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

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).

Sunday, March 17, 2024


"The real deal." --- "What you see is what you get." ---  "Bank on it." ---  "She/He will 'hold the rope'."

We all have some conception of what authenticity looks like. Most of us likely aspire to be our authentic selves. And, for most of us, it is likely a "work" in which we are constantly involved.

When I look in the mirror to assess my own authenticity, here are some questions I ask myself:

How pure are my motives/intentions as I go about my daily life and work?

What are the 3-5 BIG picture drivers of my life and work?

How much of my time, effort, and resources am I dedicating to pursuit of those drivers?

How likely would others be able to discern those drivers (without me having to articulate them)?

Looks like I still have work to do.

Wednesday, March 13, 2024


The most impactful leaders and influential mentors I know are skillful in the art of projecting power. 

Not power OVER, but power TO. They effectively cause others in their sphere of influence to feel more powerful. 

Some strategic moves those impactful influencers make are:

  • Seek - They persistently seek input, feedback, advise, and counsel.
  • Include - They include others, in the discussions, in processes, in decisions.
  • Listen - They ask good questions and listen "deeply" to the answers.
  • Care - They show care, at multiple levels, in many ways.
  • Empower - They give authority, monitor the work, follow-up regularly.
  • Praise - They express gratitude profusely, both publicly and privately.

With power comes responsibility. That is the constant drumbeat underneath that projection of power.

Notice please, that not one of those strategies requires a line in the budget.

Sunday, March 10, 2024


I am a pseudo-musician. Occasionally I use an amplifier during a musical performance. While I am not classically trained, nor is my voice superbly polished, the amplifier makes me sound better than I really am. 

What does that amplifier do? 
  • It allows me to project my music without as much stress and effort.
  • It pushes my music further, extending its reach.
  • It brings clarity to the subtleties and nuance of my music.
  • It gives my music far greater "signal" strength.
The best leaders I know play a similar role in their organizations. They are excellent amplifiers. They clean, clarify, and push the best efforts of others. 

Thursday, March 7, 2024


Impactful work is always complex. It's always difficult. And it's always too much!

When we choose to do impactful work, we absolutely must do it as a team. What happens far too often is that the leader sees where the work and workflow should be going, but some (or all) of the team does not.

Aligning the team to the work needs is a fundamental responsibility of leadership. It is essential to executing the work and achieving the aspired outcomes. 

Some particularly successful leaders in this regard practice the following. They...

  • Relentlessly remind the team of where we're going and why.
  • Match team members with work that aligns to their skills set.
  • Establish clear and written assigned roles for the team members.
  • Schedule regular and brief team-wide "check-up" meetings.
  • Meet with each team member much more frequently, around the specifics and depth of their assigned role.
The best leaders I know praise and express gratitude a LOT publicly. They redirect/criticize individually and privately. 

I've worked for a few leaders like that. (A few too few.)