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Manage like a Hockey Mom

But in a good way

(An extract from Uncle Ralph’s Random Ramblings in Part V of DON’T DO IT THE HARD WAY – 2020 Edition)

Hockey games are always exciting and entertaining, whether it’s the NHL or kids in minor hockey, and they often provide inspiration and ideas applicable beyond the hockey rink.

At a grandson’s Peewee hockey tournament in Montreal, the welcome brochure included the Quebec Hockey Association’s Code of Ethics for Parents (also useful for grandparents) to encourage responsible behaviour and allow both players and their parents to simply enjoy the game.

In reading it, I realized it could be adapted as a useful guide for business owners and managers. Here is my adaptation.

The Code of Ethics for Entrepreneurs

As a business owner and responsible manager, I recognize that I have the potential and the opportunity to make an important contribution to the personal development and well-being of the individuals who choose to work with me and I accept that as a priority over “winning the game.” 

I will therefore ensure my conduct continually demonstrates the following principles:

 I understand that my employees are here for their benefit and pleasure, not mine.

  1. I consider winning as part of the pleasure of playing the game; I will not exaggerate the pain of failure; and I will recognize errors as a necessary part of the learning experience.
  2. I will respect the efforts and the decisions of the supporters and supervisors and of the outside authorities responsible for enforcing the rules and regulations. I will do my best to understand and accept the rules and regulations applicable to my business.
  3. I will recognize and respect good performance on the part of any individual employee, as well as that of the individuals on competing teams.
  4. I accept each individual’s limitations and will not project my own ambitions or unreasonable expectations upon anyone. My expectations will be appropriate to the qualifications, experience and training of each individual.
  5. I will demonstrate and expect from all employees a reflection of the important values of respect, discipline, effort and loyalty.
  6. I will not encourage or tolerate any level of personal harassment, conflict or aggressive behavior.
  7. I will encourage and support the personal development of skills and capabilities for every individual.     

 Good advice from responsible hockey moms.

(I do notice that a lot gets ignored during the playoffs when winning is everything, but that’s another issue for a future article. Meanwhile, the hockey analysts are all over it.)

Be better. Do better.  As a responsible hockey parent and as an enlightened entrepreneur.

Del Chatterson, your Uncle Ralph

Learn more about Enlightened Entrepreneurship at: Read more of Uncle Ralph's advice for Entrepreneurs in Don't Do It the Hard Way & The Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide to Business Plans - 2020 Editions.

 Read more Blog posts at: LearningEntrepreneurship Blogs

They’ve already decided

Don’t waste your time

Early in my career, I learned an important lesson about the ability to change minds with  facts and logical reasoning.

Based on my original degree in mining engineering followed by an MBA, I was recruited by an international firm to do management consulting – often for mining companies. One assignment during a labour dispute at a mine in Ireland required us to do an exhaustive industrial engineering study on the production methods and the bonus compensation system used to pay the miners for higher efficiencies. After weeks of data collection and analysis we presented our detailed analysis and conclusions separately to the union and to management for their negotiations. Interestingly, they both came to the same conclusion. “I knew the bastards were cheating us!” Exactly what they thought of each other before we started.

I see the same decision-making process in current headlines about the pandemic lockdowns. Based on analysis of the same widely shared statistics, health care professionals conclude we have saved millions of lives around the world, while some economists conclude we have paid a huge economic price with very little effect on the rates of infection and death. The differences in conclusions arise from different perspectives, different value systems, and different assessments of personal self-interest versus the public interest.

If you want to successfully change minds and behaviour, or achieve reasonable compromises, you need to ask yourself a few questions before you start your own persuasive presentation:

  • Who am I talking to?
  • What are their belief systems? Shared values?
  • Will facts and logical reasoning be considered?
  • Should I make a more emotional, personal appeal?
  • Do we have a common goal, in spite of our differences?
  • Can they be persuaded or have they already decided?

It may be time to accept they are not going to change and you will have to carry on without them. Not everyone can be persuaded to be reasonable and do it your way.

C’est la vie. Life goes on, and we go our separate ways.

Be better. Do better. 

Del Chatterson, your Uncle Ralph

Learn more about Enlightened Entrepreneurship at: Read more of Uncle Ralph's advice for Entrepreneurs in Don't Do It the Hard Way & The Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide to Business Plans - 2020 Editions.

