The Facial Tic

Think of one of your defining experiences. It stays with you year after year, a visible thumbprint on who you are as a leader. Chances are good that whenever you face Major Change your mind turns to that defining experience. It molds your response. Let me introduce you to the man on the horse in the photo. George Marshall. He's riding at the front of President Franklin Roosevelt's inaugural … [Read more...]

Black Saturday

Black Saturday is the most human day of Christian Holy Week. If you're a Christian or spiritually curious, you'll want to read on. If not, you're still welcome to continue reading but I'd understand if you choose to move on with your day at this point. I just wanted to offer a thought or two about these 24 hours. Friday is done. The event is over. We believed in the man, up to various points … [Read more...]

With The Smoke And Ash: A Few Thoughts On The Burning Of Notre Dame

>> The venerable church stood as the Black Death raged, the anti-religious terror of the French Revolution exploded, the crowds of the Paris Commune rioted, and two world wars rained violence. But it is the incompetence and carelessness of poor renovation that did the damage. >>It's been a tough year for France. A vital organ has been bruised. >>Watching people crying at … [Read more...]

TTP: The Moment Never Dies

One moment, one event, can live a long, long time. And if it happens on a public stage or in the public eye, the staying power can take on even greater magnitude. Once more, we have a shared point between POTUS 7 and POTUS 45. Well before any action they took in the White House, this moment had, in the public's mind or at least the collective minds of their followers, made Andrew Jackson and … [Read more...]

Grassroots To Symbol To Monument

In late 1961, Martin Luther King Jr sat down for an interview in England. He told his questioner that he had become a symbol. King knew he symbolized the movement he was leading. He was now the public face of nonviolent protest on behalf of equal rights for African-Americans. I found this story for part of a Creative Conversation (my leadership coaching service) that I'm doing with a client. … [Read more...]

Beyond The Noise And Beneath The Fog

By the time you read this, President Donald Trump's summit meeting with Kim Jong-Un in Vietnam will be a fading memory. Two days from now it will be buried in dust and dirt. In a month, the event will be fossilizing under forty other layers of dead news cycles. Before we reach that point, I'd like to invoke William Shakespeare. You see, it was Shakespeare who, at least for me, wrote … [Read more...]

Answer On A Cold Walk

Yesterday, I had lunch with eight interesting people. The facilitator, whom I'll name below, asked a question toward the end of our meal. Most of the people answered. I did not. One thing I've learned over the years is that I'm better off not saying anything if I don't have anything clear or real to say. Then,this morning on a hiking trail through the woods, it hit me. Clarity. Realness. My … [Read more...]

Of Two Cents and Bush One

Here's my two cents, as they used to say, on the memory of George H.W. Bush, or "Bush One." Before I begin my brief story, let me say that the elder Bush always struck me as a good and decent man. He was a public servant of immense experience and exposure. He will be missed and should be remembered. Now, come with me and get a beer, a "Pound" as it was called in Nick's English Hut in … [Read more...]

A Weird, Early Ritual

A weird ritual starts my day. A few minutes after 5am I pour a cup of coffee and say a prayer of thanks for one more day. Coffee mug in hand, I head out the side door of our garage. I walk a short distance around the side of the house and into the driveway. This is the end of the preliminary part of the ritual. In the dark, I stoop down at the edge of the driveway, like a catcher in … [Read more...]

A YARDSTICK FOR NUMBER TEN: LESSONS FROM NINE ONE- TERM US PRESIDENTS

Nine Presidents. In all of the American past, nine US Presidents have attempted to win re- election and lost after having secured their party's nomination. Nine people in the White House who sought a second term but failed. Nine. Are you and I living in the midst of Number Ten? Let's use history in a creative way to find the answer. I invite you to join me in an energetic and … [Read more...]