Wave Two–From 2020 To 1918: November 25

Wilson Tout, later in life, birding Now And Today, November 25, 2020 Three clumps of life today. One is the numbers counted. One is the people known. One is the stuff in between. Life shakes out into three clumps on the day before Thanksgiving. The numbers counted are everywhere. Of cases. Of tests. Of the hospitalized. Of the dead. Of hospitals under stress. And also of potential … [Read more...]

Wave Two–From 2020 To 1918: November 11

Now And Today, November 11, 2020 The election is the end of it. The long struggle winds down in the presidential campaign and other campaigns of the political season. Results in or coming in, tallies and totals, winners and losers, winning sides and losing sides. Despite a ragged gathering, conducting, and counting of votes, the end is here. The end is far from here with the pandemic. We're … [Read more...]

TTP: ElectionDay-To-InaugurationDay–Paddles & Yardstick

ElectionDay-To-InaugurationDay: Your Leadership & 5 Crisis Periods From American History Five times in American life a crisis has blazed away in the period from Election Day to Inauguration Day. Fives times Americans have faced turmoil, confusion, uncertainty, and potential chaos in this stretch of days and weeks covering the end of one year's presidential election and the next year's … [Read more...]

Clouds And Seeds–The Difference

A cloud and a seed don't sound like the same thing. I wonder if we sometimes act like they're the same thing, assume they're the same thing, pass them by as if they're the same thing. I offer a gentle reminder to you that they are not the same thing. Especially now as we live out the rhyming of our 2020 pandemic with the 1918-1920 pandemic. I had a wonderful private meeting with a client of … [Read more...]

TTP: Your Waters Of The Day

Mr. Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson Nearly all of POTUS 45's term is past. It is in the past, as in before now. We don't know if the adjective “first” or “one” will precede the word "term." That's not the choice I am asking you to make today. Settle down. Easy does it. I have something else in mind. Clearly, among the fundamental leadership points raised in the experience of POTUS 45 is … [Read more...]

Wave Two–From 2020 to 1918: September 28

Convergence in the dark Now And Today, September 28, 2020 The last thing you want to do will not stand much of a chance when it's placed alongside the first thing you want to do. The last thing may take control for a while but, over time, the first thing will be back on top. First things are first things for a reason. The dominant sight in your everyday life will not allow itself to be … [Read more...]

Wave Two–From 2020 To 1918: September 21

Now And Today, September 21, 2020 A thread woven into threads. A fiber woven into fibers. A strand woven into strands. So many strands and fibers and threads that you can't tell one from another or this thousand from that thousand. They're a tangled mess. Your time and energy are nearly impossible to allocate into a tangled mess. You know you're expected to do something, yet you have no way … [Read more...]

Wave Two–From 2020 To 1918: September 18

The doctor with a pen Now And Today, September 18, 2020 The following conversation is occurring all across the United States. Employer to employee. Friend to friend. Family to family. Person to person. Door knock. Or cell ring. Or message ping. Or Zoom call. Can we talk? Sure. My (child, other) is having real problems with (school, college, whatever). Can't concentrate. Isn't … [Read more...]

Wave Two–From 2020 To 1918: September 17

Near the site of The New Era, Lancaster PA Now And Today, September 17, 2020 It just goes and goes and goes. Our pandemic. Where's the edge? I can't see it. Where's the end? I don't know. Where's the clarity? Good luck finding it. So you continue, the slog continues. You do your day the best you can. More masking, spacing, and limited face-to-facing. If you have anyone in any form of … [Read more...]

TTP: An Odd Fact Of Three By 2 And Twice

We're neck-deep and head-high in the 2020 presidential campaign. I've got an odd fact from our 45 Presidents Of The United States (POTUS) that might help you navigate the wild waters around us. I'll leave it to you to determine what it means for our current situation. In all of our history of presidential elections, from 1789 down to today, only twice—TWICE—have we had a consecutive string of … [Read more...]

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...]

