A Surprising Sight From My Jeep

Sitting in my Jeep outside a community college, I was early to my meeting yesterday. I had about 20-30 minutes before my meeting, so I picked up a book that I’ve been keeping in the car for just such occasions. While reading, I noticed something about the people—the students—who were slowly arriving in their vehicles and walking into the class building. Woman; woman; woman; woman; and woman; and … [Read more...]

Message Lamented

In the past week I have received emails from two organizations that strike me as truly lamentable. Maybe you've gotten some of your own. I'm referring to the reaction of governmentally funded entities amid the rising dispute over federal spending. As far as I'm concerned, this is almost a nonpartisan issue--the hard math suggests that governmental spending, especially on the federal or national … [Read more...]

Sameness And Differentness

I've uncovered a point of leadership in writing my upcoming book on 96 hours of Abraham Lincoln. This point is the importance of sameness, differentness, and the leader's involvement in each.A leader probably spends most time in sameness. I'm referring to the appropriate desire to ensure that followers are on the same page, share the same vision, know the same common identity, and … [Read more...]

For My Liberal Friends

Having offered a gentle nudge to my conservative friends, I take the same opportunity to do the same for my liberal friends. Consider below one of the greatest failings of modern liberalism.That would be in the response to collectivist governments in foreign affairs and international tensions.Around the end of the nineteenth century, liberalism became identified with collectivism. That affinity … [Read more...]

Neptune And You

Here's an exercise for your use of history. Neptune.What's the difference between the past of Earth and the past of Neptune? Answer that; it's not a trick question. I'd say that somewhere on the list of answers is this: people. Earth has people. Neptune doesn't. People are part of the story of Earth's past. Not true for Neptune.Now, what's the difference between … [Read more...]

For My Conservative Friends

I consider myself ideologically to be a blend of classical liberal and modern independent conservative. Having said that, I'd like to offer my conservative friends a suggestion. They might want to spend time reflecting what could have been a conservative alternative to American civil rights legislation of the 1950s and 1960s. Cutting straight to the point--modern conservatism did poorly in … [Read more...]

Future Known

A client and I talked over coffee the other day. Actually, I had similar conversations with two separate clients, individually. They are alumni of Walkshop I, where we re-experience the day when Benjamin Harrison finished processing Major Change. On that day of finished processing, he signed up to serve in the Civil War. The topic we discussed was about the future. Specifically, when you have the … [Read more...]

Lee’s Life Hangs By A Thread

The story of how Robert E. Lee ended the Civil War compels me to draw a leadership point.The defeat of Lee and his army in 1865 pivoted in many ways on the efforts of one man, Ulysses S. Grant. Grant's approach to leadership of US armed forces ultimately compelled Lee to surrender. Grant was impervious to the massive US casualties that it took to force Lee's capitulation. No one man was … [Read more...]

The Why Of The Review

General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, stated recently that the American military is undergoing a major review of itself. He explained that this was not unusual--the military often does this after a major war or wars. Routine.OK. Routine. But I want you to go a little deeper here.When you have a predictable basis for review and reflection, that suggests you may fall into … [Read more...]

Sub-Goals

I'm preparing for an upcoming client session featuring Lewis and Clark's expedition of 1803-1806. I'll be writing more about this in the next few weeks. Here is my first thought as I customize the presentation.Lewis and Clark had a goal, or a handful of goals, for their journey. President Thomas Jefferson wrote them out in the form of instructions. But as the journey unfolded, some … [Read more...]