of us expect more than not to hate what we do? I think so.  It isn’t enough not to hate your job. Most of us will spend more than 10,000 days at work during our lifetime. That’s more than 80,000 hours of work and a...

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