The Coach's Corner

Archive for July, 2018

It’s Not Fair

July 23rd, 2018 // Tom Doescher //

Tom Doescher - Doescher Advisors

After reading The Capitalist Comeback, by Andrew Puzder, I debated blogging about it. I’m still not sure what the exact angle is, but I decided to offer a few sound bites and leave it up to you.

Even though I spent the first 15 years of my professional career advising (financially, that is) local governments — where I experienced some really nasty politics at times — I was shocked by this book. To support his comments and views, Puzder provides more than 500 references to other books, articles, studies, and speeches to support his findings. (Editorial comment: As you know, I prefer authors who reference credible sources versus those with “just” strong personal opinions.)

Puzder was a successful commercial trial lawyer who joined the parent company of Hardee’s Restaurant. After five years, he became CEO — a job he successfully held for 16 years. President Trump nominated Puzder to serve as his Secretary of Labor but, after a long and contentious confirmation hearing process, he withdrew his name from consideration. What happened is very sad to me, although I’m sure it happens to members of both political parties. Based on the positions presented in his book, I think Puzder would have been a refreshing addition to the cabinet. (And, just so you’re not confused, he was actually in favor of increasing the minimum wage. You need to read the book to get more details on his position.)

Although he doesn’t say it this way, Puzder seems to believe that for over 100 years, the U.S. has been drifting away from its roots. Prior to the industrial revolution, most Americans were business owners. Many were farmers and the rest had businesses that provided products or services to the farmers, like blacksmiths. Daniel Pink refers to them as “free agents” in his book, Free Agent Nation. Puzder doesn’t get into this subject in his book, but Pink and others are excited that we once again seem to have more self-employed workers.

Probably to the surprise of many, Puzder is a champion of what he refers to as entry-level jobs. He’s also really focused on income inequality.

I guess I would say that if you want to hear a side of the story that’s rarely told, I would recommend reading Puzder’s book. I found him to be a guy who cares about his family, his business, his employees and, most of all, his country.

Switch On Your Brain

July 9th, 2018 // Tom Doescher //

Tom Doescher - Doescher Advisors

Switch On Your Brain is actually the title of a fascinating book written by Dr. Caroline Leaf, a neuroscientist with more than 20 years of clinical experiences. Since the ’80s, she has intensely studied the brain. Caution: I want to mention, upfront, that she’s a practicing Christian who incorporates her faith and scripture into her practice (which I believe only strengthens her scientific positions). With or without the scripture references, the plethora of brain research over the last 20-plus years is quite convincing.

I’m out of my area of professional expertise when it comes to discussing the brain, but I’ll take that risk. Today, we all experience and observe so many situations that seem hopeless and have the potential to drag us down. I found that Dr. Leaf offers some very practical and worthwhile advice for many of us.

For over 100 years, learned students, brain experts, and conventional wisdom believed that the brain was hardwired, or fixed. However, based on volumes of brain research over the past 20 years, Dr. Leaf and colleagues from prominent medical research institutions have come to recognize that the mind can reprogram the brain. The scientific word describing how the brain changes as a result of mental activity is called neuroplasticity. This means the brain is malleable and adaptable, changing moment by moment, every day. Additionally, the research indicates that DNA changes shape according to our thoughts.

Dr. Leaf would say, “You are not a victim. You can control your reactions. You do have a choice.” She would also say neuroplasticity can operate for us — as well as against us — because whatever we think about the most will grow (this applies to both the positive and negative ends of the spectrum).

Dr. Leaf provides a 21-day detox plan, which I decided to personally apply to a 15-year-old issue in my life. Just the idea that there may be light at the end of the tunnel was encouraging for me. So far, it has actually worked. I don’t want to take the space here to explain it, but I would be happy to share my issue with you if you’re interested.

Most of you who know me will probably say that I’m pretty solid, stable, and fact-based. That being said, if you are, or have for some time, struggled with an issue — even something as debilitating as posttraumatic stress disorder, for example — consider at least taking the time to read Dr. Leaf’s book. I found her life views very uplifting and inspiring, and I hope you do, too.


p.s. In previous posts, I’ve referenced Mindset, by Carol Dweck, who coined the terms “fixed” and “growth” mindsets. Her studies support the position that with the proper instruction/coaching and lots of correct practice (deliberate practice), you can get better. I like both Dr. Leaf and Dweck’s views because they provide hope.



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Tom DoescherYou’ll find stories from the trenches, business lessons, and pertinent questions to help you find inspiration, professional growth, and leadership savvy.

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