Change Brought A Clash

2020 has brought you confusion and dissension from the pandemic, the social unrest, and the ongoing political whirlwinds. The year has also brought to the forefront some of the features of change you might not have expected as we stand here in mid-summer. I wonder if any of these four features—four subtle clashes, if you will—are familiar to you in this moment. First. People want to get back … [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...]

Learning From the 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 90

By early December 1918, more than 360,000 Americans have died since early September. That's more than 100,000 every month, every thirty days, as of December 4, 1918, the 90th day since influenza broke out of Fort Devens, Massachusetts. Thankfully, as of now on the 90th day, though the sickness has not completely stopped, it has certainly declined. The lowering scale of death is … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 85

Hero When does a hero know? The thing they've done that made them a hero, well, maybe they know that. Especially after the fact. But when does a hero know that he or she is in trouble and life has taken a turn in a bad direction? Do they know that today is different, that today I have to pay attention to myself and not to others, that today, maybe, the future comes calling. A door is … [Read more...]

You Might Need Reminding

The weeks have more in them--the days have more in them--than we can keep up with. Sometimes the rush of events and actions overwhelm us. So, I thought you might need reminding, a gentle reminding, of a post I wrote back in early 2019. Well over a year later and the list I compiled needs to be remembered now more than ever. Of particular interest are the 4th and 6th bullet points. Without further … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 77

San Francisco family, before and after the siren A siren has a sound all its own. It fills, pierces, and overwhelms all at once. The sound enters your ears and holds in place beside your brain. Open your mouth and it will enter there, too. Your nose is next. Hear it? A siren cannot be escaped until the sound starts its steady winding-down. Less. Fading. Stopped. Silent. Now … [Read more...]

Learning From the 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 76

Brevig Village, Alaska, modern view of the grave site November 20, 1918. The 76th day of the worst wave of influenza. "Damn this ground is hard." The men with pick-axes, shovels, and explosives must have said it a lot. A dozen times. That's the reaction when you're trying to dig into the frozen earth. Six feet down into ice and dirt. Maybe a hundred times is more like. A slice of ground … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 70

St. Paul, Minnesota, 1918 Making a hash of things. An old phrase, it means you take something and cut it into smaller bits. A thing once together is now jumbled and unorganized. Influenza has made all of life an unending hash. The question is left—how do you unhash a hash? November 15, 1918, Day 70 after influenza broke loose from Fort Devens in Massachusetts. It's a make-it-hash … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 68

Downtown Tucson They all seem plausible. They all seem understandable. But they all seem straining toward different directions. A shared point, a common bond, is absent and without it, it's hard to know where to go except farther down a single lane of reality, of life. The junction is empty and open and not yet joined. Five paths pull against the center. Day 68, November 14, 1918. One. … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 67

The Mississippi River, Grand Rapids, Minnesota In the far north, along a ribbon called the Mississippi River, eagles perch on the branches of the gray pine trees. At their choosing, they'll launch and fly downward at a long angle, eyes fixed and legs tucked. Gliding and gaining speed, they cruise at top speed parallel to the water. At coordinates measured in quarter-inches, they slowly drop a … [Read more...]

The Bottom Of The River

The River, bottom and top This morning, over coffee, a sort of sun beam broke through the clouds. My wife had just read the Day 59 installment of my "Today In 1918" series. We talked about the story. In listening to her, I had a bit of an epiphany, as I mentioned, a sort of sun beam. The clouds, which if you've been around me you already know, symbolize my usual state of mind. The … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 61

So who do you believe? The media or a group of students? A fair question but when you dig a little, you find it's not completely fair, you find a deeper understanding. Day 61, November 7, 1918. Here is what happens. Newspaper around the US publish in blazing, black, and thick-block print the following headline on the front page: THE WAR IS OVER! Uh. Nope. Turns out it was a false … [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...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 59

Later in life, little Charlie Long A river has a surface. That is its highest level. A river also has a bottom. The surface water runs along it, above it, over it. The water at the top and the water at the bottom are almost two different worlds. One man rides the river's surface. In the darkness below two families struggle along the river's bottom. This is a Day 59 like no other. The 59th … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 57

