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Good Thursday morning to you!

I read a book in 1994 entitled “Get Better or Get Beaten!” It was written by Robert Slater, and it shared what he felt were leadership secrets from General Electric CEO Jack Welch. I wanted to learn more about his management style that helped bring so much success to GE at the time.

One of the underlying principles in the book is that growth is not optional. You are either getting better or getting worse, but you can’t maintain. Because even if you do stay the same, your competitors are surely growing. There are seemingly always others in the market who are willing to work more hours, invest more money, hire better people, create new ideas and implement necessary change. As owners, managers or employees, it is our responsibility to make sure we are the ones getting better — even during a “new normal,” whatever that is.

I read the book several times through the years, and my response to it has changed. I used to think that getting better meant getting bigger. I have learned that is not always true.

In the past 15 years, our little company has grown immensely, mostly due to the expansions of our Iowa Living magazines, which are lifestyle publications mailed to every resident in each community. I envisioned publishing one of these in every Iowa county, and we were on our way. At one point, we were publishing 26 separate zones of a Living magazine, in some Des Moines neighborhoods, across the Des Moines suburbs, and as far away as Clear Lake, Fort Dodge and Webster City, as well as county-wide editions in Greene County and Appanoose County. Nothing could stop us, or so I thought.

What I soon realized was that the talent pool was not as abundant in outlying areas as it was in central Iowa. Resumes simply weren’t stacking up in our efforts to recruit staff. Writers and designers were readily available, but we struggled to find advertising sales reps. And when we did find them, we failed to properly manage them. That turnover proved to be stressful, as it usually meant either Jolene or I would drive to fill in until we hired someone. Long story short, we decided to shut down all publications that were more than one hour from our office, whether they were profitable or not.

The COVID-19 pandemic took this a step further. We ceased publishing for a few months, and when we returned, we did not bring back all of our magazines or all of our staff. Today, we are publishing 14 Living magazines that are performing at the highest levels in every significant measurable. As a result, our company is operating at its peak, too.

As such, I do agree that we need to get better or we will get beaten, but I learned the hard way that better doesn’t necessarily mean bigger.

Have a thoughtful Thursday, and, as always, thanks for reading.

Shane Goodman
President and Publisher
Big Green Umbrella Media
515-953-4822, ext. 305

From CITYVIEW Civic Skinny

Alleging secret taping, X-rated language and chaos,
Jim Nahas sues four Polk County supervisors and John Norris

Fired county personnel boss Jim Nahas has filed a blistering lawsuit against four of the five county supervisors — Matt McCoy was not named a defendant — and county administrator John Norris.

The 30-page suit, filed in Polk County District Court on Sept. 27, is aimed at “redress(ing) wrongs committed against him” relating to the firing.

It alleges libel, wrongful discharge, extortion and violation of the Iowa open-meetings and open-records law. It implies that Nahas, who was hired as county human-resources director in 2014, was being used as a pawn by four supervisors — Democrats Tom Hockensmith and Angela Connolly and Republicans Bob Brownell and Steve Van Oort — to force out the fifth, Democrat McCoy.


The Scene

Venerable Chuck’s Restaurant, 3610 6th Ave. in Des Moines, "the beating heart of Highland Park," is still undergoing a major remodeling but will open Friday and Saturday this week for carryout.


Your Clear Mortgage forecast from Jason Parkin

Rain chances move in this morning and will be with us off and on into Saturday afternoon. As you would expect, temperatures will be cooler with cloud cover and precipitation. Precipitation chances get a lot slimmer after Sunday morning.

For help with preapprovals or refinancing, get in touch with Jason at parkin.mortgage

Things To Do
Thursday, Sept. 30
⇛Valley Junction Farmers Market and Music in the Junction
At: Railroad Park in West Des Moines
Info: The best way to spend an evening outside in central Iowa? It’s in Valley Junction, according to many. www.valleyjunction.com
Live music schedule: Freestyle is the band this week.
Featured Home For Sale
Attention realtors, post your listings here for $50. Contact pat@dmcityview.com for details.
609 10th Street
West Des Moines, IA 50265
Charming and well-maintained 2 bed, 1 bath ranch home with one-car detached garage. Enjoy the large back yard from an updated deck. Dry walk-out basement has room and storage to spare, with potential for 3rd bedroom and other finishes. New roof and mechanics 2019. This home is just waiting for your personal touch!....
Find Out More!

Here are today's mobile radar locations for the Des Moines Police Department. Please drive safely!

3000 SW 12th
300 Blk E McKinley
5200 Blk Park

Merle Hay Road from Madison Avenue to Aurora Avenue will be closed between 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. each night through Monday, October 11, 2021. This street closure is necessary to install a new water service to the Kohls building.

SE 18th Street from Scott Avenue to Maury Street will be closed through Friday, October 15, 2021. This street closure is necessary for sanitary sewer installation for the new Municipal Service Center building.

