The Glass Between Words

Two statements. Heard across time. Staring across time. A glass in between. "..repeatedly try to undermine & create public distrust in Dr. Birx." That's the statement from Alyssa Farah, the Director of Strategic Communications for POTUS 45. She's responding to remarks made by Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi criticizing Dr. Deborah Birx, a key member of POTUS 45's … [Read more...]

Today In 1918: Working Paper, Month Three Of The Influenza Pandemic

THE THIRD MONTH – TODAY IN 1918 Week 9 (Days 59-67, Nov 5-13, 1918) In Philadelphia, celebrating war's end As of the first week in November, influenza barely, ever so barely, inches below its awful highest point of death and destruction in October. Then, it—or rather, they—happened. The happenings were public events, the occasion when people pushed beyond the rules and regulations made to … [Read more...]

Working Paper: The Second Month, Weeks 5-8, Today In 1918

lung samples, 1918 Week 5 (Days 29-36, Oct 6-13, 1918) From bad to worse. There is always a worse, and there is always a worst. The worse you feel in real time, in the present, and the worst is best known in hindsight, looking back. No matter, the worse and worst is the stage with the most extreme point of trouble, problems, and difficulties. The bad comes with the worse. For 1918's … [Read more...]

Up In The Sky

Our youngest daughter and I waited in our car for her school to open. Typical start, typical day. Then we looked out and saw this. Miles above us, a passenger jet carried folks to their next destination as Ava and I sat in our car. But it's the contrail that captivated me. A thought dawned and my photo, shot through a smudgy windshield, resulted. Here is my thought: the trailing … [Read more...]

The Dot Perspective

When you're busy, one of the first things that gets ignored is perspective. Chucked in the bin, out with the trash. You don't have time for it. In the minutes taken to find perspective, something else has gone wrong, something else has gone bad. Perspective is a luxury afforded to those rich with time. That's not you. Stop. Take the time. Make the time. Perspective will reward you. It pays for … [Read more...]

The River: The First Weekend In February

Seven days ago I waited for a busy weekend, the first weekend in February. On Friday we hosted a neighboring family for dinner at our house. On Sunday we hosted a group of friends for a Super Bowl party. Seven days later and all of it is in the past. Now, in writing of it to you, I'm turning last weekend into a piece of history. I'm remembering it intentionally. Both events were wonderfully … [Read more...]

A Mountain To Scale

Yesterday, General Electric's stock price fell to its lowest point in the past five years. The cause appeared to be new CEO John Flannery's announcement of slashed dividends and only a limited closure list of the company's far-flung business units. But that's not what struck me about the events of yesterday. Flannery also remarked that as part of his response to the challenge of turning … [Read more...]

The Historical Site I’ll Never Forget

Eery. Strange. Nothing but evil. These are my descriptions of an historical site, the one site out of the many I've visited over the years that I'll say, with no hesitation, is the most eery, the strangest, and as a place of significance is filled top to bottom with nothing other than pure evil. Not Hitler's vacation hideaway, not the Nazi's model concentration camp at Dachau, not the slave … [Read more...]

The FBI Director and Me

"Come back to October 28th with me and stare at this, and tell me—what would you do?" Earnest words. A touch of drama, a dash of urgency. The speaker faces the group. The group listens and considers what next to think, to do, to say. The speaker was FBI Director James Comey. The group was a Senate committee. The scene was yesterday, at the US Capitol, testimony on the director's decisions … [Read more...]

The Past of a Winter’s Day

Above is a picture of my hike earlier today. Bitterly cold. Sharp wind. Ice forming along the edges and creeping out across the water. I make this hike two or three times a week. Weather usually doesn't affect it. Today is proof of that. My dog and I weren't the only ones out traipsing around. You can see from the picture that another creature had been there before. Look close. Those are … [Read more...]

Some of the New Water Ahead

You'd have to be brain-dead not to realize that both the result of the 2016 presidential campaign and the campaign itself have opened a new era in the American experience. Some of you know that I call such things "a new Stretch of River." Part of the new Stretch is the water I'll describe below. Oh, and that's Justin Bieber in the mugshot. See where I'm going? Part of the new Stretch of … [Read more...]

Post As Past

I'm always looking for and thinking about words that pertain to the past. We have thousands of them along with hundreds of phrases and images that depict the movement of time from living to lived. I'll pick one for today—post. Stay with me and let's explore the word just a bit. If you're a sports fan, you may recognize this word immediately. Post-game interview or show. It's the slice of the … [Read more...]

Some of the Basics

Let's refresh on a few of the basics that I use. Grab whatever your beverage of choice is and take a moment with me to review. Remember, I'm self-titled--a consulting leadership historian. First, our life is a River. Yours, mine, ours, theirs, individual, collective. Life is a River. Point A is the start. Point Z is the end. The flow of time from A to Z functions, behaves, and acts much like a … [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...]