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Why Daddy Matters

An article in the Times today spoke about Intel’s plan to remake the way we watch TV, from a newly designed remote control to cloud based programming that is always available. The first thought about this new “integrated, simple new approach” was that I still see myself being called into the “living” room to get the TV working 5 years from now. My memory of my Dad adjusting and playing with our old TV back in the 60’s is ingrained in me. He was the remote control. When the picture rolled (nobody under 40 knows what that means), he would get up and go through a ritual dance, first adjusting a vertical “control,” then sit back down. As the rolling continued he would go back to the set and hit the side, a technique I have used to this day to get anything to work, including my kids. Then he would proceed to yell about the poor job the TV repairman did trying to fix it last month, which would lead to the “lets buy a new TV” that we could not afford. Then there was the universal reset, shut it off, wait 5 minutes and try again. Of course the Lawrence Welk show was not really critical to our lives so we did not care. Then the final moment, the set was turned on and the antenna was moved, and Dad appeared to have won the battle of a war that never seemed to end, TV that could be watched. Fast forward 50 years. The now “media room” has a monitor, sound system, DVD player, apple talk box and cablevision set top. Pretty basic stuff one would think. SO WHY IS IT THAT EVERY [...]

By | August 10th, 2013|Larry's Posts|Comments Off on Why Daddy Matters

Stations

I’m turning 60 in a few months. Just ran an easy half marathon on Sunday. Went to meet the sprinkler repairman a few days ago at my son in-law’s new home while he met with prospective new clients in the city. I sit home at night watching my twin grandchildren while my wife and kids are painting my daughter’s new home. It struck me that I had finally arrived at a new station in life. It was strange to think of my life as a ride on the E train from its starting point in Far Rockaway, weaving its way to its final stop somewhere I believe in upper Manhattan. I had never taken it more than halfway when I attended Brooklyn Tech during my high school days. In fact the mystery and fear still exist, along with the excitement of knowing what the rest of the line looks like as you pass the Dekalb Ave. station in Brooklyn. It truly amazes me when I read about the trips and exciting journey many of you all take. You allow yourself to witness life and the world, with little trepidation and childlike excitement. It is something I have not yet learned how to do. Yes, I do the exciting things. I flew my own plane, sail my own boats, hiked through the mountains alone upstate with just the food on my back, snowmobile the Vermont Mountains, and bike the endless back paths that surround me. I still feared the release of travel, in both time and distance. The flight to a foreign country or the expectation of old age. By keeping my life close at hand, I falsely believed life would be safer, more enjoyable and [...]

By | May 10th, 2013|Larry's Posts|Comments Off on Stations

Where Do You Need to Look?

Last week I was running down the beach for a bit and turned around to head back to my apartment a few miles back. A 13-story structure that from a distance appeared to be within an arm’s reach. Hot and tired, it occurred heading back that I had a few options to think about as I ran. It seemed like it was going to an uncomfortable trip back when I viewed it as the final goal, but when I lowered my sight to the sand in front of me, the waves hitting and cooling me down, I seemed to no longer care about the distance or the heat. My thoughts began to explore the task ahead of me, and how far I had run. It was no different than life itself, the past, present and future. Then I wondered if all this goal setting stuff I was brought up on, the books, the talk and the actual practices were really all that smart as a life plan. What if we missed too much in life by setting goal after goal? What if we lost track of the moments and the past while we set our sights so far into the future? Could there be a more balanced worthwhile way to go through life? The thought of Einstein, Edison, Gates and Jobs came to mind. What if they looked down instead of forward? What if the Wright brothers just lived for the moment? Where would we all be? I guess others would have made the same inventions at some point in time. I again wondered if maybe the answer was that for those special people, looking forward was their sacrifice in life to give all the [...]

By | January 10th, 2013|Larry's Posts|Comments Off on Where Do You Need to Look?

