New Post on Lincoln

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Theodore Roosevelt And You

I'm wrapping up a Creative Conversation service for a client. We've used Theodore Roosevelt River alongside the client's River and found some pretty amazing points in the linkage. Here's something that you should know about TR River and how it might help you. Today's American presidency significantly reflects the imprint of Roosevelt. Many of the informal powers and habits of the President in … [Read more...]

A Response To Change

We all feel swept up in a tide of change sometimes. I bumped into an interesting response in my reading last night. I'm looking at the life of Jonathan Edwards, the great theologian in the British colony of Massachusetts during the 18th century. In 1742 Edwards was part of a massive up-swell of religious fervor. Along with the rapid growth of spiritual enthusiasm came a drive to change … [Read more...]

Light of a Candle

Something is always on when I do serious writing. It's a burning candle. Sounds a little weird perhaps, but here's why I do it. As most of you know, 99.9% of my writing pertains to history. I like having something that I can see which immediately goes back to a period in historical time, in this case, when people used candles for light. I can look into the light of the burning candle and see a … [Read more...]

The Flight of the Intellectuals by Paul Berman

War divides. In American history the division caused by war is not just between one side and the other on the battlefield. It's also between those who support in and believe in the war and its waging, and those who do not. In this sense, the two wars that flowed out of 9-11—Afghanistan and the Second Gulf War—were no different than any other war in American history. They divided. Paul Berman … [Read more...]

New Technique and Big Success

I tried something with the group from the U.S. District Attorney's Office, the session I did on the 1721 smallpox epidemic in Boston. As you may know, I like to have a group work through a historical situation as it really happened--from week to week, as unknown events and situations emerge. That's the river of history I talk and write about so often. In this case, I did something new with this … [Read more...]

Goodbye And Leaders

A favorite musical of mine is The Music Man. A song in The Music Man includes this line—“where is the good in goodbye?” Surely it’s true that in leadership knowing when to say goodbye, when to call it quits and move on, is one of the toughest decisions you’ll ever have to make. Tough. I’m drawn to this point after the recent primary election defeat of Richard Lugar. His experience ought to give … [Read more...]

Richard Lugar And Peyton Manning

We in Indianapolis have had somewhat the same thing happen to two major local figures with national reputations. Both Richard Lugar and Peyton Manning are leaving the positions where they gained national prestige and local reverence. Let's take a moment and see what this linkage of Lugar and Manning tells us about succession, leaving, and key leaders. First, Lugar could learn from Manning. By now … [Read more...]

Leadership And Imperfection

No one ever tells you about the problem of imperfection in leadership. The right thing isn't always done; in fact, the wrong thing may be done nearly as often as not. Requests for help aren't forthcoming, calls for moving in a particular direction go unheeded, and the commonsense courtesies aren't extended. Imperfection is as natural to leadership as breathing is to living. Read the private … [Read more...]

The Velocity Of Trend

Things have happened lately for you in perhaps the last few years. These things may form a pattern, a trend. Combining the collection of similar points or elements into a pattern and then combining that pattern with a concentrated flow of time produces, in my lexicon, velocity. Your life, Your River, may have a velocity to it in recent times. There has emerged a natural power and momentum that … [Read more...]