North Carolina Maritime Museum, Politics AND Tall Ships

Following up on my earlier post North Carolina Maritime Museum Experiencing Choppy Seas, Squall Lines, a blog of the John Locke Foundation of North Carolina, posted more information including links to several older articles. Tall Ships and Maritime Museums.  

NY Times – Companies Pressed to Define Green Policies

There is an interesting article in today’s NY Times written by Claudio Deutsch which discusses how investors have become much more focused on how companies’ environmental policies affect their bottomlines.

Mindy S. Lubber, president of Ceres, a coalition of investors and environmental groups is quoted:

“This has nothing to do with social investing. These investors are owners who want the companies to stop being laggards when it comes to minimizing risk and taking advantage of opportunities.”

Tracey C. Rembert, the coordinator of corporate governance and engagement for the Service Employees International Union, is quoted about her organization’s interest in Well Fargo:

“We want them to rethink their business, and set themselves up to take strategic advantage of climate change.”

“Climate change will involve regulatory risks, reputational risks and physical risks to the companies in any bank’s portfolio,” she said. “We need to know that Wells Fargo is ahead of the curve in addressing it.”

Granted the “investors” quoted in the article come from the public and nonprofit sectors where concern for global warming and other social issues are much more  prevalent. They have also been focused on and speaking out about these issues for quite a while.  Continue reading NY Times – Companies Pressed to Define Green Policies

Some Good News from North Carolina

Grand NellieYesterday I received an email from my friend Captain Ellen Troeltzsch of the Schooner Grand Nellie with the picture below . If you were around the tall ship fleet on the Atlantic Coast or Great Lakes in the early part of the decade you might recognize this vessel by the unique crew she kept. Her “Skipper” was actually a Dalmatian that epitomized the term “sea-dog.” Guaranteed he traveled more miles under sail than any other dog around. Unfortunately, Skipper passed away last year and will be sorely missed.

The good news out of Oriental, NC is that Captain’s Ellen and Jeff have welcomed aboard a new “sea-dog” named Hoosier. (Something to do with the fact that he was born in Indiana and there is a question about who his daddy might be.) 

Hoosier

Congratulations to the Troeltzschs and let’s get that beautiful schooner back to sea and changing more young lives (including Hoosier’s)!

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North Carolina Maritime Museum Experiencing Choppy Seas

North Carolina Maritime MuseumAn article from today’s The Daily News of Jacksonville, NC reports that the North Carolina Maritime Museum is experiencing some rough seas as a result of hosting last summer’s America’s Sail event.

For the past few years I have been following this event pretty closely as executive director of the American Sail Training Association (ASTA), the organizer of the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE, an annual series of Tall Ships races and attendant maritime festivals across North America. Founded in the early 1970’s, in part to bring the 1976 Bicentennial Tall Ships event to North America, ASTA owns the registered trademark “Tall Ships” and therefore is sensitive to events that could potentially damage its brand. Continue reading North Carolina Maritime Museum Experiencing Choppy Seas

Transcendent Leadership

Michael Useem, Wharton professor and author of The Go Point (see review) participated in the recent World Economic Forum and reported about the experience over on The Huffington Post yesterday. The World Economic Forum: A Call to Exercise Global Leadership, Not Just Self Interest. Useem wrote:

…the event also served to define and reinforce a shared culture among participants. Central to that culture is an emphasis on transcendent leadership — the idea that standing above all other values is the ideal of a joint commitment to bettering the planet.

Business leaders, the British prime minister (Tony Blair) suggested, must therefore move beyond “corporate social responsibility” to embrace a “strategic engagement with the moral imperatives of the era.”

Powerful and ambitious words are what we should expect from our leaders; however, several recognized that they will ring hollow if not converted into action.

E. Neville Isdell, CEO of Coca-Cola and co-chair of the Forum, warned that the outside world sometimes viewed Davos as “the epicenter of ego” — and that the calling was now for all participants to make it, instead, “the epicenter of commitment.” James J. Schiro, CEO of Zurich Financial Services and another co-chair of the Forum, followed with a call to action. “I’ve been coming here for 15 years, and what’s evident is the rise of a focus on leadership and change.” Consequently, “I would ask everybody, when you return home, to exercise your leadership.”

Leadership is about making possible what was once perceived impossible. Transcendent leadership presents a vision of optimism, hope and a better world for all.  Does transcendent leadership represent what would be Collins’ Level 6? 

Only time will tell whether or not these world leaders who meet in Davos can set aside their provincial mindsets and make a collective difference in solving some of the world’s most difficult challenges.

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Experience is Everything

In case you missed it, this is a new Old Spice ad. It’s not a surprise that I liked it because the tag line declares “experience is everything” which pretty much captures the theme of several of my earlier posts. Also, in the background is a painting of the longest tall ship I’ve ever seen and, like my dad, I use Old Spice too. (Well, I actually use Old Spice Red Zone deodorant, not the aftershave). Finally,  there is the sad but funny coincidence that my sidebar photo is remarkably similar to what we see in the video.

In any case, I find this to be a funny ad and pretty clever. Listen and watch closely as Bruce Campbell, a cult B movie actor, talks about “it.”

If you have a little time to waste and you want to have some fun,check out www.experienceoldspice.com.

AdWeek: Barbara Lippert’s Critique: Old Spice Still Gets It

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Wall Street Journal – Why Exec’s Warming to Climate Legislation

In today’s Wall Street Journal, Alan Murray writes about the recent changed corporate attitudes about global warming. (Why Key Executives Are Warming to Legislation on Climate Change. Unfortunately, you need to be an online subscriber to read his column; however, you get into the conversation at www.wsj.com/talkingbusiness.) 

