Greetings to the Clue Community!

Dr. Clue News: 
Hello again everyone!

If you live here in the U.S., I hope you had a great Labor Day weekend.  Funny how little actual labor happens this time of year.   Europe is on vacation for the entire month of August (or so it seems), and here in the U.S, the most work most people do is slap fattening food onto the bbq.  At Dr. Clue, we also enjoyed a relatively quiet end of the summer, with one exception :a fantastic treasure hunt  this week in Alexandria, VA for the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA).

The big, fall team-building season is coming up fast — the rest period is over.  Time to power up!


In today’s issue of the Dr. Clue newsletter, we’ve got 3 more puzzles for you to solve, an icebreaker that will spell success, and an article about appropriate goal setting  Enjoy!Dave Blum
Editor, Dr. Clue Icebreaker Newsletter

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Frame Games

Last issue, we gave you these 3 puzzles:

1)   I right I

2)   COTAXME  
3)  t  r  a
l  a  f
g  a  r

Thanks to everyone who sent in a solution.  The correct answers were:

1) right between the eyes
2) income tax
3) Trafalgar Square

Our First-to-Solve was David Tsang.  Congratulations David!

This Week’s Puzzles:

Here are 3 more frame puzzles (without the frames).  As always, let’s see who can get them all the fastest and be named the “F2S” (first to solve).





Email your answers ASAP at:
Good luck!

Last Week’s Icebreaker

In our last edition, we presented a popular activity called “Gotcha”.   A number of our readers responded with comments and recommendations for running this activity.  Here’s some great advice from Kathie in Connecticut:

“I do a lot of teambuilding sessions with high school teams and adult mentors.  I always get holdouts who don’t want to participate.  I learned a long time ago from a mentor of  mine that I need to encourage EVERYONE to participate in ALL the activities we’re doing… BUT to the level they are comfortable with.  Respecting their privacy, I don’t ask them to give any explanations, but if they are not comfortable after I’ve explained the exercise, they simply need to raise their hand and I will give them another assignment to keep them engaged with the group, but not necessarily participating in the activity.  For example, they might be an observer for a small group activity, noting who takes the leadership roles (very important to note, especially if some adults are jumping in and solving the problems for the group), or timekeeper, etc. When I start out with 1-2-3- Gotcha!, I usually ask people to be very careful when “grabbing” the finger of someone next to them.  Some of us (myself included) have arthritic hands and this exercise can really hurt!  I usually end up with everyone participating, but at the same time, cognizant that others around them may have a disability that isn’t easily visible (like the time a co-worker was newly-pregnant and was not ready to announce it yet, but also didn’t want to do the exercise we were doing that was a little physical; or the time the mentor confessed halfway through an exercise that he was claustrophobic and had personal space issues…).”

This Week’s Icebreaker

ABCs of Me

You have been hired by the Creative Classroom Company to illustrate a poster to help children learn their ABCs.  By happy coincidence, you and your first name are the subject of the poster!

  1. First, take a piece of flipchart paper and write your name vertically down the left side.
  2. Next, choose a word that starts with each letter of your name.  The word should describe something about you.  Write those words horizontally across the paper, using the letters of your name as the first letter of each descriptive word.
  3. After you have listed your words, draw an accompanying picture to illustrate each.
  4. When you are finished, tape your poster to the wall.

Materials Needed



Allow five to ten minutes for setup and drawing.  When all posters are complete, have people introduce themselves using their name drawing.  Depending on the size of the group, you may want to debrief in smaller groups.  If possible, leave the drawings posted throughout your training session.


  • Narrow the focus of the words.  For instance, all words must be adjectives, nouns, or verbs related to work, related to foods you like, etc.

(With thanks to———————————————————————-

Featured Article

What is Success?
By Dave Blum

If you’ve ever watched “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (and who hasn’t?), you know that Indiana Jones doesn’t really have a choice; he must find the Ark of the Covenant (with all its mysterious power) before the bad guys or leave the entire world at dire risk.  For Indy, it’s all or nothing, a one-way trip  — save the world or bust.  There can be no partial success.

In a similar vein, Vince Lombardi, legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers, famously stated: “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.”  He also noted, “Show me a good loser, and I’ll show you a loser.”    For Coach Lombardi, winning was all that mattered, and that meant coming in not third and not second, but first, always first.

But is that the only way of looking at things?   Okay sure, if you’re a iconic hero/adventurer like Indiana Jones (or Lara Croft from “Tomb Raider”, or Ben Gates from “National Treasure”), you simply can’t fail; the fate of the world is probably at stake.  And if you play professional sports for a living, you’re most certainly paid by the number of your wins, not by your valiant efforts in a losing cause.

In the business world, by contrast, the situation isn’t always so black and white.   Let’s say you’re an upstart company in the soft drink industry, looking up (way up) at the mighty Pepsi and Coke.   Would it be nice to be #1 in the industry, to topple the two behemoths?   Absolutely!   But is that an appropriate goal?   What if you make it to #3?   Chances are, as the world’s third-leading soft drink producer, you are making money hand over fist — a billion dollar organization.   Fast cars.   Early retirement.  Rides on the space shuttle.  You get the idea.

Without a doubt, our culture lionizes its winners and disparages its losers.  The only problem is that not everyone can win every time.   Consider the fate of the Buffalo Bills.   From 1990 to 1993, they were one of the two best teams in American football.  Their quarterback, Jim Kelly, became a hall of famer.   They boasted a top-ranked defense and a running back, Thurman Thomas, who was a human tank.  The Bills went to four straight Super Bowls — something that has never been repeated.  And, unfortunately, they failed to win any of those games, leading most of the sporting world to assume that the Bills were a failure.  But were they, really?    Game after game, year after year, Buffalo sold out their stadium. T-shirts with the numbers of Kelly and Thomas were consistent top sellers.   During those years, you can bet that the players received huge salaries, and the ownership happily padded their coffers.  From an emotional standpoint, although they didn’t “win”, the players at least gained the experience of playing in “the Big Game” — not once, mind you, but four times!  Although they didn’t receive the rush of victory, at least the Bills players were there — living a dream that most American children, growing up, can only imagine.    Does this sound like losing to you?

Our task, then, is to consider what would be most appropriate goal setting for us — a very tricky proposition, indeed. After all, how can we give full effort without the motivation of “becoming the best”?    Once our ego gets involved, it’s so difficult to consider a ranking of #2 as a worthy aspiration.  .And yet, that’s exactly what we need to do: give it our all, shoot for the top, attain the top ranking if we can, but take delight with whatever we do achieve — enjoying the journey along the way, regardless of the outcome.   As business people, the chances are that #2 or #3 or even #10 in our industry will also translate into significant profits.  Winning isn’t everything…it’s just one thing.   Success is always how you define it, and how it synchronizes with your quality of life.