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Cultural

Conflict

As an employer, are you communicating your expectations to your employees? Are you having honest conversations over what you need from them the first week you hire them and throughout their employment with your company? Are you setting boundaries with them about what is acceptable in your workplace and not acceptable? Have you thought enough about what those boundaries are to communicate that to new hires? ...

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Creating Value vs. Creating Something Valuable

So much of our journey is wrapped up in value creation, that we neglect to create something that is valuable. But the journey to creating something valuable starts where the journey to create value ends. And for a business to truly be valuable it must be able to continue to generate value if the original primary value generator is gone....

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Giving Testimony: High Anxiety Part 1

As a lawyer and judge, I have been around people giving testimony for about 40 years. Every time I reach the end of a trial or a round of depositions (before trial testimony given in lawyers' offices), I promise myself to write about the experience that I have seen so many go through (and occasionally gone through myself). Here are some of my observations about testifying for good or ill. The anxiety begins with the Oath or Affirmation. Anxiety, often high anxiety, is built into the process of testifying. Giving any testimony requires that you raise your right hand and swear or affirm, to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Swearing an oath to testify truthfully is in the form of, "Do you solemnly swear the that your testimony shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?" to which the witness responds, "I do." The purpose of the oath is to impress the witness with the solemnity of the trial and summons thoughts of divine retribution for lying under oath (which is also a seldom prosecuted crime called perjury). While I have never seen bolts from the sky strike down a perjurer, I have from time to time moved my chair to put greater distance between me and a witness that I highly suspected was lying. You know, just in case. As an alternative to taking an oath, a witness may "affirm the tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth...

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There’s Something About Community

I went to law school in Virginia Beach. While there, I was often asked whether I liked living in Ohio (because apparently, a few people don't). But I did, which is why, no matter where I've traveled, I've always come back home. There's just something here, in the rural countryside of Ohio, that I have not found anywhere else. It's hard to explain if you haven't experienced it. Part of it may be that rural Ohio - Holmes County specifically - has retained some of the old-fashioned charms of simpler days. But it's not just that the county has the largest population of Amish in the country, or that I grew up here. What I truly love about my home is that I am part of a community larger than my friend group, larger than my street address, even larger than my county. The dictionary offers two definitions of community "1. A group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common. 2. A feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals." Many places in the world have (1), few truly have (2). One of the common interests that creates the community around here is farming. Growing up, it seemed all my friends either lived on a farm or wanted to live on one. My family was more of the in-between, owning a "hobby farm" but wanting the "real deal." As my younger siblings choose careers, I see...

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