Part of the answer is that corporate leaders are starting to perceive good business reasons to become “green” or more socially responsible. I wrote about this last month.

The February 2007 edition of the Harvard Business Review has an interesting article by University of Michigan business school professor C.K. Prahalad and Toronto-based consultant Jeb Brugmann entitled “Cocreating Business’s New Social Compact” on the related topic of the convergence between the corporate sector and civil society. (You can access the article for free after watching a brief ad on the HBR website.) This article follows on the heels of the December 2006 HBR article by HBS Professor Michael E. Porter and Mark R. Kramer, managing director of FSG Social Impact Advisers entitled “Strategy and Society: The Link Between Competitive Advantage and Corporate Social Responsibility.”

More great media coverage for CSR.

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Rough Waters for the Independence seaport Museum

Checking through my feeds after a great vacation in Grand Cayman, I came across an interesting post on Maritime Compass about the Independence Maritime Museum in Philadelphia.

In June of 2006 after an “extensive internal investigation,” John S. Carter was “terminated” as president of the Independence Seaport Museum after 17 years at the helm. On January 22, 2007, the museum filed a lawsuit in Massachusetts, Carter’s home state, allegeding the misappropriation of $2.4 million. Ouch! Carter’s lawyer also confirmed to the Philadelphia Inquirer that his client is also under investigation by the FBI.

Ex-head of Seaport Museum accused of fraud – Officials claim John S. Carter defrauded the institution of $2.4 million to support his lifestyle – Philadelphia Inquirer (January 23, 2007)

Enigma who went overboard – Nobody acknowledges really knowing John S. Carter, who stands accused of bilking the seaport museum of $2.4 million – Philadelpha Inquirer (January 23, 2007)

Museum is righting itself, officials say – Philadelphia Inquirer (January 24, 2007)

Seaport museum alleges former president misused funds – Philadelphia Business Journal (January 23, 2007)

Suit alleges $2.4 fraud – Cape Cod Times – (January 24, 2007)

Former Seaport Museum Head Now Accused of Filching $2.4 Million – Wheremostneeded.org (January 30, 2007)

This scandal is tied into a larger one that involves a state senator whose name still appears on the Independence Seaport Museum’s website (as of this post) as a Member of the Board of Port Wardens which appears to be their governing body.

Carter’s salary was reported to be over $300,000 which was more than what the Philadelphia Art Museum, a world class institution, pays its president. While I have never actually visited the Independence Seaport Museum, this seems like a lot of money for a museum that reportedly has had to repeatedly dip into its endowment to shore up operating deficits.

As a former nonprofit executive director, I find this story to be very disheartening. Trust is the commodity on which nonprofit organizations trade; after it is betrayed it is difficult to win back.  With so much competition for philanthropic support, nonprofit leaders have to be ever vigilant in protecting the reputation of their organization and the social investments made in and by their community. This is a significant responsibility that must be shared by staff and board members.

I suspect that there is still a lot that will play out in this story in the coming months. Hopefully, the current leadership of the Independence Seaport Museum will take this crisis and transform it into an opportunity to make their organization stronger. The best place to start would be for the board carefully review their governance model and decisionmaking practices and to recruit a Level 5 Leader for the current president vacancy.

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The Lookout (February 4, 2007)

Look-out (noun): 1. the act of looking out or keeping watch; 2. a watch kept, as for something that may happen; 3. a person or group keeping watch; 4. a station or place from which watch is kept. 5. an object of care or concern. (Dictionary.com)

Five links to blogs, posts, articles or websites that we found interesting, useful or just fun.

1. The World Economic Forum website. Lots to explore. (Leadership)

2. A World Economic Forum session that I found particularly interesting was Wisdom of Youth. Panelist’s included H.M. Queen Rania of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and Gordon Brown, Chancellor of the Exchequer of the United Kingdom and the moderator was Jonathan Charles, Correspondent, BBC World Affairs, United Kingdom. The highlight was the participation of 5 youth panelists from around the world. There were also some interesting comments and questions from the audience at 41:20 of the Webcast. (Education)

3. The Work Space on the World Economic Forum’s website. Check out Visualizing A Successful Enterprise in The Future Series.(Interesting)

4. Acronym Finder (Tool)

5. Drip Wars – A Pollock, in the Eyes of Art and Science (NY Times, Sunday, February 4, 2007) Technology vs. intuition. (Essay)

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Book Review – The Go Point by Michael Useem

Over the past week we have been on a family vacation in Grand Cayman staying in beautiful condo in the Rum Point section of the island and minutes walk away from the beach. This is our first trip here and I can’t recommend it enough. (Blog and photos.)

The Go PointIt’s also a great place to read and I finally had the chance to sit down with Michael Useem’s newest book, The Go Point. I am really interested in his work and enjoyed several of his earlier books including Upward Bound: Nine Original Accounts of How Business Leaders Reached Their Summits (with Paul Asel), Leading Up: How to Lead Your Boss So You Both Win and The Leadership Moment: Nine True Stories of Triumph and Disaster and Their Lessons for All of Us.

Michael Useem is the Wiliam and Jacalyn Egan Professor of Management at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, as well as the director of its Center for Leadership and Change Management.

In October 2005, I had the good fortune to participate in Wharton’s Executive Education Program The Leadership Journey which is lead by Professors Useem and Greg Shea. As its name implies, its is a weeklong intensive experience uniquely exploring leadership from academic and personal perspectives. This was clearly one of the most significant adult learning experiences that I have ever had and I was looking forward to reading The Go Point. Continue reading Book Review – The Go Point by Michael Useem