Monthly Archive: January 2019

Leaders and lessers

There’s an ad running in my morning paper that trumpets a one-day conference next month that’s entitled “Cultivate Leadership Charisma.” The seven speakers listed are unknown to me but that may be my fault. I guess I hang out with the wrong crowd. This bunch promises charisma like Tony Robbins, a more famous name on the lecture circuit, claims he can teach anyone selling skills. I went to a Robbins performance once, just to see how it all worked. Hundreds of people, many of them real estate agents, had paid big bucks to have their egos rebuilt, techniques burnished, and confidence restored....

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Gotta light?

When we returned from Washington, D.C. in May 1993, Canada was in a shambles. There was a recession, the government of the day was at a nadir, and housing prices had fallen 50 percent. I no longer smoked, but my late wife did, so I was in a corner store to buy cigarettes. Asked the clerk, “How much do you want to pay?” Turns out he had legitimate packages where the taxes had been collected but also gray market items that cost much less. Eventually two cigarette companies were fined $1.15 billion for their part in that contraband market. I don’t know who is running...

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Celebrating a celebrity

One of the fluffiest puff pieces ever written is floating on page one of today’s Globe and Mail. The focus is Timothy Caulfield, Edmonton author and academic at the University of Alberta. In the first few paragraphs we learn he can’t sleep for fretting about his projects, by day he is pensive, and in the evening he worries about the health and welfare of the world. Even the professor can’t fully explain why he is so wired, saying, “I can honestly say I don’t know why I care so much.” For a best-selling author, star of a new Netflix show, and...

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