Dr. Roy Flannagan, shown right An eight-year old girl with dark, round eyes thought she heard some good news. Finally. Her parents seem excited. They are very political, active and full of opinions. That's OK in peacetime but here...sometimes politics can kill you. The young girl stares at her parents and brother and sister. She's searching for any sign that today's news will, in fact, prove … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 56

A tough place for a decision Perched on the fence with a strong wind blowing. That's what Day 56 feels like, the second day of November 1918. The fence is the issue of re-opening or not, the perch is the indecision over which to do, to stay closed or to end closures, and the wind is the trend of most American communities to stop quarantines, stop the bans on all sorts of public … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 55

Eagle River, Colorado Next time you're by a river, take a minute to stand and watch. Watch closely. The current has currents. Water is on top of water with different depths, bottoms, and barriers. The grade, the banks, the wind, each affects the shape and leaves a mark. There's a lot going on in every river. So, take a minute. Stand. Watch. Closely. There's a lot going on in the River of … [Read more...]

Learning From the 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 53

The French Lick Hotel, 1918 Blurred, mixed, and ragged. Most of the time you're dealing with lesser evils and shifting boundaries. Sound familiar? Then you're right at home with influenza on Day 53, October 30, 1918. There are places where things are getting worse. The leading newspaper in Idaho informs readers that "stricter rules may be needed to curb influenza." Nearby, the health … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 50

A World War event, Grant Park, Chicago No river runs straight all of the time. The question is the bend—how big, how sharp, how different once the turn is made. You only know by going round. On top of Carter's Mountain in North Carolina, you hear the sound of a hammer hitting a nail. A man makes a coffin. A stack of lumber is nearby, ready material for the second one to be made. Wha-ping. … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 49

Sharp Street Church, near the burial site Influenza, the heartbreak of today. One day before his first wedding anniversary, 20-year old Henry Kulp is buried in Souderton, Pennsylvania. The president of the University of North Carolina, Edward Kidder Graham, dies. It was his dream job as a 1894 grad of the school and its first journalism professor. Two Catholic priests die in Baltimore, … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 48

You get stuck. The things you see around you; the tilt and trend down to now and your memory of the past weeks; the things you're looking to see in the day, days, and week after today; those fixed events already set or expected several weeks or a few months ahead. You're somewhere between all of these states of time, states of being, and states of mind. With so much floating and swirling, you feel … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 47

In Ohio, a temporary hospital. The trends are bad, no matter what they tell you, but that's not the whole story. More to tell, more to know. Day 47, October 24, 1918. Today, people are jumping in, taking action, making a difference in the circles around them. Water on the rock—though pressures from influenza do wear us down, at the same time they reveal beauty, worth, and essence. As tidal … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 46

Camp Custer, October 1918 The future is like the sun. Stare at it and your eyes go bad. Now well into the sixth week, Day 46, and Americans are looking forward, sizing up the shapes and objects ahead. They hope to see an edge sharpen to an end and a line drawn for a beginning. But it's hard to really see much. The only thing visible is a blinding light. And looking longer doesn't help. In … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 44

Sanitation workers, Chicago Climb the ladder, from bottom to top. Influenza waits at every rung. From one family. A Polish family lives in Winona, Minnesota. A doctor visits their home and is shocked at the sight—both parents and all ten of their children suffer from influenza today. The doctor looks around the house and sees next to nothing of anything. Little food, few household goods, … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 43

Joseph Fuccy belonged to this team All sorts of horse races were up in the air on the forty-third day since hell bolted free at Fort Devens, Massachusetts. There was the natural kind. The horses expected to run at Pimlico Race Track near Baltimore, Maryland were still in their stalls. Race officials in Maryland and at Pimlico were going back-and-forth about holding races. For now, they had … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 42

Dr. White's workplace When can it become just too much? One of the too-much times can be when a bad thing you didn't expect joins the bad thing you're already coping with. And the more sudden, the more jolting the second bad thing is...well, it can be very hard to absorb. That's the start of Day 42 in the home called Place. He is Homer. She is Bertha. They're the Places, Mr and Mrs … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 40