 Read more Blog posts at: LearningEntrepreneurship Blogs





Becoming a More Humane Leader

Or more Enlightened?

I was recently sent a Harvard Business Review article that presented research to prove the obvious –– wise and compassionate leaders have more productive employees. Maybe not obvious? It’s worth reminding ourselves what style of leadership is most effective for delivering better results.

The authors describe the wise and compassionate humane leader as a better alternative than the tough, impersonal leader who is entirely focused on management direction and control to pursue organisational goals. But that stereotype has long ago been discarded by intelligent, enlightened managers, entrepreneurs, and organisation leaders who have learned a better approach. Effective leadership requires understanding employee needs and providing the support and development necessary for them to work toward achieving the organisation’s goals.

Effective leadership requires more than the suggestion to remember the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you, which is now considered insufficient for good management as it assumes that others want what you would want. Modern management applies the more effective Platinum Rule: Do unto others as they would have you do unto them. Let them tell you what they want to succeed, and listen carefully. Then apply the wisdom you acquire with the compassion you’ve already shown and you too will have happier, more engaged and productive employees.

Hard decisions will still have to be made, but you will not have to give up your humanity to implement them effectively.

Be better. Do better.

Del Chatterson, Your Uncle Ralph

Learn more about Enlightened Entrepreneurship at: Read more of Uncle Ralph's advice for Entrepreneurs in Don't Do It the Hard Way & The Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide to Business Plans - 2020 Editions.

 Read more Blog posts at: LearningEntrepreneurship Blogs

Recommended reading

For entrepreneurs

In the recent 2020 Edition of DON’T DO IT THE HARD WAY, I included my updated list of recommended references and books for entrepreneurs, to manage themselves and their businesses better. (See Part 6. Page 231)

The full list is available at below:

In order to help you be better as an entrepreneur, leader, manager and human being, I recommend the following authors for more ideas, information and inspiration. In my opinion, they are among the best at providing thoughtful insights and powerful advice.

I recommend that you make time for them in your process of continuous learning and improvement. Make your own selection from the list below, then find them online, follow them and read their work.

Management Gurus with advice for entrepreneurs

Here are some of their good books and a few memorable quotes:

Tom Peters

In Search of EXCELLENCE, 1982

“There is no more important trait among excellent companies than an action orientation. ... if you've got a major problem, bring the right people together and expect them to solve it.  They do, somehow, have the time." 

"Excellent companies are a vast network of informal, open communications. Forget the MBA - Masters in Business Administration – and remember the MBWA – Management By Walking Around."

Thriving on Chaos, 1987

"A well-handled problem usually breeds more customer loyalty than you had before the negative incident."

“Measure! And reward on the basis of the measures."

Henry Mintzberg


“Leadership has pushed management off the map…. Now we are overled and undermanaged.”

“Strategies are not immaculately conceived in detached offices. They are learned through tangible experiences.”    

Harvey Mackay

SWIM WITH THE SHARKS without Being Eaten Alive, 1988

"A goal is a dream with a deadline. Write it down" 

"Dig your well before you're thirsty"

"You'll always get the good news; it’s how quickly you get the bad news that really counts."


"Do what you love, love what you do and deliver more than you promise."

"You're a lot better off being scared than being bored."

Jim Collins

Built to Last, 1994

"Visionary companies almost religiously preserve their core ideology. Yet, they display a powerful drive for progress that enables them to adapt and change without compromising their cherished core ideals."

"Good enough never is. For these companies the critical question is – How can we do better tomorrow than we did today?"

From Good to Great, 2001

“Good is the enemy of great.”

“Confront the brutal facts, yet never lose faith.”

Marcus Buckingham & Curt Coffman

First, Break all the Rules, 1999

The one insight that we heard echoed by tens of thousands of great managers: People don't change that much. Don't waste time trying to put in what was left out. Try to draw out what was left in. That is hard enough."

Seth Godin

The Bootstrapper's Bible, 2004

"In advertising... persistence is the secret to success."

"In choosing partners remember: Ringo was the luckiest Beatle... a mediocre drummer riding on the backs of three musical geniuses."

Guy Kawasaki

The ART of the START, 2004

"Build a business to make meaning (the money will follow).”

“Have a mantra, not a mission statement.”

“Advertising is what you say about yourself, PR is what other people say about you. PR is better.” 

