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Monday, June 24, 2024


Every team seems to have at least one member intent upon being the Non-Solver, the one who identifies problems then sits back to let others try to figure out how to come up with solutions.

Some pretty smart leaders I know don't let folks get away with such slackerishness.

Here are some of the strategies astute leaders use with the Non-Solver types:

  • These wise leaders don't let the Non-Solvers operate in secrecy. They force them to offer their complaints, issues, criticisms out in the open. They don't get to "hide" from their observations/judgements. They're forced to "own" them.
  • They press the Non-Solvers to present possible solutions to the problems identified. This is usually done in the form of inquiry. Some questions oft used: What have you tried? How well did that work? What did you learn from that effort that will inform our next moves? 
  • They prescribe action steps for the Non-Solvers, with deadlines for completion and/or reporting of outcomes.
Continuous Improvement is a powerful element of a healthy organizational culture. 

Continuous Complaint is not.

Wednesday, June 19, 2024


The best leaders I know are With-It kind of people. And not only in the usual sense that they're up to speed and paying attention. 

With-It leaders understand that important work is never done alone. Thus, they continually express an inclusive message of team effort, collaborative endeavor, collective action...........WITH-IT-ness.

Some important messages those With-It leaders send:

  • "We" are always smarter than "I"
  • Team effort is a force multiplier
  • Each of us has a gift/talent to contribute, and is expected to do so
  • All voices should be heard
  • There are no bench-sitters, everyone is in the game
  • Information is shared freely (there are no secrets)
  • Connecting, collaborating, communicating WITH each other is a requirement
Winning is the result of WITH-IT kinds of teams. And leaders.

Sunday, June 16, 2024


Causing others to think and act is a fundamental responsibility of leadership.

Some choose to engage in those causative acts through manipulation, others through influence.

Consider this continuum (with sum corollary descriptors):

Manipulation <<<<< ----- >>>>> Influence

Reductionist <<<<< ------------------ >>>>> Holistic

Fixed Mindset <<<<< ----- >>>>> Growth Mindset

Secretive <<<<< ------------- >>>>> Full Disclosure

Exclusive <<<<< --------------------- >>>>> Inclusive

Egotism <<<<< ----------------- >>>>> Stewardship

The motive of the agent is at play along every level. As is the anticipated number of "winners" and "losers."

You can probably guess when end of that continuum I prefer.

Sunday, June 9, 2024


Much has been written about the concept of Servant Leadership. Whole books. Many whole books, in fact.

Some of the most emulatable Servant Leaders I know demonstrate some very powerful common attributes:

  • We Language - Their language is always inclusive and invitational. They rarely speak in terms of "I" or "They," and almost always pepper conversations with "We" and "Our."
  • Seek Deeper Understanding - They seem perpetually in search of deeper understanding......of people, of contexts, of data, of conditions. That seeking is relentlessly grounded in the use of Good Questions + Powerful Listening.
  • Relational - Those impactful leaders strive mightily to build bridges, not walls. They understand that Relationships are the fuel upon which positive outcomes run. They attend to those relationships with great care.
Service and Stewardship are both powerful conceptual models. Imagine the impact of leaders who combine giving with caretaking.

Time to practice....

Wednesday, June 5, 2024


Tremendous potential and possibility is unleashed when sharing occurs. 

Great things happen when a team or community decides to freely SHARE...    

  • A noble and worthy Purpose
  • Values and beliefs
  • Talents and strengths
  • Tangible and intangible resources
  • Commitment 
  • Love
Each of those elements are variables that are dynamic and malleable. They constantly change and mush and morph. 

Some folks describe such sharing within and across a system as CULTURE. 

Leaders are wise to pay attention to, and shape, the sharing.

Sunday, June 2, 2024

King: A Life

 I recently read King: A Life by Jonathon Eig (2023). It is the most recent biography of Martin Luther King. 

 My top takeaways:

·       I was regularly struck by how young MLK was during his window of real-time influence.

·       Clearly, Providence predestined MLK into the role he played (as brief as his time on earth was).

·       As are all our heroes, MLK was human; he had the accompanying faults, flaws, and demons, despite being a man of the cloth.

·       I was not aware of what a pillar of strength Coretta, his wife, was; a remarkable woman. 

·       Interesting to me was the constant push-pull of MLK’s advisors and “influencers,” who continually sought to morph his message. It was clearly a challenge for him to stay focused on the primary outcome he pursued: just and equitable application of the principles promised in our Constitution. 

·       It seems abundantly clear to me that MLK believed to his core that LOVE is the only thing that can defeat hate/evil. 


My favorite quotes:

He called himself “a victim of deferred dreams, of blasted hope.” He also insisted that “we must never lose infinite hope.” He never did. (p. 10)


He called out in his deep, throbbing voice, and the people responded, the noise of the crowd rolling and pounding in waves that shook the building as he built to a climax: And we are not wrong… If we are wrong, the Supreme Court of this nation is wrong. If we are wrong, the Constitution of the United States is wrong. If we are wrong, God Almighty is wrong. If we are wrong, Jesus of Nazareth was merely a utopian dreamer that never came down to earth. If we are wrong, justice is a lie. Love has no meaning. And we are determined here in Montgomery to work and fight until justice runs down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream. (p. 171)


The means we use must be as pure as the end we seek. (p. 403)


“God’s unbroken hold on us,” he said, “is something that will never permit us to feel right when we do wrong, or to feel natural when we do the unnatural. God has planted within us certain eternal principles, and the more we try to get away from them the more frustrated we will be.” (p. 566)


This work pushed my thinking deeply on two fronts: spiritual and political. It brought clarity to both perspectives. A good work.