About Me

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

Wednesday, June 29, 2022


The coaching relationship is a dynamic phenomenon between the coach and the coachee. The coach generally possesses knowledge, skills, experience, and perspective that the coachee does not yet have (and needs or wants).

The coach-coachee relationship is just that -- a relationship. The coaching process works best only when that relationship exists on a presumption of volunteered participation and grounded in TRUST. If either the coach or the coachee are externally "compelled" to participate, that trust suffers erosive effects from the get-go. The prospect for optimal outcomes are diminished from the start. 

As leaders, we often find ourselves wearing both hats -- coach and coachee -- at the same time. Thus the coached-coaching experience is not hierarchical, but rather, multi-directional. There is much we can learn from that interpersonal schema, if we are paying attention. 

Perhaps we should spend the preponderance of our time on becoming relationship experts.

Sunday, June 26, 2022


 I recently read Love Works: Seven Timeless Principles for Effective Leaders by Joel Manby (2020). 

In this book Manby frames his experiences as a chief executive officer of several large organizations against the pillars of love as articulated in 1 Corinthians 13 of the Bible.  


My top takeaways:

·       Think first and always of LOVE as a action verb – not as a noun or an emotion. 

·       Reframe personal and organizational goals as either BE goals or DO goals – with the BE goals being preeminent.

·       BE goals are timeless; DO goals are context dependent and malleable.

·       Protecting the dignity of others should be paramount.

·       Praise lacking specifics is perceived as bogus and hollow, killing our credibility.

·       Making others consistently feel bad does NOT make them better.

·       Customer experience is the direct downstream effect of employee enthusiasm – starting with leadership.

·       Effective and Efficient are goals that can work against one another, or they complement each other in symbiotic conjunction, depending on the culture we choose to shape.

·       The gift of time – the leader’s time – is a powerful incentivizer.

·       Insisting on getting at the truth keeps the best people and creates the best decisions.

·       Forgiving heals both the giver and the recipient.

·       The seven timeless principles of LOVE that can be leveraged in leadership: PATIENCE, KINDNESS, TRUSTING, UNSELFISH, TRUTHFUL, FORGIVING, and DEDICATED.  


My favorite quotes:


“Profits are a product of doing the right thing—over and over again.” (p. 31)


“Do or do not. There is no try. —YODA In Star Wars.” (p. 35)


"The truth is this: interrupting is a sign of distrust.” (p. 83)


“Listening well is critical because it demonstrates trust and builds a team’s sense of camaraderie and cohesion.” (p. 84)


“Let others make the decisions for which they are responsible.” (p. 95)


“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. —MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. ” (p. 196)


“And the more we focus on do goals, the greater the risk that we will betray our be goals.” (p. 215)


Manby makes a compelling case that effective leaders – the best leaders – not only can lead from a standpoint of LOVE, they should do so.


This book is a worthy read.

Sunday, June 19, 2022


Disclaimer: It is generally easier to ignore or hide from the truth, than to seek it.

Leaders need to know the truth (whether they acknowledge it or not). Only when we know the truth can sound decisions be made and solid directions be charted.

How can leaders encourage and ensure truth speaking?

  • Speak it ourselves - modeling.
  • Ask for it, often, up and down the organization, from both internal and external customers.
  • LISTEN actively as the truth comes in response to our inquiries.
  • Thank the truth tellers, even when their truth-speaking hurts.
  • Make it safe, as a cultural norm, to tell the truth.
  • Use the truth to get better, overtly and consistently.
If we don't actively seek the truth, we are likely not to hear it.

Friday, June 17, 2022


I recently read What Happened to You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing by Bruce Perry and Oprah Winfrey (2021).  

This book was extremely enlightening for me, taking me in new “directions” around topics of interest to me.

My top takeaways:

·       Think in terms of “What happened to you?” as opposed to “What’s wrong with you?”

·       Rhythm shapes us, from the womb through the final moments of our lives.