For some alternative points of view:

Michael Gerber
The E-Myth

Gerber claims he originated the cliché: Work on your business, not in your business. But his over-worked theme is a useful reminder to develop your business organisation and processes so that it can run without you in it every day.

Bo Burlingham
Small Giants

An interesting study of small eccentric companies that decided to succeed by staying small. The conclusions are a stretch to fit the hypothesis that small is better, but worth reading to remember to build your business for yourself; not to chase some dream of global grandeur.

And from an entrepreneur of two hundred and fifty years ago: Benjamin Franklin

Perhaps best known as an American statesman and scientist, (he signed the Declaration of Independence, flew a kite in a lightning storm and has his picture on the U.S. $100 bill), Ben Franklin was also a very successful entrepreneur. A printer by trade, he launched several businesses and introduced the concept of franchising to his printing shops. He was successful enough to retire at age forty-two.

He was also a prolific writer and intelligent observer, analyst and commentator on business and life. It is worth considering Ben Franklin's 12 Rules of Management by Blaine McCormick, 2000.

In summary:

  1. Finish better than your beginnings.
  2. All education is self-education.
  3. Seek first to manage yourself, then to manage others.
  4. Influence is more important than victory.
  5. Work hard and watch your costs.
  6. Everybody wants to appear reasonable.
  7. Create your own set of values to guide your actions.
  8. Incentive is everything.
  9. Create solutions for seemingly impossible problems.
  10. Become a revolutionary for experimentation and change.
  11. Sometimes it's better to do 1001 small things right rather than only one large thing right.
  12. Deliberately cultivate your reputation and legacy.

More Reading for your personal management issues:

To do better in life and manage yourself past the entrepreneurial challenges, these are my recommended reads for personal self-improvement.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey, 1989

"Begin with the end in mind."

"Seek first to understand, then to be understood."

More spiritual than you might expect, but some great insights and tools for personal management.

The 8th Habit, Stephen Covey, 2004

A follow-up book presenting the values of principle centered leadership.

Awaken the Giant Within, Anthony Robbins, 1991
"It is the small decisions you and I make every day that create our destinies."

"It is not events that shape my life and determine how I feel or act, it's the way I interpret and evaluate my life experiences."

The original concepts that launched Tony Robbins and the self-help industry.

The Intelligent Investor, Benjamin Graham, 1973
From the professor who taught Warren Buffet how to grow his investments to be worth billions. Buffet calls it "By far the best book on investing ever written."

The Wealthy Barber and The Wealthy Barber Returns, 

David Chilton, 1989 and 2011
An easier read than Benjamin Graham and a great basic handbook for personal financial management. It should be required reading for every high school student and every investor paying someone else to manage their money.

Any of these books will help you focus on the fundamentals and achieve more successful approaches to your personal growth and development. It's worth finding the time for them.

And if you have others to recommend, I would be pleased to hear from you. Did I miss any of your favourites worth re-reading or recommended for sharing?

And for something new and different, take a look at the Self-Help Bonanza Book Promo for your choice of free new E-book releases from expert writers. Limited time offer, expires April 25th. Tips and tactics to do better in life, business, and relationships. Including my two books for entrepreneurs. Share with a friend who wants to be better, do better.

Be better. Do better.

Del Chatterson, Your Uncle Ralph

Learn more about Enlightened Entrepreneurship at: 

Read more of Uncle Ralph's advice for Entrepreneurs in Don't Do It the Hard Way & The Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide to Business Plans - 2020 Editions.

 Read more Blog posts at: LearningEntrepreneurship Blogs


Lessons from Lamborghini

Build a better tractor   

Neighbour has a nice car ….

I wonder if he'd take me for a ride. Maybe my next car, after I sell the 2nd million books ….  As Anthony Robbins would say, have a goal in mind and give yourself rewards as you pass the milestones.

Do you know the story of Lamborghini?

Mr. Lamborghini was a big fan of Ferrari and he owned a few. He had made his money as the owner a tractor manufacturing company in Italy. At one point, he had a few complaints about what he thought were deficiencies in the style and performance of his Ferrari. So he sent a message to Ferrari with a few suggestions for improvement. After a few more complaints, and suggestions, they replied with something rude about him sticking to tractors with his advice.

So he built his own cars and showed them what he could do.

Good lessons for Enlightened Entrepreneurs. Listen to the customer. Learn from the competition. Improve on what they do well and fix the deficiencies.