The Best Businesses Have the Best Customers

We are in our 34th year of business. Throughout the decades we have seen wars, economic turmoil, political firefights, horrific terror and worldwide duress. Throughout it all we stayed in business. We maintained profits; we took and paid back loans. We employed many and watched them as individuals grow from single young men to family men, buying homes, having kids, sending them off to college, and finally beginning to get ready for an easier quieter time. I have felt so good to be called a capitalist monster. Motivated by profits and growing a more efficient business. On that journey everyone at LMS has also enjoyed the trip. With some employees with me nearly 3 decades, and others for nearly 25 years, I have seen what many others in business don’t normally enjoy. To see their lives move through stages and the happiness they have made for themselves. Many people have asked me over the years to try to give them the secret to our longevity, and to our financial wellbeing. How they ask? What magic? What could I impart on them that the thousands of books on business have not already stated? Being that I have some time to think and ponder now, I sat and pondered. What is it? I then went out and asked others, they all answered with the same “great management” “great people” “great leadership.” The list of great things went on but they sounded like everything I ever read, what really was driving it? GREAT CUSTOMERS. It was so simple, so plain that I could never really come up with it. I knew we had really good clients, and that over the years our ability to find them, and stay [...]

By | December 10th, 2012|Larry's Posts|Comments Off on The Best Businesses Have the Best Customers

New Tools to Find New Solutions!

For nearly 45 years, I have applied myself to solving problems at many levels and in many disciplines, some far outside my area of expertise. During these years I have also met others that seem to have an unusual ability to resolve issues that others have stalled on. When I would do a review on the particular problem and how the solutions were obtained, it was clear that often it was not necessarily solved by somebody of superior intellect. Rather the solution would be achieved by a fairly simple application of common sense, and utilizing available information that would be applied in a special way. I continued to wonder why some people could design a solution while others stalled. What was enabling the positive trait that allowed the biggest issue at hand to be resolved? This month’s Times magazine helped me find the answer. A major article outlined the local economic news with Caterpillar Corporation as an example. It explained how local manufacturing in America could rebound. Statistics on 3 million more jobs in 5 years in that sector was possible, and that mid to high level tech type jobs would come alive. In fact the major issue would be to find Americans who could fill them. Hours later I came across another article on factory robots being used at Philips Electronics in the Netherlands. They claimed that anything that could be done by hand in China could effectively now be done through robotics and cost effectively, essentially saying manufacturing could be pulled back to whomever wants it back in their country. Wow. What was amazing was the 3 points raised on how this would be done. Robotics, strong community college involvement, and towns conducive [...]

By | September 10th, 2012|Larry's Posts|Comments Off on New Tools to Find New Solutions!

My First Half!

A few weeks ago I stepped outside to take a 6 mile run that I do fairly routinely around the hills of my home. Like most of my life, I safely mapped it out and built up to it over a two year period of running. For nearly 3 months I had talked about running a half marathon, even as far as trying to recruit a friend who had done a few, to make sure I would see it to fruition. Although my plan to actually get into the Long Island event fell apart when I realized my daughter’s graduation from Indiana would save me from it, I continued to increase my mileage eventually doing an 11 mile run. That being completed my brain kept telling me that the half marathon run could easily be accomplished, yet a nagging part of me kept reminding me that it was all “talk” with no action. The run had not happened, and no matter how much I could extrapolate the prior distances, or justify with some theory, I just hadn’t accomplished anything. The fact was that a half marathon distance was not done and to claim it was possible but not run was just eating away at me. That morning seemed like any other as I began my run. Without any real thought, the 6 miles rolled into 10, and then 14. I had done it. Without much thought of what just happened, a huge smile spread across my face. What amazed me was not the effort to do the run but the fact that it just happened. As I walked it off, I flashed back on all the amazing life decisions that “just happened:” College, marriage, house, [...]

By | July 10th, 2012|Larry's Posts|Comments Off on My First Half!