·       Humans are emotionally contagious; we sense the emotional state of others.

·       Love is the ultimate relational experience.

·       Every aspect of our “self” is shaped by early developmental experiences.

·       Not just “fight or flight,” but Flock, Freeze, Flight, or Fight.

·       Relational health = our connectedness to family, community, and culture.

·       Every cell in our body has the same genes, but not the same genes “turned on.”

·       Trauma affects disconnection, which negatively impacts every system in our body.

·       Neglect is as toxic as trauma.

·       The major predator of humans has always been other humans.

·       Disconnection is a disease.

·       Forgive – first ourselves, then others.


My favorite quotes:

“All life is rhythmic. The rhythms of the natural world are embedded in our biological systems.” (p.49)


“Relational glue keeps our species alive, and love is relational superglue.” (p.77)


“Dr. Perry: Love, given and felt, is dependent upon the ability to be present, attentive, attuned, and responsive to another human being... And this ability is based upon what happened to you, primarily as a young child.” (p.81)


“Trying to reason with someone before they are regulated won’t work and indeed will only increase frustration (dysregulation) for both of you.” (p.142)


“It takes a long time to change people—and even longer to change systems.” (p.217)


“We know that a dysregulated adult cannot regulate a dysregulated child. An exhausted, frustrated, dysregulated adult can’t regulate anybody.” (p.284)


This book is a keeper. Made me think much more deeply about the power of relationships and connection.


Very thankful that CD recommended to me.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022


Thoroughbred horses are built to RUN, fast and for a long time. Don't hitch 'em to a wagon.

Quarter Horses are quick and agile. They change directions on a dime and have keen anticipation skills. Don't try to race them against a Thoroughbred.

Draft horses are designed to move heavy loads and carry a lot of dead weight. Don't task them to do 10 things fast and well.

Ponies are disposed to behave like pets; gentle, steady, obedient, and safe (usually). Don't expect them to drag a plough through hard ground.

Prancers are show horses; pretty, impressive, performance-oriented. Don't expect one to win the Kentucky Derby.

Most all kinds of horses are smarter than we tend to give them credit. Kind of sneaky smart.

Leaders of organizations don't typically have to match horses with their dispositions for needed work outcomes. Instead............................we work with people.

Note to self: People are sorta like horses (except there are more "kinds" of people than horses).

Got some learnin' to do. 

Sunday, June 12, 2022


We are apportioned only so many days on Earth. For some, that window of life is tragically short. For others, it can approach 100 years.

Regardless of how long we live, there is a finite amount of Life Energy allocated to us each day. 

We get to determine how to spend that Life Energy.

Below are some continua we can use to help frame those choices:

Harmony <<<<<<<<<< >>>>>>>>>> Disharmony

Calm <<<<<<<<<<<<< >>>>>>>>>>>> Instigate

Love <<<<<<<<<<<<<< >>>>>>>>>>>>>> Hate

Service <<<<<<<<<< >>>>>>>>>>> Selfishness

Contribute <<<<<<<<<<< >>>>>>>>> Consume

Learn <<<<<<<<<<<<< >>>>>>>>>>>>> Ignore

Positivity <<<<<<<<<<<< >>>>>>>>> Negativity

We don't control the amount of Life Energy, just the way we choose to direct it.

Note to self: Modifications can be made minute-by-minute.

Sunday, June 5, 2022


Few things in life are more gratifying than serving others. It lifts both the provider and the receiver. This is especially true when serving those who are marginalized or compromised, having a compelling need they cannot meet on their own.

What is required of us to serve?
  • A perceptive awareness of those in need
  • A willingness to help 
What is NOT required to serve others? Not money, not skills, not education, not status. 

Who are some worthy models of service from whom we might learn? Jesus, Mandela, Mother Theresa, ML King, etc. Or....................just look around. I'd bet good money you can find someone around you who is lovingly serving at this very moment. 

Those in need of our service are plentiful.

We can start whenever we get ready. No credentials or training required.