(Now about that test drive, ….)

Be better. Do better.

Del Chatterson, Your Uncle Ralph

Learn more about Enlightened Entrepreneurship at: Read more of Uncle Ralph's advice for Entrepreneurs in Don't Do It the Hard Way & The Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide to Business Plans - 2020 Editions. 

 Read more Blog posts at: LearningEntrepreneurship Blogs


The Beginning of the End

We’re not there yet

(This article is based on the ideas in Uncle Ralph's DON'T DO IT THE HARD WAY & The Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide to Business Plans, 2020 Editions) 

I’m feeling safer, and closer to the end of the pandemic effects on life and business after receiving my first dose of the Moderna vaccine for Covid-19 this week. (Old-timers first! Thank you for allowing us the first shots.)

The good news arriving with 2021 keeps on getting better as we start to return to normal this year.  But we’re not there yet – in Montreal, my favourite coffee shop is still closed, breakfast and lunch stops are take-out only, the curfew still restricts any evenings out and social contact is still constrained to small groups, wearing masks and keeping their distance.

These may all be signs of the new normal for post-Covid-19 after the global war on the pandemic has ended. (If it ever does.) Like the new security measures after post-9/11 and the global war on terrorism, we will have new security measures against deadly contagious disease everywhere. Not just for getting on airplanes or entering foreign countries, but for entering bars and restaurants, live concerts and sporting events, enjoying museums, libraries and movie theatres.

Have you noticed what’s changed and what we’ve learned together?

  • A new awareness of our shared responsibility to take care of each other. And the need to listen and understand before trying to change the behaviour of those who disagree because of ignorance, fear, selfishness, anger or ideology.
  • A greater sense of urgency for fixing the social services network and supporting our front-line health care workers and first responders.
  • A heightened appreciation of the importance to our health and welfare of maintaining close personal relationships with friends and family, neighbours, associates and colleagues.
  • A better understanding of the need to tell the truth; to be a critical and skeptical listener; and, to engage in civil discussion of ideas and issues with those outside our usual circle of friends and fellow travelers.

What can we really expect of the new normal?

  • Innovative, creative and ambitious entrepreneurs continuing to respond with effective solutions.
  • Increasing adoption of new technologies and digital, online services in all areas of our lives; from work and recreation to education and entertainment.
  • Better regulation and oversight of the technology giants who dominate social media and control our access to, and sharing of, information both public and personal.
  • Better choices made by socially aware customers and consumers to support businesses, products and services that meet responsible, ethical and moral standards to protect people and the planet.

Can we be hopeful and optimistic? Yes.

Will we be among the intelligent, caring and compassionate, rational human beings who allow us all to be better and do better together? Yes, let’s do that too.

Be better. Do better.

Del Chatterson, Your Uncle Ralph

Learn more about Enlightened Entrepreneurship at: Read more of Uncle Ralph's advice for Entrepreneurs in Don't Do It the Hard Way & The Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide to Business Plans - 2020 Editions.

 Read more Blog posts at: LearningEntrepreneurship Blogs


Results are all that matter, right?

Wrong. Character matters.

Behaviour matters.

 This post from a year ago seems particularly appropriate this weekend as America makes important decisions about leadership for the country. The whole world is watching and worrying. Let’s hope they get it right and do better this time.

Here’s why I think character and behaviour are important to consider. It’s not just about results or performance on the job. It’s about the way the job is done and the guiding moral and ethical principles that go beyond ego and personal self interest.

Whether you are a corporate CEO, a politician, or simply a hard-working entrepreneur or business manager, leadership performance is continuously being assessed based on the results you achieve.

But does it matter how they are achieved? Some people think not. The results are all that matter. Especially if the results are what they want and they can ignore the consequences for those that get left out. They’re wrong.

Character matters. Ethics, attitude and behaviour matter. Tactics and methods matter. Words matter.

Success for some and the desired results may appear to be achieved, regardless of the behaviour. Immoral, irresponsible, ruthless, and aggressive behaviour may even appear to have been necessary to achieve the results. Wrong again.

The apparent short-term gains will eventually be lost to long-term reactions. Those who are used and abused will get even. A legacy of accomplishment may be completely forgotten, when the true character is revealed. Just ask Bill Cosby or Harvey Weinstein. President Trump’s day of reckoning is coming too.

