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

Saturday, February 27, 2021


 For the 44th time I woke up with my lovely bride on our anniversary.

She is NOT the same person I married 44 years ago.  And neither am I.  The hang is easy, still. 

We feel greatly blessed for our having evolved through those years in ways that have made us even more compatible than we were when it all started.

Here's hoping for 44 more (but absolutely thrilled with each one we get to have together).  

The year 2020 seems to have raised our awareness in that regard.

Monday, February 22, 2021


Bandwidth is a term we have come to use with great frequency over the last 20 years.  We typically use it to describe the amount of capacity a system has for delivering/processing digital data.


The more bandwidth you have in the system, the more capacity it has to receive, move, and process the digital information at hand.  


In the digital realm, we can increase bandwidth through beefing up the capacity of the transmission, hardware, and/or software systems.


Wise leaders understand that organizations also have “bandwidth,” in terms of the capacity of their teams.  Only in the rarest of cases can they simply buy more bandwidth (as occurs in the digital context).  


In most instances, those astute leaders understand that they must build the capacity of the organization – its “bandwidth” – through very intentional processes of expanding the learning and skills – the “bandwidth” – of each member of the organization.  


Organizational learning occurs as result of purposeful planning and deployment processes, NOT happenstance. 


But, oh what dividends it pays…


Saturday, February 13, 2021


I recently read Conscious Leadership: Elevating Humanity Through Businessby John Mackey, Steve McIntosh, and Carter Phipps (2020).

This was an excellent read, detailing how leaders can approach the work of influencing others from a holistic mindset of improving the future through a triadic focus on environmental, social, and economic stewardship.  JM is the founder of Whole Foods and actively practices/encourages that stewardship perspective, both personally and organizationally. 


My top takeaways:

- Conscious leaders are relentless about their own personal learning and growth.

- Conscious leaders demonstrate and embody the “why” while showing us a reasonable pathway to “how.”

- Meaning is a far greater motivator than money (for most people).

- Leading with love means persistent demonstrations of generosity, gratitude, appreciation, care, compassion, and forgiveness.

- Integrity = Truth-telling + Honor + Authenticity + Courage

- Leaders who fail to invest in the development of their team members will most certainly lose the best ones.

- Leaders who fail to engage in systems thinking (i.e., patterns, connections, interdependencies, relationships) are failing to think.

- Effective leaders understand the three prevailing social worldviews - modernism, traditionalism, and progressivism – and seek continually to build bridges between the holders of each.


My favorite quotes:

“The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity.” (p. 53)


“There is nothing that will undermine your culture more than saying one thing and rewarding something else.” (p. 106)


This book is well worth the time for anyone interested in making better futures, for others and for ourselves, a reality.

Monday, February 8, 2021


Dr. Pedro Noguera has coined the phrase “Probecito Syndrome” to describe the view of many toward children raised in non-privileged environments.  Loosely translated, it means “poor baby” syndrome.  It is the assumed inability of those children to achieve academically, based on the environments in which they were raised.  Former President George W. Bush also spoke of this viewpoint as “the soft bigotry of low expectations.” 


Noguera, Dean of the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California, has researched and written extensively over the last 20 years about issues of educational equity (and inequity) as they apply to children raised in non-privileged environments.  He chronicles well the pervasive low-expectation worldview that predominates in all but the rarest of communities.


Yet, a group of rural schools in Texas are aggressively challenging the Probecito mindset, by adopting and deploying the P20 Model, supported by Collegiate Edu-Nation(CEN).  The leaders in these schools are boldly asserting that ALLchildren, even those from non-privileged environments, possess the needed intellect and proclivities to prosper in a rigorous educational experience.  And, to successfully compete thereafter in the global work environment.  These progressive leaders and school communities have learned that, provided the right support systems and educational guidance, ALL students can, in fact, learn and prosper.


High Aspirations and High Expectations are the watchwords of schools in the CEN universe.  


To what effect?  

Better futures for those students.

Better futures for the current and future families of those very students.

Better futures for the rural communities from which those students come.

Better futures for the state/nation/world those students will eventually become.


*If you’d like to read more of nc’s blatherings, go to www.nelsonwcoulter.com       

Thursday, February 4, 2021


Times of uncertainty put a strain on all of us. Times of uncertainty call for exceptional service from those of us in leadership roles (whether we’re parents, teachers, managers, preachers, mentors, board members, executives, coaches, captains,….).  

 How can we best lead in times of uncertainty?  What do others need to hear, see, feelas they rely on us to lead forward?


Consider the following three-point recipe as a guide for leading in uncertain times:


High Aspirations– the best servant leaders help us think about, talk about, envision, and codify high and lofty futures for ourselves and for the organizations we are members of.  Clarity around direction is critical.


Create the Conditions– the best servant leaders constantly work with us to craft the success-enhancing conditions over which we have control – embed new systems, craft new schedules, build needful infrastructure, forge new partnerships, revise, reshape, reorganize – to optimize the likelihood that our Aspirations are realized.


High Expectations– the best servant leaders keep us, in intensely disciplined ways, focused on our High Aspirations and engaged continually in Creating the Conditions, by embedding accountability. They both model and insist that we “walk the walk” toward our aspirations, with the clear understanding that achieving High Expectations is a process, not an event.


For perspective, just imagine the outcomes we can expect if our leaders choose to map for us a path of 

Low Aspirations > Stagnation in Status Quo > Low Expectations.  Leaders of this mindset are plentiful, because it is by far the easier and less risky path.


When, really, has the future everbeen certain?  Our wisest leaders know this as fact; thus, they constantly challenge us to think about and toward better futures.


We can aimfor better.

We can dobetter.  

We can bebetter.  


The futures of those who follow our lead, especially our children, depend on it.