Invest in people and support Question 1

Originally published in the Deseret News.

The same thought runs through my mind every time I see a homeless person in downtown Salt Lake City, on a street corner or at the side of a freeway exit. This person was once a child just like my son or daughter. He or she had their life and all their hopes and dreams ahead of them. Somewhere along the way, something went terribly wrong. Through a complicated mix of bad luck, family breakdown, mental illness, substance abuse, incorrect choices and public policies, this once innocent and beautiful child is left with a shopping cart, a tarp, a cardboard sign and visible despair.

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Lessons learned from Utah’s mighty five college presidents

Originally published in the Deseret News.

I spent last week in Washington, D.C., and witnessed the dumpster fire that is the Supreme Court confirmation process. As a U.S. citizen, Utahn and woman, I welcomed the chance to return to the Beehive State where civility still means something, and reasonable people can disagree, while still building a great community together.

My enthusiasm deepened this week as I had the opportunity to moderate a panel of Utah’s new mighty five — the female college presidents in Utah. Their leadership inspires me and stands in stark contrast to the venomous and divisive leadership we see in our nation’s capital. I think we can learn a lot from Utah’s remarkable female college presidents.

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When to Persevere & When to Quit

Originally published in Utah Business.

Several years ago, I came across a little book that changed the way I view challenges in life. It helped me evaluate when I need to press forward and when I need to quit. This concept has all sorts of applications to life, business, and economic success.

The book is called The Dipwritten by entrepreneur and marketing guru, Seth Godin. Throughout his career,  Mr. Godin has written 18 best-selling books, founded a company that was acquired by Yahoo!, authors a blog with over a million readers, and was recently inducted into the Marketing Hall of Fame.
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Trump’s economy is on a sugar high

Originally published in the Deseret News.

Donald Trump’s style and tone, but his policies are getting the job done. After all, look at how well the economy is doing.” They go on to elaborate on the U.S. economy’s impressive performance as proof positive that it’s OK to turn a blind eye to the problems with the current administration, such as the fanning of trade wars, reckless diplomacy with Russia and North Korea and the divisiveness of each new presidential tweet.

There’s a term for this in politics. It’s called “political expediency.” It means making a political choice based on short-term benefits, even if long-term outcomes may be at risk. Purveyors of political expedience take the gamble. Continue reading Trump’s economy is on a sugar high

Look for candidates who possess policy humility

Originally published in the Deseret News.

As fall approaches, you can feel election season right around the corner. Mailboxes fill with political mailers, yard signs multiply, candidates knock on doors and news stories intensify. In the approximately 12 weeks until Election Day, I encourage voters to listen to and watch the behavior of candidates. Look for words and actions that reflect something I call policy humility. If she or he has it, consider voting for that candidate. We need more humble wisdom and less contention in the public square.

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Yes, You Can Be A Supreme Court Justice & Have Six Kids

Originally submitted to Utah Business.

I watched with interest as President Donald Trump made his most recent Supreme Court selection. One of the finalists, federal appellate judge Amy Barrett, made the short list. In news stories covering Barrett, the media frequently cited her role as the mother of seven children. I don’t recall any of the news stories referencing the number of children of the male candidates.

What’s going on here?

The answer is simple. In most families, women fulfill the dominant parenting responsibility. When a woman also manages to achieve career success, it’s worth noting both roles.

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Facebook may have 2 billion users, but is that really a community

Originally published in the Deseret News.

Several years ago, I heard a social scientist describe a new organizing framework for our world. Instead of an orientation built around national, state and local relationships, the commentator said our lives are increasingly being organized along global, regional and community lines. I find this reframing useful but worry the framing may not be quite right at the community level. I fear we face a declining, not an increasing, sense of community in our lives.

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Saratoga Springs – The belly button of Utah

Originally published in the Deseret News.

This week, the CEO of a large company headquartered in downtown Salt Lake City described the need to offer services and invest in infrastructure in Utah County. As he made his point, he looked across the table at me and asked if there was a single measure that captured the shift of Utah’s population southward.

Well, actually there is. It’s a concept known as the mean center of population. The Census Bureau defines it as the point where an imaginary, weightless, rigid and flat surface would balance if every person weighed the same. Think of it as the population center of Utah.

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The Link Between Good Leadership and Well-Being

Originally submitted to Utah Business.

Perhaps you’ve heard the stories. People are talking about Utah. Prominent magazine articles and news stories feature Utah’s nation-leading job growth, low unemployment and economic development success. When you travel, people inquire about Utah’s economic achievements. You fill up for gas at Costco and the guy in the car next to you with out-of-state license plates comments on how vibrant the state seems. Utah has caught the eye of people all around the country. They ask, “Why is Utah so prosperous?”

A Utah story is emerging. It’s a story of vibrancy, dynamism and success. It’s a story of leadership. It’s natural to want to learn more.

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Writings and Reflections