C’mon America, we’re counting on you.

Be better. Do better.

Your Uncle Ralph, Del Chatterson

Covid Customer Service- Part 2

(This article is based on extracts from Uncle Ralph’s Random Ramblings in DON’T DO IT THE HARD WAY - 2020 Edition)

Make it personal

In this period of Covid pandemic protocols we are being required to meet new challenges and obstacles to deliver outstanding customer service.

The pandemic frustrations have heightened anxiety and stress for everyone. Customers are in no mood for tolerating poor customer service and employees are equally fed up dealing with impatient and unsympathetic customers.

Customer service has always been the ultimate test for choosing our suppliers and business partners, brands, products and services. How did your own last purchasing decision go?

Add the personal touch to the online experience  

In the pandemic world of 2020, we’re all doing more business online and missing the personal touch that always makes a difference. But making it personal does not mean displaying your messy office as background on a ZOOM call, wearing unprofessional attire as well as needing a haircut. And a barking dog in the background or a cat on the keyboard do not help. (Unless you really want to project the image of eccentric aunt Gertrude.)

And please don’t do the automated customer survey and ignore the feedback. Don’t just track the statistics, respond to the comments. You asked for it, right?

You’ll see, “Your service sucks and I’m taking my business to your competitor!” Or maybe, “Doreen and Nestor were excellent! Answered all my questions, upgraded my service plan and reduced my monthly fees. I’m giving you a shout-out to my 20,000 followers on social media.”

Both deserve a prompt personal response.

These are challenging times. Enlightened Entrepreneurs will lead the way.

Be better. Do better.

Del Chatterson, your Uncle Ralph

Read more of Uncle Ralph's advice for Entrepreneurs in Don't Do It the Hard Way & The Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide to Business Plans - 2020 Editions.


Read more articles at: LearningEntrepreneurship Blogs


Covid Customer Service

 (This article is based on extracts from Uncle Ralph’s Random Ramblings in DON’T DO IT THE HARD WAY - 2020 Edition)

 Empathy on steroids

In this period of Covid pandemic protocols we are meeting new challenges and obstacles to delivering outstanding customer service. It’s time for new levels of empathy and understanding. And customers are likely to be in no mood for tolerating deficiencies.


The pandemic frustrations and isolation from normal social and business activities has heightened our levels of anxiety and stress to the point of explosion at the slightest disturbance.

Customer service has always been the ultimate test for Enlightened Entrepreneurs – demonstrating how well they treat their employees by how well their employees treat the customers. It’s the final decision-making factor in how we vote with our purchasing dollars, both as consumers and as business-to-business clients.

This period presents a severe test.  

How well are you responding to the fears and obstacles arising out of the Covid-19 pandemic – meeting protocols for hand sanitizers, maintaining social distance and wearing masks? How do you handle people who don't behave; who refuse to follow the public health guidelines or who are not at all sympathetic to the current restrictions on your normal levels of staffing, facilities and services? Are your staff well informed, well trained and prepared to respond appropriately? Will you retain existing loyal customers or gain new ones? Or both.

These are challenging times. But with sufficient compassion and understanding we can take care of each other and get through this together. Enlightened Entrepreneurs will lead the way.

Be better. Do better.

Del ChattersonYour Uncle Ralph

The secrets revealed! How to be a successful Enlightened Entrepreneur

Thank you for your interest in the STAPLES SPOTLIGHT EVENT , Wednesday evening, August 19th, on Enlightened Entrepreneurship


Be a successful Enlightened Entrepreneur

Have a Purpose and a Plan

Avoid the Big Mistakes

I wanted to follow-up with this article and also to provide the ZOOM meeting recording for your review , in case you missed it.

If you chose on registration to Opt-in to future mailings, I have added your email address to the current list for my occasional newsletter, Ideas for Entrepreneurs.  You may, of course, Join our mailing list now or Opt-out anytime.

The full -hour ZOOM recording is available now.   Check out the video at:

You may wish to quickly scan through to the specific slides or topics that interest you most.

I hope you are doing well with your own challenges as an entrepreneur and will join me in the cause of supporting and promoting Enlightened Entrepreneurship.

Thank you for your interest in how to be a more successful Enlightened Entrepreneur

Be better. Do better.

And please take care of each other,

Your Uncle Ralph, 

Del Chatterson