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As we celebrate Independence Day, freedom is very much on our minds. It is fitting to reflect on the wisdom of Thomas Jefferson who said, “…let the annual return of this day forever refresh our recollection of these rights, and our undiminished devotion to...

One day, a son walked into his father's office. His father sat behind the desk, wearing a baseball cap with the word "Boss" on the front. Looking up at his son, the father said, “I’m glad you stopped by. I’m sorry to have to...

How we as business leaders deal with our most pressing concerns about driving growth, developing leaders, managing change, and so many other issues, depends largely on whether we’re able to see old problems in new ways. That’s certainly true in a family enterprise, where...

Last month’s news that Jeff Bezos was stepping down as Amazon’s CEO put succession planning in the headlines. But you don’t have to be the third biggest company in the world to be concerned about succession. Every day, hundreds of business leaders wrestle with...

In January 2011, when we re-launched Tandem Partners, the economy was still recovering from the 2008-2009 financial crisis. If you think that move was ill-timed, you might be right. But at least we were in good company – Instagram, Lyft, Slack, Tinder and Impossible...

If you feel like you’re slowly crawling your way to the end of the year like an exhausted runner to the finish line, you’re not alone. It has been one of the most challenging years we can remember, and we’re all exhausted. Like many...

All over the world, companies have been challenged by the pandemic to adapt and find new ways of working. Flexible structures and “flatarchies” have emerged to support rapid response and decision-making. Remote work has kept businesses operational and many will stay with at least...

The longest suspension bridge around may not be the Mackinac or the Golden Gate, but the span between generations in a family enterprise. More often than not, the emphasis in succession planning begins with the senior generation and their pressing concerns. When do they...

In this pandemic year, back-to-school has taken on a new, and very confusing meaning. Depending on the region, schools may not be fully reopening - while others have announced virtual learning until later in the year. Traditional jitters have been magnified by the uncertainty...

It's too early to tell, but a shift in perspective on succession may be playing out in organizations all across the country. Over the last few months, the magnitude of a global crisis has caused many leaders to re-examine their priorities. In some companies,...

By the end of May, all 50 states had begun easing the restrictions put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19. In many places now, people can go back to restaurants and retail stores – yet not everyone is ready to venture out....

Has anyone else noticed a rash of aggressive driving lately? It seems that some people are taking advantage of the empty roads to drive at excessively high speeds. And reckless driving is far from the worst behavior that’s been making headlines over the last...

It’s been interesting to see over the last several weeks how people are adapting to life in a pandemic. Our ways of learning, moving, shopping and cooking have all changed. Our ways of working have shifted too, as technology enables and alters the way...

Here at Tandem Partners HQ, we’re entering week six of our new work-from-home, stay-at-home life, as are many of you. People are still sick, stores are still closed, and business is still taking place inside four walls and our computer screens. But also, people...

It’s safe to say that the last month has kicked us way out of our comfort zones and the routines we took for granted. This crisis has also disrupted the way leaders are interacting with their teams, and not just in the working-from-home sense....

The willow that bends to the tempest often escapes better than the oak which resists it. -- Albert Schweitzer What a month it has been. The last few weeks have been dominated by a barrage of sobering headlines, new working-from-home schedules, and all kinds of big...

Yesterday our state moved into new Stay-At-Home orders, and it really hit me: We’re going through what will probably be a life-changing experience on a worldwide scale. People everywhere are in defensive mode, scrambling to protect their health, their families and their livelihoods. Business...

Over the last week, we’ve been in touch with many leaders who are struggling with everything from crisis communication and resource planning to rapid decision making and managing employee fears. The Coronavirus is changing our lives and work in ways we don’t yet fully...

The If-I-Want-Something-Done-I’ll-Do-It-Myself Solution -  A business owner named Sue had initiated a succession process at her company. Like many leaders, Sue struggled to relinquish responsibility to younger leaders. She’d always been reluctant to delegate, and often found herself re-doing others’ work. This tendency seemed to...

Four Principles for Preventing Culture Shock -  Almost 20 years ago, America Online agreed to purchase Time Warner for $165 billion in what would be the biggest merger in history. People still talk about it today – not just because it was big, but because...

From Walmart and Mars to the corner store in your neighborhood, about 90% of all U.S. businesses are family-owned or family-controlled. At any given time, a large percentage of these companies is facing a generational transition. Yet it’s reported that less than half have...

When you’re a leader, it’s easy to become preoccupied with your own significant workload. However, when that happens, you’re necessarily less available to your team. Of course, there will always be issues that you personally must attend to.  But think about what it means...

The Baby Boomers – about 70 million of them – are poised to make quite an impact on the economy. A “silver tsunami” of retiring business owners has started, and with it, one of the biggest changeovers of private companies in U.S. history. Thousands...

Most leaders will encounter this dilemma at least once in their careers:  An employee who’s pretty bad on some days and just good enough to get by on others. An employee who shows up consistently, but doesn’t ultimately contribute a whole lot. A manager...