Through The Looking Glass A hand held a pen. Ink on the tip. A few dashing strokes crossed out a word here, inserted a word there. The writer stared at the sheet, then stopped for the day. Almost ready as a book, almost finished as a story, almost born as a warning that, sadly, will never need to die. "I'll believe in you, if you'll believe in me. Is that a bargain?" In 1871 so said the … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 35

Young influenza patients in an Oklahoma City Hospital, 1918 Is it normal? Hell no. Is it abnormal? Way beyond that. Well, then, what is it? I don't really know other than to say it's massive. Truer words were never spoken, written, thought, or felt. Day 35, October 12, 1918. You can't really know. That's the reality in Philadelphia when 837 people die today. Or when the city of … [Read more...]

Working Paper: Today In 1918, First Month

Influenza Epidemic 1918 - Policemen in Seattle, Washington, wearing masks made by the Seattle Chapter of the Red Cross, during the influenza epidemic. (National Archives) This is your summary of the first 28 days of my Today In 1918 series. I offer it as a higher-level look with closing thoughts on ramifications for you. Estimated reading time: 20-40 minutes. Contact me if you wish to discuss … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 33

"Entire Country In Grip Of Flu and Pneumonia." That's the headline in a newspaper in an American city on Day 33. Dead accurate, you might say. Everywhere you look things are upside down on October 10, 1918. Illness, suffering, decline, recovery, death, and sometimes none of these. Fears, doubts. And you're not supposed to meet in groups, not supposed to shop, not supposed to spit, not supposed … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 31

High above the prairie, storm clouds fly in the night. Blown by air unusually warm for the second week of October, dark forms race through the sky. Rain is in the black air. It is a witching hour, well before the tilt and turn of the earth brings another dawn. On the prairie is a camp. Hundreds of buildings are silent and dark. Barns, barracks, quarters, and storehouses, not a person stirs … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 29

Hoarding, 1918-style Crisis comes and goes at different times for different people. You have a sense that often tells you when it has arrived or departed. You can know it. The arrival of crisis is known today in Cincinnati, Ohio. It's Day 29, October 6, 1918, and the city shuts down. Just about everything closes until someone in a position of authority decides otherwise. People across … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 28

Seattle Mayor Ole Hanson, 1918 Change is a constant but not all constants change overnight. Only some surge, or plunge, to that level. Today, on Day 28, overnight is now and lasts for a full twenty-four hours on October 5, 1918. Overnight, a ban on all indoor public gatherings begins in Seattle, Washington. Mayor Ole Hanson declares that the only public gatherings allowed will be those … [Read more...]

The Shadow Of Late Winter

On January 24 I wrote my first post to a closed group of Alumni about Covid-19 and its likely importance for your personal leadership. On March 5 I found lessons from 1918 and shared them in the post below (which I've reproduced here). It was for my followers on LinkedIn. It seems to me that it hit and still hits the mark. So, I'll ask you now, standing a few days ahead of Easter and spring all … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 27

The crater of October 4 Life never stops, not in its variety or surprises or challenges. Today, Day 27, October 4, 1918, the earth shudders around the town of Morgan, New Jersey. Martial law is declared. People fear for their lives and safety. Survival is the question, and no one knows for certain. Life gets a vote. One of the largest non-nuclear explosions in American history rips … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 21

Take a quick breath to take stock. Three weeks ago. Day 1, influenza begins at Fort Devens, Massachusetts. It's back after an outbreak some three months before, in the spring, a seasonal thing. Now, on Day 21, Saturday, September 28, 1918... ...a helluva day. At 1am this morning Major Ernest Gibson and his military comrades were ordered into line and told to start marching from their … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 18

A Jackie Band near Winnekta, Illinois, 1918 News large and important. Printed in newspapers, transcribed on telegrams, written in letters. Read by thousands, read by dozens, read by one. Word is spreading about life in a world that is—like it or not, choose it or not, know it or not—abruptly new. Day 18, September 25, 1918. For the thousands... A leading newspaper in Charlotte, North … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 16

An American worker, 1918 A guy named Wiley Eastwood is a good stand-in for hundreds of thousands of Americans today, Day 16, September 23, 1918. A hard-worker, Eastwood goes to his job—earns his pay, like always—but in the late morning starts feeling weak, fevered, coughing. Lunchtime comes and goes and he's worse. Finally, he just can't keep going. It's time to talk with the boss. Eastwood … [Read more...]

