About Me

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

Sunday, April 28, 2024


As leaders, we can create the conditions of our own demise. 

Here are some of the pitfalls to avoid if we intend to truly make a difference:

  • Become Disconnected - Losing focus on the most important things the we are trying to achieve.
  • Stay in the Spotlight - Letting "it" become about us, rather than about what we are trying to achieve.
  • Remain Mushy - Allowing meetings and work processes to become bogged down in the meaningless and minutae.
  • Talk Too Much, Listen Too Little - Being enamored with our own voices (and thoughts).
  • Fail to Notice - Disregarding and devaluing those doing the necessary work, up and down the food chain.
It's a doom loop that guarantees failure and stagnation if we choose to engage in those practices.

Reminded of a mantra from my former life as an athletic coach: "We'd better be in the business of getting better everyday; our competitors most certainly are."

Monday, April 22, 2024


Individual excellence is tough. 

It requires skill + intense work + highly focused effort + ongoing learning + commitment to continuous improvement + getting up one more time than we get knocked down. 

Organizational excellence is even tougher. 

It requires skill + intense work + highly focused effort + ongoing learning + commitment to continuous improvement + getting up one more time than we get knocked down + constant CULTURE crafting.

Constant CULTURE crafting is a fundamental responsibility of leaders. Perhaps the toughest part of our very tough work.

What fabulous outcomes occur when we manage to get it right!

Sunday, April 14, 2024


HOPE is not a strategy. Hope is only the genesis of strategy development. Hope is the mindset that can ignite within us purpose and action.

The best leaders I know use HOPE as the starting point to pull folks into meaningful conversations about...

1) Vision - clarity about that better future we envision

2) Mission - the actions required of us to make that Vision reality

Both Vision and Mission require investment, commitment, and work.

When we stop at HOPE, we're doing nothing but dreaming. When those in leadership stop at HOPE, they're doing nothing but pandering. 

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.