A.M. Headlines

FROM KCCI: Who killed Big Earl? Family holds hope in unsolved murder of Iowa strip club owner

POLK COUNTY, Iowa — On the 25th anniversary of his killing, family members of "Big Earl" Hamilton, best known as the namesake and owner of Polk County strip club Big Earl's Goldmine, said they still have hope that authorities will be able to solve the cold case. Someone shot and killed Hamilton, 53, outside of his club in the early hours of the morning on Sept. 29, 1996.  ...READ MORE FROM KCCI

FROM WHO-TV: Smelly, milky-gray water in Little Beaver Creek caused by inadequately treated Grimes wastewater, DNR says

GRIMES, Iowa – The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says it has determined the cause of odor and milky-gray water in Little Beaver Creek. The DNR says after receiving complaints Tuesday about the smell and discolored water in the creek, it was able to trace the issues back to the Grimes wastewater treatment plant.  READ MORE FROM WHO-TV

FROM WOI-DT Local 5: COVID update | State reports 81 more deaths, 9% positivity rate the past week

The Iowa Department of Public Health updates some core metrics on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. But individuals positive can only be calculated on Wednesday. .... READ MORE FROM WOI-DT Local 5

The Score
Iowa Cubs: The Omaha Storm Chasers (70-56) recorded eight extra-base hits to take the first game of their five game series against the Iowa Cubs (51-75), winning 10-5, Wednesday at Principal Park.  ...READ MORE
MLB: Cubs 3 Pirates 2, Brewers 4 Cardinals 0, Twins 5 Tigers 2, White Sox 6 Reds 1, Royals 10 Indians 5  ..READ MORE
CITYVIEW's Best Of Des Moines 2021

Nearly 14,000 votes were cast in the 2021 CITYVIEW Best Of Des Moines readers' poll.

Best Local Internet Provider
1. Mediacom
2. CenturyLink
3. Mi-Fiber


Read more

Meet Lorissa Ehrlichman: Enjoys working with parents and community members

By TK West

After receiving a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and early childhood education, Lorissa Ehrlichman taught kindergarten in Anita and preschool in Milo before joining the Adel-De Soto-Minburn Community School District two years ago.

Ehrlichman says that she decided to teach at the district because of the positive stories she heard from teachers and parents throughout the community. She not only wanted to be part of a great district but was also looking for a community where she could raise her future children.

“I value the bond I created with my former teachers and the impact they had on my life at an early age. Many of my elementary teachers were some of my biggest supporters, which in turn led me to pursue a career as an early education teacher. I wanted to impact lives in a positive way, just as my teachers did for me,” says Ehrlichman.


Read more

Place your help wanted ad in the list below for FREE! Email to pat@dmcityview.com. And ask us about upgrading your FREE ad with a display ad in any of our publications.




LPN ...








The boat ramp to the Des Moines River at Yellow Banks Park has been under siege for some time now. The ever-changing river has been building a large sand bar that has made the ramp mostly useless, particularly during low water level periods such as what Iowa has experienced in 2021. — Photo by Brent Hess
Share your favorite snapshots! Email to tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com to be included in an upcoming Daily Umbrella!
Digital Editions
Grimes/Dallas Center Living weekly newsletters are published each week in print and online. Printed versions can be found at dozens of community locations, and the digital edition can be subscribed to via email. Learn more at www.iowalivingweekly.com. View a sample digital edition from this week here.
Birthdays and Notables!

Happy Birthday Jim Hibbs!

Happy Birthday to these celebrities:Maddie Ziegler, Ezra Miller, Fran Drescher, T-Pain, Angie Dickinson, Kieran Culkin, Eric Stoltz, Katrina Law, Jenna Elfman, Martina Hingis, Daniel Wu, Ki Hong Lee, Johnny Mathis, Adam Jones, Levi Miller, Amy Landecker, Ta-Nehisi Coates

SUBMIT: Send your birthday greetings and congratulatory notes to:tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com

Poll of the Week

Should COVID-19 vaccines be mandated in Iowa?

Not sure


Results of last week's poll:

How many sick days did you take from work this past year?

None - 68%
1-2 - 12%
3-4 - 6%
5-6 - 6%
7 or more - 8%

Morning Chuckle
How did the police know that the knight wasn't the culprit?
Gail Tomlinson suggested, " Because the crime was committed in the day, not the night."
How about some knight jokes?
Who was the roundest knight at King Arthur’s table?

Have a guess? Email tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com 


P.S. As a free newsletter, we rely on readers like you to grow our subscriber list. If you have a friend or coworker who you think would enjoy waking up to The Daily Umbrella each weekday morning, please share our newsletter sign up page with them! Visit www.thedailyumbrella.com and click on the SUBSCRIBE link on the upper right-hand side!


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Johnston, Iowa 50131