A Response To Change

We all feel swept up in a tide of change sometimes. I bumped into an interesting response in my reading last night.I'm looking at the life of Jonathan Edwards, the great theologian in the British colony of Massachusetts during the 18th century. In 1742 Edwards was part of a massive up-swell of religious fervor. Along with the rapid growth of spiritual enthusiasm came a drive to change … [Read more...]

John Quincy Adams

I use the life of a past leader to help strengthen the leadership of clients who engage my one-on-one service, Creative Conversations. I've determined that John Quincy Adams, sixth president of the United States, would be a good candidate for a client who is interested in either of the following areas--how to bounce back from a jolting loss and regain a role and purpose in life; or, how to … [Read more...]

Real Leadership And Diversity

Today I presented at a working lunch. Though I didn't state it as such, the topic was leadership and diversity. A dime a dozen, I know--these talks about leadership and diversity are everywhere, reducing their value to nearly zero. But let me tell you about this. It was different.My historical topic was Theodore Roosevelt's exploration of the River of Doubt in 1913-1914. On this trip, … [Read more...]

Hunter Of Treasure And Detective Of Crime

I met this lunch hour with a group of folks from a small county in southern Indiana. A client of mine had arranged the luncheon for the purposes of discussing how to use the county's history for leadership development. It was a great lunch.In the course of it, someone commented on my description of what I do. "You're a treasure hunter, aren't you?" Yes, I had to agree with that. … [Read more...]

The Alchemy Of Success And Failure

The blend of success and failure in our leadership is an alchemy. They bubble and brew over time. What pours out of the cauldron at any given moment will look slightly different for each of us as leaders. The relationship of the two--the interaction of success and failure--will change as we move through our lives. I'm struck by this fact as I continue to research and write about Abraham … [Read more...]

Blood Through The Words

"I promised myself," he said, "to never live that nightmare again." These were the words of CEO Patrick Kron, of Alstom Inc. in France.You can just feel the blood of his feelings.He declared this sentence after convincing his board of directors to accept the effort of General Electric to buy part of Alstom.Back about ten years ago, Kron had the displeasure of being involved in the debacle of … [Read more...]

Core Group

Core Group is a set of people within an organization. They are bright, passionate, dedicated, creative, and willing to take a risk or two. Core Group brings them together and unites these qualities of the separate individuals. In their unity, they become a tangible asset. Core Group is one of the takeaways from my work on transformation of the American military 1974-1992. An organizational client … [Read more...]

Boiling Down

In the book on Lincoln that I'm currently researching and writing, I've bumped into a thought on information and leadership. I'll call it the "boil-down" effect.A leader is supposed to take information and reduce it to its most meaningful essence. That's a vital challenge for us in 2014 because we get so much that passes for information--stuff that's really garbage but … [Read more...]

Two Rivers

Tomorrow at noon I'm presenting to a dozen people on Theodore Roosevelt's discovery expedition of the River of Doubt in 1913-1914. The group is made up of clients of a Merrill-Lynch financial advisor. It's the fourth time I've presented a "lunch-and-learn" and will be great fun.As it happens, this spring is the 100th anniversary of Roosevelt's expedition. I'm … [Read more...]

I Can’t Let This Pass

I can't let this pass. I try to stay out of current political fights as much as possible. There's just no winning from my position. But every so often, I just can't let this pass. And here we are--Ukraine, Russia, and the United States. I rise to speak from the perspective of history and leadership.I take very strong exception to two statements, one by President Barack Obama and one … [Read more...]