Learning From the 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 15

Dr. William Welch, 1918 You turn the corner and there it is. A sudden shock. The look and feel of an unknown that is total, that is capable of swallowing up everything you are and everything you're ready to do. Beyond your experience, your expectations. Beyond all there is in you. You turn the corner and there it is. On this fifteenth day, September 22, 1918, a young mother and her two young … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 14

Crouse-Irving Hospital in Syracuse, New York Two weeks on, September 21, 1918, and the remedies started flowing in. Some folks say don't let your feet get wet and watch out for signs of blocked bowels. Others assert that chewing food well and drinking lots of water is the answer. Eating onions, drinking sour milk, the list grows of what people hope will be the cure, the trick, that keeps them … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 11

A Cincinnati barbershop, fall 1918 Just the "Grippe." Only the grippe. Don't freak out over the standard seasonal cough, fever, and aches that everyone calls "the grippe." Newspaper editors and writers are telling lots of readers today that the illness everyone's talking about is simply another outbreak of seasonal flu. They say it in Cincinnati today when one of the city's newspapers … [Read more...]

Beneath The Surface

Something happened the other day and it bothered me. I'd like to share it with you to see what you think. It's only a couple of minutes' reading. Here we go. On Twitter I follow a person who sends out a daily tweet on "this date in the American Revolution." Whatever today is, the guy tweets about some event that happened on that same day back in the American Revolutionary War, 1775-1783. It … [Read more...]

TTP: The Role of Ratings

There is a particular aspect of Donald Trump's approach to the presidency that may have been overlooked. Television ratings. Before 2016, Trump was steeped in the world of television ratings nearly as much as he was in real estate and commercial development. Television ratings form a key part of his way of separating success from failure, of what to do from what not to … [Read more...]

The Remarkable Speech of William Lough Jr.

(The posting below is for the use of my participants in the Cowles-Fogg book club. However, if you're a random visitor to my website, I certainly invite you to read this post. For the book club members, though, I'd ask you to consider whether or not Lough's comments would have been persuasive if you'd been sitting in the audience back in 1907. Would you have gone out the next day and changed your … [Read more...]

Of Z And Thee

A setback slammed into you on a Friday. It was unexpected. It was on a large scale. It was quickly told to other people. By Monday, if not sooner, you're trying to recover. We've just summarized the recent past of Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook. Over the course of a day, his company lost $123 billion, more than the gross domestic product of Kuwait and the largest single business loss ever. We … [Read more...]

Words Under The Ocean

They were deep under water for less than a minute. 8000 words, broken down into roughly 32 pages. Into a cable like the one shown above. Tap. Tap-tap-tap. Tap-tap.... Today, February 22, 1946, an American diplomat in Moscow, George Kennan, finished this extraordinary document. Having written it over the course of several days, Kennan used the document to report his views on the Soviet Union … [Read more...]

The First Thing You Say

George Marshall, US Army Chief of Staff, walked into the War Department (shown in the photo) on December 7, 1941 and said this: "We are now in the fog of war."  That was his chosen first statement to his immediate followers at the War Department after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. Take a moment and let that 8-word statement sink in. Try to imagine sitting in a nondescript office … [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 Call

Dr. Deborah Kuhls spoke these two sentences. She's on the medical staff at the University Medical Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Her statement is from today's Wall Street Journal and its coverage of the mass shootings and slaughter. In addition to remembering, honoring, and praying for everyone affected by this tragedy, I'd like for you to think for just a moment about Dr. Kuhls's statement. … [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...]

