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...]