Swift Straw Blog

Performance Review

business, team building, improvement, success, learning, Value

We recently conducted our first round of formal performance reviews at Swift Straw. During the review we covered a minimum of 3 positive things that we wanted to acknowledge each person for, 3 areas for improvement and then invited the same feedback for leadership.  This was without a doubt one...

The Current: Meet Matt Lowe

mentorship, business, entrepreneurship, achievement, success, purpose

Have you ever met someone you instantly look up to? I’m not necessarily talking about someone famous or someone that you know a lot about and respect. I’m talking about people who have a certain presence about them. They carry themselves in such a way that you can’t help but watch their every...

The Emotional Paradox

relationships, business, achievement, perseverence, success, negotiation

As a follow up to my previous blog titled “Tactical Empathy”, there are several paradoxical principles when it comes to mastering the art of negotiation: 

Tactical Empathy

relationships, business, achievement, perseverence, success, negotiation

Chris Voss is a world renowned FBI hostage negotiator.  In his book “Never Split the Difference”, he teaches the principles that helped him work through some of the most intense, dangerous and life threatening situations imaginable.  One of the first principles is rooted in an understanding that...

The Overnight Success Myth

leadership, business, strength, efficiency, improvement, perseverence, success

“I was an overnight success all right, but 30 years is a long, long night.”  Ray Kroc 

An Improvement Per Day

leadership, business, innovation, efficiency, improvement

I got an email late yesterday from a team member that had discovered a huge process improvement. After months in the fishbowl, it finally clicked. While we are heavily focused on the traditional proprietary protections, I couldn't help but appreciate how powerful continuous improvement is when...

The Hedgehog

leadership, business, innovation, achievement, strength

There is an old story about a fox that would constantly scheme about how he was going to attack a hedgehog.  He came up with elaborate plans and even tricks. But, inevitably, at the last second the hedgehog would simply roll into a ball with his quills sharply deterring the fox from further...

Game of Gladiators

leadership, business, teamwork, achievement, strength

James Stockdale was a US Navy vice admiral and aviator that was awarded the Medal of Honor in the Vietnam War, during which time he was a prisoner of war for over seven years.  He endured unimaginable torture and constantly battled their attempts to use him for propaganda.  In Jim Collins book, ...

First Who, Then What

leadership, business, team building, teamwork, efficiency

The next principle in “Good to Great” is “First Who, Then What”.  All of the Good to Great CEO’s focused first on getting the right people on the bus before they decided where they wanted to drive it.  They knew that strategy comes after people.  Once they got the right people on the bus and the...

Who Gets the Credit

leadership, business, team building, teamwork, achievement, efficiency

I am currently going back through a great business book called “Good to Great” by Jim Collins.  Since it has been several years since I last read it, I have a much greater appreciation for some of the timeless principles.  In order for a business to sustain greatness, there must be what is known...

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