Let’s Talk About Hats!

Well you’re either reading this because you just love hats or the silly title pulled you in and I have just one paragraph to get you to stay.  Well here goes!  Have you ever seen a hat with an instruction manual?  Well, in a bit of an homage to Canada where I am for about 10 days, let’s talk about the Tilley Hat.  More specifically, the brilliant marketing and customer loyalty enjoyed by the brand.  Read on.

Tilly Hat

Tilley Endurables, as the manufacturer of the eponymous hat is nothing is not customer focused.  They compete in a space that is seriously crowded.  There are dozens of similar products on the market and yet there is something of a mystique about the company that other firms just cannot match for all the money in the world.  What is it?  I call it authenticity.

The brand is authentic.  If there is one takeaway to be gained from the four page instruction manual every Tilley hat includes in the ‘hidden pocket’ it is that a brand can gain global recognition by being authentic in its approach to the product and its clients.

Know When to Switch Off

I try to write about topics related to leadership and productivity. Normally this means that I end up banging out posts before or after work, and on weekends. I call it ‘captured time‘. I enjoy the process, but I never stopped to think that sometimes what I enjoy may be considered and encroachment into the total switch off time of others. This realization came to me while driving with my daughter to go spend some daddy-daughter time by the fountain at Camana Bay. Read on.


We had an hour to kill waiting to pick up my son, Ryan, from an activity so Taylor and I decided to go and chill for a bit and watch the kids play in the fountain. As we drove there together my normal Sunday blogging ideas (or lack thereof) started to invade my mind. What was I going to write about? How was I ever going to find the time, what with this non-productive visit to the park and all?

Can You Hear Me Now?

Communication is something many of us struggle with. We are born with no real ability to communicate. Over time we learn the skills. Unfortunately, while we learn how to communicate we then rapidly learn to keep things inside, to keep things bottled up. We learn this for many reasons.  None of us really want to embarrass someone by what we say, we may hold back to position ourselves to gain from information we have, or we may not want to lose someone close to us which may be the result if we say what we really want to.  While having a filter on our conversation is good, it can lead to unintended challenges. Can you hear me now?

Kids Talking on Tin Phone

We really over complicate things for ourselves by not being more of a student of our own behaviour. I probably went at least the first 10 years in my marriage before I realized that my wife, when we had an issue that was elevated to a serious (read heated) discussion was not looking for what I was giving back verbally.  To expand on this, I came to realize that listening to the issue, then outlining my solutions to make the situation better or prevent it from happening again in the future, was actually not what she was really looking for, at least not at that moment in time. Sure, this information will be useful at some later point in the conversation, but the typical “type A personality – leader – guy – husband – dad” five point outline of how to fix the situation was actually, and quite counterintuitively for a guy, not what she wanted or needed right at that moment. She wanted to be heard. She wanted to be listened to and understood. She wanted to know that I really ‘got it‘.