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team player

Win with great team players

Posted On: September 21, 2020 by Mike Mallaro in: Employee Ownership, Social commentary, VGM, Work Culture

The other day I clicked on the link to a video of a basketball game played 40 years ago – and had an epiphany - mostly the best teams win, not the team with the best player(s).    The game was Iowa vs. Georgetown, with the winner going to the Final Four.  The Iowa team had no all-Big Ten players that year.  Of their five leading scores that game, four never played a minute in the NBA, and the one that did was a...
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Tags: team, team players, vgm

right to vote

The 19th Amendment

Posted On: August 18, 2020 by Mike Mallaro in: Community & Loneliness, Opinions, Social commentary, Work Culture

Today (August 18, 2020) marks the 100th anniversary of women earning the right to vote in America, via ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.  In commemoration of this historic advancement in equal rights, I wanted to share some of the lessons that we might be able to take away from this successful struggle, as best I understand from my reading. Meaningful advancements take time.  Women won the right to vote in 1920, one-hundred forty-four years after the founding...
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Tags: 19th amendment, Carrie Chapman Catt, hard won not done, right to vote, vote, women's suffrage

Crossing the Bridge

Crossing the Bridge

Posted On: August 4, 2020 by Mike Mallaro in: Community & Loneliness, Opinions, Social commentary

My family’s 2020 spring break took an ironic turn that now seems like serendipity. We had planned a Caribbean vacation, but COVID-19 emerged about that time.  Not wanting to leave the country, nor get on a plane, we made a quick decision to drive to the Gulf Coast of Alabama.  We chose Alabama because it had no cases of the virus at that time, it was drivable from Iowa (15 hours!) and it offered an attractive beach substitute to the Caribbean.  We had a wonderful time in Alabama,...
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Tags: crossing the bridge, john lewis, living history, selma

Great Teams

Posted On: July 13, 2020 by Mike Mallaro in: Employee Ownership, Social commentary, VGM, Work Culture

The summer when I was twelve I played on the Gibson Red Sox baseball team.  Our team finished the season with a record of zero wins and sixteen losses.  We were what our record said we were.    Today most of us are part of teams – maybe a company, a department, a family or a community group. We each have a job to do as part of a team, with individual job duties and responsibilities.  But perhaps more importantly, we each have an...
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Tags: greatteams, people, teamplayer, teams

Choices

Choices

Posted On: June 22, 2020 by Mike Mallaro in: Healthcare, Social commentary, VGM, Work Culture

We all exercise freedom of choice.  We choose our partner, how to spend our time and where we buy groceries.  We choose the shows we watch, our religion and our favorite teams.  The people we serve exercise their freedom of choice as well.  Every person we do business with has a choice.  They can choose to work with us.  Alternatively, they can choose to do business with someone else, or use alternative methods that do not include us.  Success comes when make...
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Tags: choices, community, connections, relationships

Addressing Inequality

Addressing Inequality

Posted On: June 4, 2020 by Mike Mallaro in: Social commentary, VGM

Our nation is in a very difficult moment. Not only are we adjusting to a devastating pandemic, but we are confronting the scourge of racial injustice, yet again. This tumult arrives amid a foundation of an us-versus-them tribalism that has increasingly infected our country and escalated divisiveness. The pandemic will wane. Science and healthcare will advance upon it and destroy it, but that is probably going to take eighteen months. In the meantime, new habits of rigorous hand-washing, social...
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Tags: vgm, racism, race, inequality

Ownership

Ownership

Posted On: May 22, 2020 by Mike Mallaro in: Employee Ownership, Opinions, Social commentary, Work Culture

Renting has its advantages. No commitment. No investment. Free from entanglements. Owning on the other hand, requires investment. It means putting something at risk. Ownership comes with commitment, obligation and responsibility. You might say ownership requires you to be all-in. When it comes to your career and your life, ownership is worth the investment. In fact, it’s the only way to go. Employee-ownership of business is the pathway to career and personal fulfillment. Further,...
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The Bright Light of Optimism

The Bright Light of Optimism

Posted On: April 25, 2020 by Mike Mallaro in: Social commentary, VGM

The pandemic has cast a dark cloud of doom over much of the world. We’re largely locked down in our dwelling places, using Zoom or Ring Central by day and Netflix or Hulu by night – washing hands (again), avoiding people, being skeptical and generally existing in a dark place. Which is why today I’m writing about a bright light. One of the habits I’ve developed as CEO of VGM Group is that I send a congratulatory card and children’s book each time a VGM employee-owner...
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Tags: babies, optimism, future, hope, light, babyboom

Optimism

Optimism

Posted On: February 1, 2020 by Mike Mallaro in: Opinions, Social commentary

“Progress is a historical fact. The numbers show that over the past seven decades humans have become longer-lived, healthier, safer, richer, freer, fairer, happier, and smarter, not just in the West, but worldwide.” – Steven Pinker In my last post, I tried to make the case for optimism as an antidote for fearing change. Even as I typed the words, I wondered how many of my readers would believe that things are getting progressively better with each passing year. As human beings,...
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Tags: future, success, optimism, hope

The Iowa Caucuses

The Iowa Caucuses

Posted On: January 15, 2020 by Mike Mallaro in: Opinions, Social commentary

My home state really messed up last Monday night. The Iowa Caucuses are a treasure in the state of Iowa, making us a temporary center of the political world every four years. Interestingly, my caucus site was highly organized and went off without a hitch. In fact, it was the best run Iowa caucus I have ever attended, and I’ve been to many. But at the level above, where results were collected, aggregated, and reported – well, that was a train wreck. There were a whole lot of voices calling...
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Tags: iowa, caucuses, caucus, politics