From Then To Now: George Washington and 18 Days

I think you'll like this from my individual leadership consulting earlier this morning. A client and I are going down George Washington River together. This morning, I asked a question about 18 days. That was the span of time in 1775 from June 15 to July 3. At the start, on Day 1, Washington accepted the offered position of "General and Commander-in-Chief" of American military forces outside … [Read more...]

Colts Again: What Should Be True Now

A few weeks back I shared my thoughts about the succession decision of Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay to retain both General Manager Ryan Grigson and Head Coach Chuck Pagano. For me, the most interesting leadership point for succession was the need to do something different after the decision was made. By all accounts, relations between Grigson and Pagano were some degree of strained--whether … [Read more...]

An Open Letter To My New Harmony Friends

Last fall, my wife and I spent a weekend in New Harmony, Indiana. I address this Open Letter, respectfully, to the good people of that charming place (and to those folks in other historically based towns and villages). We understood from conversations with merchants and residents that this little town in southwestern Indiana was in the midst of some rather severe change and challenges. It was … [Read more...]

The Strangest Feeling

I was at lunch, my table next to a window overlooking a busy city street. I had ordered my meal, I was sipping hot tea, I was spending time with a new client who wants to use history to improve his leadership. Then, close to us, I heard the sound of cannon firing, another, and another. Looking out the window, I see the sight you see in the photo above (which I took on my phone). Look closely at … [Read more...]

A Trump Capsule

Stay with me a moment or two as I offer, respectfully, a thought on the staying and growing power of Donald Trump as a presidential candidate. This is, if you will, a Trump Capsule. The closing of the Carrier plant in Indianapolis gives us a revealing insight into the rise of Trump and his current commanding position in the Republican field of candidates. If you haven't watched the clips of … [Read more...]

Like Two Rivers Together

Financial advisors tell me that mergers and acquisitions have been their biggest activity during the past year. It doesn't look to change. The year ahead, they say, feels much the same. Continued mergers and acquisitions in 2016, two entities coming together in order to survive. I see evidence of it in today's Wall Street Journal. Articles highlight Dow and DuPont's next steps together, … [Read more...]

The Place Of Leading

I confess. With one of my most popular services in leadership development, I confess that I didn't know until recently what it's most important value is to leaders today. 200 people have participated in my "Walkshop" service. A Walkshop is my concept of knowing a leadership story from history, walking to those places to see and hear and smell and think for yourself, and then applying key … [Read more...]

The Words In Your Head: A Challenge Of Major Change

What are the words you hear in your head when you approach the challenge of major change? The words in your head are the silent message that you hear over and over. Maybe you share them with someone else. Maybe you don't. Doesn't matter—the point is that you hear an echo of a previous experience, a powerful moment, an unforgettable story. Quite likely it's something you've lived yourself. On … [Read more...]

A Lesson From The Republican Campaign

The Republican presidential campaign of 2015-2016 has already taught us one very important thing. Wisdom untested is conventional wisdom, and conventional wisdom has limited value. The conventional wisdom was that a governor would be the party's nominee for president. By having not only experience as a chief executive (we should call them Chief Governing Officers, or CGOs) but also a clear body of … [Read more...]

Parent-Death

It happens to all of us, the death of Mom and Dad. I suppose it doesn't always have to be specifically them, just whomever has filled the vital role of parent. I won't get into the thicket of that issue as we see it in 2015. Suffice for now, my only concern is parent death. I've lost both my mother and father. It was back in my forties. Dad went first, Mom after another six years. In my own … [Read more...]