It’s getting harder and harder for high school seniors to gain admittance to their first choice of colleges. This is a scary fact for many of us, but almost completely irrelevant according to a fascinating new book by Frank Bruni, called Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania.
Is the Independent School Fundraising Model Broken?
I love independent schools. Teachers, students, and parents accomplish great things, in and out of the classroom. For most of my life I've been involved in five different schools, first as a student, and later as a volunteer, alumni association president, trustee, parent, employee spouse, and member of countless committees. I've come to the conclusion that the independent school fundraising model is broken, and I’m here to explore why and offer alternatives.
One criticism of the American court system is that juries are composed entirely of people who are too stupid to get out of jury duty. In the sports world, Roger Goodell inadvertently attracted this criticism when he became the self-appointed judge, juror, and executioner of the inconsistent NFL disciplinary policy. He did it to "protect the shield", which as has been pointed out by an old classmate may mean he is protecting the owners, not the game or players or fans.
Just like Goodell, I am too stupid to get out of jury duty, and I'm writing this while sitting in a jury pool. The interminable waiting is frustrating. I've done this before. While coming up with an excuse for avoiding jury duty is tempting, I figure I should do it because this system is the worst imaginable except for all the alternatives. Never fear, peers, you'll get a fair hearing from me.
Saturday was a huge day for live sports in Seattle.
It has been said that the best customer service is no customer service, the theory being that eliminating the need for service is the best way to satisfy customers. As a business owner my goal was to be was pleasant, precise, and prompt in all dealings with my customers. We aimed to do exactly what we said we would do – no more and no less. Based on their letters and referrals, customers appreciated this approach.
However, sometimes mistakes happen.
[Originally written February 8, 2013 after violence at the Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl victory celebration, and updated January 31, 2014 in hopes of the Seattle Seahawks soon needing a parade.]
I don’t think there is anything wrong with being a fairweather fan, at least the way I define it. In fact, I’d like to flip the concept on its head.
For over a decade one of the best parts of my job has been reading hundreds of letters from customers about their satisfaction with the service we've provided. Often the letters arrived during hectic times, and they gave us renewed energy to keep fighting the good fight. I'm about to sell my interest in the company to my longtime business partner, and with that I will be giving up the pleasure of creating the content, providing the service, and receiving the letters. To (selfishly) commemorate my transition, here are excerpts from some of the letters I received in 2012 and 2013.
Ken Whitney is a mission-driven problem solver who helps organizations focus on long-term strategies for success.