Ari's Writing

Ari's Writing

Natural Law #21: We Need Humility to Get to Lasting Greatness

Many people, wanting to live their lives in more interesting ways, will decide to take the occasional cooking lesson A well-connected friend asked me the other day to let her know what she should tell politicians of both parties that small-business people would like to have right now. Since I struggle to find the words […]

Leadership Development

More Life Lessons from Line Cooking

Many people, wanting to live their lives in more interesting ways, will decide to take the occasional cooking lesson here and there, all the while continuing to do whatever it is they do for a “living.” I went in the other direction. I started cooking for a living, and in the process, ended up with […]

Leadership Development

Life Lessons I Learned from Food and Cooking

There is nothing I can think of in the early years of my existence back in suburban Chicago that would have led me, or anyone else for that matter, to believe that the story of my life would later be transformed by a deep connection to food and cooking. We ate supper together more often […]

Ari's Writing

We Belong to Ourselves – Share Generously

Forty years ago this week, on the 13th of September, 1971, a ninety-one-year-old woman died quietly in Genoa. She had moved there near the end of WWII to live with her son’s family, while continuing to do the anarchist writing and publishing work that had helped her make her way in the world throughout her […]

Ari's Writing

Why History Matters

If we look for patterns in the past, interesting and unexpected things will appear. Sometimes, what we find makes us smile (I’ve been studying the history of “the frozen water trade” that was one of the country’s most important industries 120 years ago). Other times it can cause consternation (like the discomfiting realization that we […]

Ari's Writing

Adding to the List of Natural Laws of Business

Fourteen years before we opened the Deli in 1982, the Trappist monk Thomas Merton went out west to travel. In 2019, writer and permaculturist Fred Bahnson published a thoughtful piece about that trip, entitled “On the Road with Thomas Merton.” Aside from the fact that I have long admired and sought to learn from Father […]

Ari's Writing

Food For Future Organizational Thought

On his new album All Round the Light Said, Irish singer songwriter Joshua Burnside sings about “A Man of High Renown.” Who we hold in high renown, who we learn from, who we admire, and who we aspire to emulate has a huge influence on how we live our lives. What follows is, I hope, a […]

Ari's Writing

Another Look at Natural Law #7

The other morning, I got an email from a Zingerman’s alum. Although it’s been many years since she worked with us, she still lives here in town and has long had her own successful career in business. She wrote that last week she’d had a particularly stressful medical appointment for which she’d had to fast. […]

Ari's Writing

Natural Law #16

As many of you know, I’ve been working for a while now on what is the next set of Natural Laws of Business (and also of life) that I hadn’t yet formulated when I wrote the initial essay back in 2009 in Part 1. Natural Laws, like gravity, are simply the way the world works. We don’t […]

Training & Business Systems

Taking a Look at Zingerman’s Training Compact—25 Years Later

Poet Naomi Shihab Nye says, “Questions are very helpful. Begin with a few you’re carrying right now.” So, in the spirit of Ms. Shihab Nye’s suggestion, here are a few questions with which to start this conversation: What if I told you I had a tool that you could put to work in your organization […]

Ari's Writing

Natural Law #23: Our World Works Better When We’re Owning Our Choices

Peter Koestenbaum could, on the surface, seem a surprising choice for an apostle of the revolutionary approach to putting freedom in place in the 21st century workplace. Even in the progressive part of the business world, few folks will likely have heard of him, and I doubt that his numerous books have made it to […]

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