GovLoop - Knowledge Network for Government

Jack Gates's Blog (134)


As the story goes, when asked by his father about who chopped down the cherry tree, George Washington said “I cannot tell a lie, I did it with my little hatchet.” While this actually did not happen, throughout his life, Washington demonstrated a strict adherence to telling the truth, especially to himself.

Historical accounts tell story after story…


Added by Jack Gates on June 13, 2014 at 5:20pm — 2 Comments

The Final Frontier

We are embarking on the greatest business revolution in 4 generations. It affects the whole economy.

The biggest change in ownership since WWII is starting now and will continue through the next 15 years. More than one half of small and medium business in the American economy are owned and…


Added by Jack Gates on May 4, 2014 at 3:09pm — 1 Comment

It's Always The Small Things!

There are a multitude of first things that need to be done when you take over in an organization as the new person – especially if you are at the top of the org chart.

When I was elected president of the board of a country club, I immediately talked with the key staff and department heads, influential club members, primary vendors, and community supporters to get a good view operations and the business health of the club. I also looked at the books and administration files as…


Added by Jack Gates on April 8, 2014 at 9:31pm — 3 Comments

The Internet Tool– Faster, Cheaper, Better Results

OK, it is clear to me now – the internet is not a passing novelty, it is a creation tool of considerable versatility and depth, and fosters creativity at every turn. IaaT – the Internet as a Tool is here to stay.

Back in the ‘90s, my organization went through an image update – a new logo, and a branded, coordinated image to go with it. Our PR firm took on the project and immediately dedicated a design team to us.

At the time, we had a long…


Added by Jack Gates on April 1, 2014 at 9:16am — No Comments

What is Trust?

Picture this: Lucy has convinced Charlie Brown to run up to kick the football while she is holding it. Charlie races toward the ball and just before he kicks it, Lucy pulls it away – again.

Of course, Charlie kicks nothing but air and winds up on his back with a thud; humiliated and disappointed – again.…


Added by Jack Gates on March 24, 2014 at 4:20pm — 2 Comments

Selling Out

During a period of more than 10 years, as a CEO, Director, and Board Chairman, I have been responsible for disposing of three organizations and have been an acquisition target of two other organizations. I have been a close observer of several others.

Here's what I learned.

Start Early. From concept to handing over the keys takes about 2 years. Seller or buyer, it takes time to find and qualify…


Added by Jack Gates on March 21, 2014 at 10:54pm — 1 Comment


A popular quote attributed to Benjamin Franklin is: Nothing is certain but death and taxes. True - however, the timing of one and the amount of the other are not certain.

Leaders face certainty and uncertainty when painting their vision – e.g., revenue must…


Added by Jack Gates on December 6, 2013 at 12:48am — 2 Comments

Words And Actions Make Leaders Great

Greatness is a perception by others. What makes a leader great is more than achieving the mission, goal, or results – greatness is also about how he or she got us there. It's a complex set of factors not adequately described by a couple of words – but we can get in the general vicinity with these three traits:

  • saying what you will do

  • doing what you say

  • inspiring…


Added by Jack Gates on November 20, 2013 at 10:56am — 1 Comment

Reformatting the Hard Disk...Twice

In the early days the Personal Computer, a major upgrade was the addition of a 20 megabyte hard drive – plenty of space for programs, files and other treasure.

However, floppy disks were required for sharing files (predates networked computers, and long before WiFi). Several times a during a day I would need a formatted disk to hand-carry a file to someone also working on the same project.

DOS (where we…


Added by Jack Gates on November 7, 2013 at 11:37am — 1 Comment

The Two Faces of I

I” is a very powerful pronoun, but it has two distinct personalities – no doubt you have observed both.

I” can be used to convey power and significance to the subject at hand – the speaker is going all in as the poker players would say – infusing their knowledge, experience, and reputation into the statement. They are signaling commitment and purpose. Some examples:

I know (personal…


Added by Jack Gates on October 31, 2013 at 12:19pm — 2 Comments

Leadership Is Actions and Words

Even when he was a little guy, my son had picked up some mannerisms and used some phrases that mirrored mine. I first made this discovery when he had a vocabulary of only three 'words': ma, da, chit – he learned the latter term when I got to the bank after the drive-in window had closed for the weekend (long before ATMs).

Our kids are like a sponge – they absorb everything and are constantly observing parents for the…


Added by Jack Gates on October 29, 2013 at 10:55pm — No Comments

Thank Goodness for Our "Customers"

We truly appreciate the organizations and departments - our "customers" - that depend on us for their materials, goods, and services. Each agency, each division, each department has others relying on us for resources they need to complete their tasks - in the truest sense of the word, they are our customers.

Customers can provide us with several valuable resources and contributions which may not be as obvious...less top-of-the-head…


Added by Jack Gates on October 11, 2013 at 5:13pm — 1 Comment

Word Inflation

A while back, I collaborated on a project to produce a document suitable for public dissemination.

I noticed that when collaborators sent back edits and improvements to the draft's author, each received a comment like: 'Awesome Changes!', or 'This will really make our document Awesome!', or 'The new formatting is Totally…


Added by Jack Gates on September 24, 2013 at 10:46pm — 5 Comments

Players and Doers

Players learn the commands for the video game and run up the score.

Doers learn how to do something to get results.

Players value image – being in the right place, knowing the right people, being included in the right…


Added by Jack Gates on September 3, 2013 at 5:43pm — 1 Comment

The Department Picnic

Ah...the department picnic. Fond memories of fried chicken, hard dry burgers, 15 varieties of potato salad, a dish with melted marshmallows on top, a mystery casserole, and some wrinkled burned hotdogs.

And lots of employees with their families.

Sometimes leaders are reluctant to attend this traditional summer event (also the holiday party close to the end of the year). Other leaders look forward to…


Added by Jack Gates on August 22, 2013 at 12:17am — 1 Comment

Your Leadership Tribe

Everyone has a tribe – family and friends, other people with whom you have a relationship. This tribe is primarily involved with you in social, support, and general activities. People you've invited (or inherited) to participate in your life.

Taking it to a higher level,…


Added by Jack Gates on August 18, 2013 at 11:20am — 1 Comment

Posthumous Goal

A commercial on TV: the young boy walked up to home plate on an empty ball field with his bat, a ball, and a smile as he was prattling on about the world's best hitter.

He settles in at the plate and, with one more verse of world's best hitter, tosses the ball into the air. After the swish of a haymaker swing and no thunk of the bat, he looks down…


Added by Jack Gates on August 11, 2013 at 12:50pm — 1 Comment

Self Reliance

The trend toward self reliance is growing in velocity and scope. This post is highlights of the shift that is becoming increasingly clear.

As I recall, we were taught at a young age to rely on others instead of ourselves – back in the old days:

  • parents set our limits and standards

  • teachers enforced the rules – insisted that we color within the…


Added by Jack Gates on August 6, 2013 at 8:46pm — 1 Comment

The Power of Appreciation

The other day I realized it is unusual for people to be told they are appreciated.

The revelation came about from my offering a compliment to the person responsible for the logistics of…


Added by Jack Gates on July 31, 2013 at 11:00pm — 1 Comment

The Bartender's Lesson In Finance

One of my favorite projects was 3½ months as the general manager of a country club while a search was under way for a new GM.

My goal was to improve the performance of the dining and grill rooms, increase diner volume, and grow revenue from this area of the club.

To record sales, each area had a terminal for the central a point of…


Added by Jack Gates on July 28, 2013 at 5:31pm — 1 Comment

Blog Topics by Tags

Monthly Archives






© 2014   Created by GovLoop.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service