6 Keys to Making it Work - Sigmund Freud famously said that “Love and work are the cornerstones of our humanness.” And most people would agree: Having love and doing meaningful work are deeply connected to our satisfaction in life. But how do you manage...

Back when our daughter was a junior in college, she came home one weekend and announced that she’d missed the deadline for on-campus housing assignments and would have to find an apartment. (Oops. Sorry Mom and Dad.) Her parents (us) had equally strong, but...

“I’ve owned 400 to 500 stocks in my lifetime and made most of my money on 10 of them.”  – Warren Buffett It’s a well-known fact in the investing world that the lion’s share of results will come from a small percentage of investments. In statistics,...

Ask most Copreneurs if they have and use written job descriptions and many will say, “Not really. We like to keep things pretty informal around here.” In fact, many founder-entrepreneurs pride themselves on the informality that often goes hand in hand with early stage...

Did you know that nearly a quarter of the U.S. workforce spends part of each day working at home? Commutes are longer, offices are smaller and technology is better – all contributing to the number of people who work from home at least part of the time....

Gates had Buffett, Oprah had Maya, and Dylan had Guthrie.  In your world, who do the next generation of leaders look up to? Many family-owned companies say they expect to transfer leadership to the next generation, yet only a small percentage have a plan...

Like many of you, we belong to professions that require us to be licensed to practice – Ron as a Certified Public Accountant and Margaret as a Professional Certified Coach. Every year, we engage in continuing education, just like our friends who are social...

We all remember that foreboding time - back-to-school - the photo on the front steps, shopping for new shoes, backpacks, supplies, and a haircut. This year, over 78 million students returned to the classroom, with a reported 2.5% suffering from Didaskaleinophobia, the fear of...

When you hear the term “leadership development” what comes to mind? Who comes to mind? If you’re like most people, you think of leadership development as about the people coming up behind you. People younger than you, or less experienced. The next generation, you...

“It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”  - Mark Twain In the world of family business, it seems that some generally accepted axioms are out of date, yet still frequently quoted. Some...

Some songs just say summer, like Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, recorded almost 40 years ago now. But even if you’re not a fan of the music, it’s hard not to admire Buffett’s entrepreneurial spirit and success.  On the lighter side, enjoy these business gems from Ron...

At the end of a trip to Utah last fall, we flew home to Maryland via Las Vegas. While we were in the neighborhood, we thought we’d check out a show. We understand now why Cirque du Soleil is always sold out. It’s because...

In the early years of a committed relationship, all couples have to learn to make adjustments. Reality turns out to be different than our expectations. Quirks we hadn’t noticed in the dreamy days of dating start to drive us nuts. The two of us...

Long before there was Dr. Seuss, there was Tom Brown. In 1680, young Tom Brown was expelled from Oxford University for mischief making, and in response, he wrote this now famous nursery rhyme:   I do not like thee, Doctor Fell; The reason why, I cannot...

It has been famously said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Take a second to think about that. Who you spend time with can lift you up as much as it can bring you down. We...

Like many of you, we belong to professions that require us to be licensed to practice – Ron as a Certified Public Accountant and Margaret as a Professional Certified Coach. Every year, we engage in continuing education, just like our friends who are social...

Early in our careers, there was a time when we both worked in CPA firms – Ron in auditing and Margaret in marketing. Our kids were six and three at the time and the “busy season” between January and April just about crushed our...

If you’re feeling burned out in the family business, you’re not alone. It can happen when you’re feeling overwhelmed by business problems or prolonged tension in a relationship or any number of reasons. Whatever the cause, burnout doesn’t happen overnight, and it’s practically impossible...

“The final test of greatness in a CEO is how well he chooses a successor and whether he can step aside and let his successor run the company.” Those deceptively simple words are from Peter Drucker, the father of modern management, whose ideas continue...

This blog comes from Ron Wilson at our sister company, CopreneurCPR www.copreneurcpr.com. While written for couples in business, the advice is equally relevant for any business leader.  Legendary investor Warren Buffett is known for placing pearls of wisdom in his annual letter to shareholders. We’ve...

Years ago when our son was in high school, he spent a large part of every week night working on math problems, which were not exactly his favorite thing to do. One night he came downstairs to the living room where Margaret was reading. “Hey...

Show of hands:  Who loves a good TED talk? Or should we ask, who doesn’t love a good TED talk? Over the years, we’ve watched dozens of talks online and even attended a few regional TEDx conferences in person. Whether it’s learning about the...

*Hustle Sold Separately That’s not just a catchy slogan to inspire you to reach for the stars. And this isn’t a speech to remind you it’ll all be worth it when you’re working 16 hours a day. This is a short story about Dreaming and...

Three stories in which something went wrong, but something bigger went right It’s never fun being sick with the flu, but if you’re down for the count anyway, binge-watching episodes of “Mad Men,” isn’t a bad way to pass the time. (Not that we’re, ahem,...