The Labor Shift

Work defines who we are in America. When I was born, the models for work were General Motors, IBM, and Xerox among many. These large corporations were built on a tacit understanding that once you made your way through their doors, you were taken care of for life—or at least until you retired. Of course, there were pensions back then, so you were taken care of during retirement, too. Continue reading

One More Bump in the Road

First I fall off my bike and puncture my lung. Next, I’m being told “thanks, but no thanks,” in heading up an important workforce initiative.

I’ve been involved with the Maine Business Leadership Network for a year now. I was hired last August to serve as the first director of Maine’s only affiliate of the USBLN. I found out yesterday that the Maine State Chamber of Commerce isn’t “renewing my contract.” There are a number of things I could say; I’m certainly feeling a confluence of emotions, and having a variety of thoughts, some better not articulated at the moment. Apparently this is normal when you get kicked to the curb. I will say that I don’t feel like a year was a long enough period of time to prove the efficacy of what I was trying to do in leading the organization.  I’m sure some might disagree. Continue reading

Back To the Real World

This morning (Monday) is getaway day for the remaining two members of Team Baumer (or Mrs. B, Mr. B, and Baby Boy, our “official” name we registered under). Mark, aka, Baby Boy, jumped the 1:00 pm Amtrak back to points south and Providence after we sat down, breaking bread post-race, over lobster, along with a thousand or so other people.

All good things must come to an end. Mary and I had hoped to get up and watch the sun come up over the water this morning. Instead, we were greeted with a wet parking lot and a light rain falling when we stepped out the door of The Edgewater. No sunrise for the early risers today. Continue reading

Revving It Up

After crashing my bike and getting knocked down a peg, I’m back on “the horse” and I’ll be riding the bicycle leg for Team Baumer in this morning’s REV3 Maine Triathlon 2013.

My wife, Mary, completed all three events last year. I was totally impressed at the way REV3 puts on a triathlon party. I caught the fever last August, and wanted to join my lovely wife in doing a tri. There was just one problem—I couldn’t swim. Not a problem. If you’re willing to humble yourself and believe that old dogs can learn new tricks, you can do amazing things. Continue reading

The 8-Week Book Project

I’m meeting a brand new group of writing students on Tuesday night. Many if not all of them are likely asking themselves three questions. Can I really write a book in eight weeks? Am I capable of writing one at all? Do I have what it takes to finally get that book of mine out of my head into narrative form?

The answer to all three of those opening questions is a hearty, “hell yes!” Continue reading

The Power of Sriracha

Just one word for you; "Sriracha."

Just one word for you; “Sriracha.”

It’s possible to make it in today’s world without a Facebook page and a Twitter handle. The gurus will deny this and insist that it’s not true. They tell us incessantly that we must all bow down before social media, or at least social media’s self-appointed royalty.

So much noise about what we all must do to be successful. Continue reading

Working It Out

Self-help and the great host of gurus plying their trade is never-ending. There is a book and a product for whatever ails ‘ya, or a magic talisman that can turn any losing streak around.

Life reduced to a series of mantras, aphorisms, or simplified down to a three-step plan of salvation helps offset the pain that’s never-ending and always nearby. Visualizing a different reality doesn’t mean that the problems won’t be there when you come back from some other spiritual plane. Continue reading

Drink Bud; Get Hurt?

What does advertising like this imply? Who is being targeted in this ad?

What does advertising like this imply? Who is being targeted in this ad?

A study by John Hopkins Bloomburg School of Public Health reveals that alcohol is behind many ER visits. One step better, a certain well-known, some might even say, iconic, American lager is behind the majority of these visits caused by over-consumption of alcohol.

Say it ain’t so!

The beer is Budweiser, “the king of beers.” Continue reading

Investigating the News Through Movies

Redford and Hoffman starring in "All The President's Men."

Redford and Hoffman starring in “All The President’s Men.”

Bumping your head and puncturing a lung forces you to slow down just a bit. Slowing down allows you to take the time to smell the roses, or at least include a nap or two as part of your recovery. Naps aren’t a bad thing, but in America, napping is seen as weakness. That discussion about our hustling nature will have to wait ‘til later, when I’m back at 100 percent. Continue reading

Simmering in the Pot

I think I'll let the chili cook a little longer.

I think I’ll let the chili cook a little longer.

I like Seth Godin. If you know me, you know I read his stuff and I think he’s almost always worth considering. You could even call me “pathetic” and accuse me of being a fanboy. He’s been amazingly successful and he offers some great advice, especially if you want to break free of 20th century thinking about work and career. 

Having said that Seth’s stuff the past week or so has been causing some dissonance. Continue reading