Nancy Napier

Sure, you can walk in someone’s shoes, but why not learn to speak their language?

What do you call the sunlight that passes through the leaves of a tree? Or the long reflection the moon casts on a lake that looks like a pathway? If you want to understand another person, goes the advice, learn her language. I usually think of that advice in terms of a foreign language but… Read more Sure, you can walk in someone’s shoes, but why not learn to speak their language?

Want to be more productive? Take a rest from intense work? Try these steps

Tim Ferriss, author of “The 4-Hour Workweek,” is also a podcaster. His interviews with high performers in a variety of fields (art, athletics, business, military, you name it) offer tips and personal approaches these experts use to excel in their work. In addition, he “experiments” on himself a lot, trying different approaches from workouts to… Read more Want to be more productive? Take a rest from intense work? Try these steps

Do you remember the decisions that changed your life? This woman’s rings remind her

I wrote a while ago about a ring I wear that helps me remember to maintain equilibrium in my life. I’ve got several rings like that — ones that remind me to focus on something at a certain stage in life. So I look at my fingers more than most people might. A friend of mine also… Read more Do you remember the decisions that changed your life? This woman’s rings remind her

What are your key turning points? Phil Knight, of Nike, had several

  I never realized that long before Nike was Nike, it was Blue Ribbon. I’ve been reading books on business firms and leaders recently, such as Shoe Dog (by Phil Knight), Alibaba (Jack Ma), and Brick by Brick (about Legos). A common feature seems to be the role of turning points and how much difference they can make. Phil Knight’s story… Read more What are your key turning points? Phil Knight, of Nike, had several

What historian David McCullough’s new book can teach Idaho business leaders

I seem to be quoting The Wall Street Journal’s Peggy Noonan a lot these days. A few weeks ago, she had an excellent column suggesting that leaders need to think more like artists than economists. This past week she reviewed a collection of speeches by the historian David McCullough, who has much to offer leaders of any… Read more What historian David McCullough’s new book can teach Idaho business leaders

Will Idaho’s growing old-age population shape Boise in a different way?

When many people think about “shapers” of a community, they may think first of people with power, who make decisions like where roads will go, where to put new housing developments, or how to build and run companies that thrive. My first thought about community “shapers” zeroed in on “invisible” changes that have and will… Read more Will Idaho’s growing old-age population shape Boise in a different way?

How do you hire for passion or curiosity? Here’s one question to ask.

When I was a young professor, I invited a very successful entrepreneur to speak to my class. One of the questions was, “How did you learn to hire the right people?” His response: “I made a lot of mistakes … on my previous employer’s nickel.” In other words, he learned how to hire by making… Read more How do you hire for passion or curiosity? Here’s one question to ask.