A State Of The Union In Three Forms

Depending on when you're reading this, POTUS 46 will either be delivering the speech on Tuesday, March 1 or has already done so. Regardless, I'd like to share briefly three examples to help you gauge and measure our current moment under broadly similar conditions. The examples fit around a set of criteria. 1) a major European war is happening; 2) Americans know it, with a meaningful percentage … [Read more...]

A People And Two Lifes

Regardless of where you are with the pandemic today, one point we can agree on is the difficulty it's presented to the American people. Think about your view of and attitude toward the pandemic, whatever your stance on the topic. You could agree that "difficult" describes it. Think also about people who disagree with you. Somewhere along the line you'll encounter the word "difficult" or you'll … [Read more...]

Sr And Jr

Sr. and Jr. The distinction between them can be as vast as the universe. That's not a bad thing, just a real thing. I thought I'd share a short but true story with you about the gap. To start, full disclosure: I'm not a Kennedy guy. Still, I can appreciate without being a supporter. Moreover, I know something about speeches, leadership, communication, crisis, and the millions of stories on … [Read more...]

Fifteen People

What number of people can destroy a world? One answer is 15. It is today, January 20, in 1942, that 15 men gather around a large table and in two hours agree on a plan to kill every Jewish man, woman, and child they can find, wielding all the powers a nation-state can give them. The journal of one of the participants survives, allowing us to know this. The 15 were various German … [Read more...]

This Month In 1968–Not Yet The City Of Peace

Today, in 2022, we honor Martin Luther King Jr. Today in 1968 he is still alive and unaware of the future to come. Also today in 1968 the city that will be the scene of shocking silence on the night of his death is equally unaware of the future to come. I've written a short book about six leaders who lived their lives on the night that King lost his. These six people share three things--they are … [Read more...]

The Stage of Indiana University Football Grief

With apologies to Dr. Kubler-Ross... This past Saturday I sat down with three buddies to watch the opening game of the Indiana University football season. I left with my own version of the stages of grief. Let's call it the IU Football Fan's Stages of Grief. Stage One is leading up to kickoff. It's aspirational, hopeful, the world is a wonderful place. Talk of top rankings and new bowl-game … [Read more...]

One Year Later: Leaving The Pandemic

A Historical Solutions Leadership Talkshop for summer 2021...register now... Leaving The Pandemic: Your Leadership And The Lessons One Year After World War II, World War I, And The Civil War. It's 1946, 1919, and 1866 and Americans have put hard times in the rear-view mirror. They've said goodbye to the problems and difficulties of a major struggle—World War II, World War I, and the Civil … [Read more...]

Eleven Years–Then And Now

Think about Americans, American civic life, and moving visual images. The first use of motion pictures in American presidential elections was in March 1901 with the inauguration of William McKinley. Filmed by the inventor of film--Thomas Edison. Again, 1901. The first use of motion pictures in American presidential campaigns was in fall 1912 with the campaign of Woodrow Wilson. Filmed by a … [Read more...]

Not So Different

“All right, we are two nations.” Sad. Tough to bear. Not a lot of hope for things to get better. The American people spit and scowl at each other as splits, divisions, and internal hostilities set citizen against citizen, group against group. The quote above comes from the mind and heart of an American intellectual. Essayist, novelist, occasional journalist. The quote-maker knows the … [Read more...]

The List

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXGP8VA3GRs A list is what you make of it. In writing a list, reading a list, following-up on a list, its value depends on something beyond the list itself. I thought of this when I read this morning about one aspect of the meeting between President Joe Biden and President Vladimir Putin. According to accounts, President Biden handed to Putin a list of … [Read more...]