My Number 33

We have a long way to go until November 2016. Countless things can and will happen, some of which will be unexpected and with deep impact. Having offered the proper qualifiers, permit me to suggest that the Number 33 could prove of major importance to Donald Trump if he wins the Republican presidential nomination. 33 or more specifically, one-third. I suspect that if Trump alters one-third … [Read more...]

A View Of Our Heart

I ask you to consider an analogy based on this photo of open-heart surgery. I'm not trying to shock or sensationalize. Let's think about a political event last week that will quickly fade from the scene. We had a moment when we looked into the beating heart of the American experience. For the equivalent of a few seconds, we saw one of the most powerful impulses that make us who we are as … [Read more...]

An Echo You Must Hear

I'm getting lots of reactions to my post from yesterday--on the present and the dying thing. A dear friend of mine commented on Facebook, stirring me to address a key point. Before I do so, I'm listening to a song as I write this. It's a song of great moment. I'll put it on my website in the coming week. Look for it under You And This Song. Now, on to today's post. The wonderful image above … [Read more...]

A History Of The Present And The Dying Thing

I've never hidden the fact that some historians dislike my approach. They say I'm too quick to link the past to the present, the present to the past. I won't rehash my view on that now. I do, however, want to continue to apply my view. The chips can and will fall where they may. We are seeing a thing die in front of us. We see it on television, the internet, in our living rooms and on our … [Read more...]

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...]