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Welcome to nc’s blog. Read, comment, interact, engage. Let’s learn together - recursively.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024


According to leadership guru Dan Rockwell, culture is the embodiment of Beliefs + Behaviors.

Culture has no traction without both. Culture without traction is .... not really culture.

As leaders of families and organizations, our work is to continually communicate what our Beliefs are, and to model aligned (and replicable) Behaviors.

We are the embodiments of the Ways of Thinking, Ways of Behaving, and Ways of Symbolizing that are the manifestations of our culture. Or, should be. 

Leaders are the most visible models in this process. INTEGRITY is when our words and actions are aligned. Time to scoot... 

Monday, April 8, 2024


I once read that the surest thing about communication is that all attempts at it fail. Seems spot on.

Effective communication is hard enough when our intentions are noble. When attempts at communication are purposefully (or negligently) undermined, it verges on being downright sinful.

Here are some common and surefire ways to toxify communications:

  • Mushify the language to the point that the ambiguity guarantees multiple meanings/understandings will result.
  • Persistently speaking on behalf of others (and allowing it to continue unchallenged).
  • Assuming silence to be affirmation or agreement. It isn't.
  • Avoid addressing difficult topics, or dance around them.
  • Attacking the person rather than the position they are taking. The classic art of diversion.
Meetings are regularly highjacked by such behaviors and tactics. The chair of the meeting can do much to interdict these toxicities. Group norms that prohibit them are even better.

But..................that's only if we want to be productive and impactful in our work.

Wednesday, April 3, 2024


It is immensely comforting to work for/with people (especially leaders) who operate On Principle.

They speak, move, act, react, make decisions that are grounded solidly on principles of rightness, fairness, trust, and honesty. Minute-by-minute, day in and day out.

Such folks (especially leaders) give the rest of us room to work, to speak, to move, to act, to react, and to make decisions with a high level of confidence (and safety).

Knowing they will consistently stand solidly on noble Principles gives us the safety to do the same.

Sunday, March 31, 2024


Leaders in organizations have tremendous impact on others. How we operate and behave has everything to do with how our team(s) perform.

Here are some common habits that consistently cause a team to deflate:

  • Meetings Malfeasance - show up late, start late, arrive unprepared, allow un-agendaed items/discussions
  • Emotional Potluck - responses toward others are unpredictable, emotional, thoughtless, reactive
  • Vacuous Vagrancy- appear disinterested, too busy, disengaged, uncaring, perpetually distracted
Each of the deflating elements above are grounded solidly in a ME-first rather than WE-first mentality. It's treatable, and curable. But Deflationary Leader Syndrome must first be self-diagnosed and then aggressively addressed with very intentional intervention.

Thursday, March 28, 2024



Who do I know that needs to hear from me today?

Who needs my ear and mind today?

Who will enter my sphere of influence today, and why, and am I prepared to engage?

Who do I need to meet today?

Who do I need to seek out for advice and counsel today?

WHO needs me today? WHO do I need today?

More importantly, will I be "present" enough to notice?

Sunday, March 24, 2024


One of the first exemplary leaders (aka JB) I worked for taught me the immense value of slowness.

JB exuded an aura of stoicism, unflappability, studiousness. I now better understand WHAT he was doing, and WHY. JB understood, and was teaching me, that those of us who lead others are wise to move slowly as often as possible (true emergencies where lives are in danger being the exception).

Here are some of the instructive ways JB moved slowly:

  • He was slow to "fix," or try to solve the problems of, others.
  • He was slow to start talking, preferring to question and deeply listen first.
  • He was slow to accept the assertions/allegation/reports of the first (or only) "reporter."
  • He was slow to jump to conclusions and make impactful decisions without researching thoroughly and seeking insight from wise others.
  • We was slow to adopt novelty in whole cloth fashion, preferring to treat "new ways of doing it" as pilot projects that could be tweaked as they were being explored and adapted.
  • He was slow in physically moving about, recognizing that when the leader appears "on fire" it has a disruptive and unsettling effect on others in the organization.

Thankful to this day for both the direct and indirect guidance I received from JB. Thankful, too, that I had him to learn from early in my career/life. 

I'd bet good money that JB is today one of the slowest movers in heaven.

Wednesday, March 20, 2024


Yes, mediocrity rules! Almost always. It's the norm.

A precious few decide that mediocrity is not enough. For themselves, and for their organizations, they choose a life of excellence.

Here are some of the common attributes of mediocrity:

  • Don't care.
  • Lack of focus.
  • Don't try.
  • No clarity of purpose.
  • Don't grow/learn.
  • Dodge responsibility and accountability.
  • Waste >> time, effort, resources, relationships.
Flipping that script would be a pretty good move toward excellence (and away from mediocrity).