73 Years Ago – A Saturday in March

If you don't want to know anything else other than listen to the speech, click https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjx3IqURT6I. If you'd like to take a couple of minutes and, I think, gain more out of it, read below--you'll see another link and can view the speech then. (Whichever you do, thanks for pursuing. All the best, Dan) This is the story. I want you as a leader to absorb it, work through … [Read more...]

A Memory Alive

  Colin Powell is one of the most recognized figures in the American Experience of the late 20th century. Military officer, national security adviser, secretary of state, one-time potential presidential candidate, best-selling author, and more, Powell ranks among high as an influential leader in American life. In this short article, I'd like you to focus on one thing about Colin Powell. I … [Read more...]

Excavating January 30th

The Tet offensive began on January 30, 1968. As an event, it occurred throughout winter and spring of 1968. As a leadership story, it illustrates the powerful clash between facts and perceptions. Take a look at my 4-minute video here for a quick exploration of Tet and your leadership. After you're done, consider these questions for your leadership: Have I had an experience where I've … [Read more...]

TTP: The Trump Rule

TTP: The Trump Rule As promised, and promised, and promised again, henceforth and forever more shall it stand, drum roll, here is the Trump Rule: You must react to Trump's leadership in your own leadership. That's it. Underwhelmed? Don't be! Please remove your finger from that delete button for one minute...let me explain. Some of Trump's presidency is unique. Some isn't. Within the … [Read more...]

Meet The First President Trump

TTP: MEET THE FIRST PRESIDENT TRUMP I believe we've seen a US president similar to Donald Trump before. Allow me to introduce you to Andrew Jackson, seventh President of the United States. Other commentators have made the point, too. My arrival at this conclusion was done independently, after thinking through the histories of 44 American presidents.  Jackson and Trump share several key … [Read more...]

Eight Words And Pearl Harbor

What do you think of when the anniversary of Pearl Harbor rolls around every December 7? I'll tell you my image in a moment but let's get yours first. Is is a photo of burning American battleships? Is it a recording of President Franklin Roosevelt's statement about a "day that will live in infamy"? Maybe you've had the good fortune to visit Pearl in Hawaii and have the chilling recollection of … [Read more...]

A Client’s Question Out Of Left Field: Happily So

I always listen to my clients. Two weeks ago, a client from Louisville, Kentucky—a team from Humana—asked me if I could think of a way to use the Louisville Slugger Factory in a special leadership module for them. They are in the midst of planning a retreat that includes a tour of the Louisville Slugger Factory & Museum. I happily said, "Yes!" The past is everything and everywhere down … [Read more...]

3 Pieces Of The Puzzle–My Upcoming Leadership Now Workshop

Tuesday, November 22, is a day I'm excited about. That's when, running from 11:30am to 1pm, I'll be doing a special Leadership Now Workshop at Capital Grille in Indianapolis. The title is "3 Pieces Of The Puzzle: Using History To Clarify A Trump President And The Impact On Your Leadership." The cost is $75 per person and includes an excellent lunch, meaningful fellowship, and powerful interaction. … [Read more...]

As Is

This is a photo of one of the hundreds of landing ships carrying American soldiers into battle with the invasion of Normandy, France, June 1944. They are sitting there as is. They are ready to disembark as is. Their first step on the European continent--and in many cases that will be their last step in life--will be as is. The as-is organization can do remarkable things, just like these brave … [Read more...]

Serious Beginnings

So it began. Today (June 8) was the first full day of debate in the Continental Congress in 1776 whereby the delegates took up a specific question of American independence. The day before a resolution was introduced which proposed American independence. And now comes the discussion, the arguments, the back-and-forth, the insults offered and those held back, the shifting of opinion from one side to … [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...]

A Curious Document

In the midst of a deep, sweeping, and sizzling change, small things will appear. It's hard to know in the moment how to make sense of them. As a leader you will have to decide whether they are worth pursuing, whether they are an opportunity that needs your attention. Not every small thing rises to this level but every once in a while, one will. Here is stunning example from this past … [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...]