Jennifer and I are Repotting

Jennifer and I Repotting for a While

Apropos of today’s RFL on repotting, I want to share how Jennifer and I will be repotting. I want to share the changes – changes I hope will enrich the soil from which Reading for Leading grows.

First, we are writing a book to come out this fall on the lessons learned leading Michigan. It will be a tale of leadership in the midst of massive economic shifts and political turmoil.  We believe it will stimulate a rich discussion in our country which, like Michigan, continues to face economic changes that are not merely cyclical but have deep causes and require big changes.

Second, we are also temporarily uprooting for a couple years. In our twenty-fifth year of marriage – in our beloved Michigan – we’re moving to the Bay Area to be near Jennifer’s parents. We will both be teaching at the University of California at Berkeley through the 2013 academic year.  Jennifer will teach classes on energy, industrial policy and governing in tough time in the Boalt School of Law and the Goldman School of Public Policy, while I will be teaching at Boalt Law and the Haas School of Business. At Haas, I’m excited to be teaching leadership, so I hope you’ll keep engaging and educating me around all things leadership.

We will also be doing public speaking – represented by the Keppler Speakers Bureau. Jennifer will become a regular guest panelist on Meet the Press.  I have big plans for a book on men and how we rise to the unique challenge and extraordinary opportunity to learn to lead and follow in wonderful new ways.

We feel trepidation and sadness at leaving Michigan for a while, especially as the state struggles to get its own roots into more nutritious soil.  But it’s time for some repotting, and a very important time for us to tend to Vic and Shirley, the sturdy family tree upon which my beloved bride was nurtured. Jack finishes middle school here this spring, and we hope to make his high school years – our last as full time parents – great ones.

Jennifer and our kids and I are on a serious prowl for a lake home in Michigan and will always be our home base.  We’re grateful for your prayers and hope you’ll keep us close to the place and people we love so well.

Stay tuned for other announcements of exciting work we’ll be doing with some national non-profits.  I can still be reached at, Jennifer can now be reached at She’s launched a website and we will soon launch  Let us know how we can help you, as you

Lead with your best self!


  • Best of luck to both of you. The Guv has been one of the very few very bright spots around here for some time. You join many including my 2 oldest who had to get out of here to make good things happen. Oddly, both have connected with many, many 25-30 something Michiganders in Chicago and the SW area. This makes the economy very personal for me and I will be watching that we don’t just continue old traditions of lowering taxes for the wealthy and turning this State into the new Mississippi…no offense to Mississippi.
    Somebody has to do it, and I’m still here.
    Reminds me of the late 70’s when I too tried to leave a beleaguered Michigan but ended up staying due to extended family, all of which was here.
    We’ll leave a light on for you.

  • Congratulations!

    I can’t think of two more deserving people to help our future leaders learn and flourish. BRAVO!!! I only wish that the University of Michigan had beat California to the punch so that we could have kept you both here in our beloved Michigan.

    I am still looking forward to seeing “G” emerge in a position of prominence in the Obama White House.

    Keep On Making A Difference You Two! You both have certainly made a most remarkable difference in my life. The TIP Lady

  • Good luck to the both of you and the very best wishes for you entire family as you embark on a new phase of your lives. You and your children have been an inspiration to all families.
    God bless.

  • Dan and Jennifer,

    Read your blog today with joy for you, Jennifer, your family, and all the folks on the Left Coast!

    You both deserve a great change from the frustration of the day to day, year to year struggle you all have endured to help revive Michigan and our nation. And Julie and I hope you all will enjoy the less stressful challenges away from Michigan.

    Again, best wishes,

    Bob & Julie Horn Alexander

  • How lucky they are to have you both and how lucky you are to have a few years in the Bay Area, a place i hold near and dear as ” I grew up” there through the 70’s .Best to you, wishing good luck, love, and laughter to you both and to the kids.


  • Wonderful news! Congratulations to you all! Looking forward to reading the book; I know it will be a great read.

  • All the best to you and Jennifer.
    I am grateful for the leadership and dedication that you have shown Michigan, and you now have an opportunity to serve your family needs as well as educate others on leadership and government. This is the time for focus on regrouping and adjustment, and it sounds like you are making the transition well.
    I have learned much from RFL, and look forward to learning more as your horizons expand exponentially!
    Be well

  • Is the first chapter of the book……How to bankrupt a state in a few lessons. Then write how it was someone else’s fault. Glad to see you going to California and taking Jennifer with you. Not quick enough for most of us here in Michigan……

    • Doug,
      Your first comment has been eliminated as spam. This is a civil place where people are welcomed to discuss ideas of leadership. Although this second comment says little, it is at least not offensive to thinking people.
      I encourage you to share your ideas with people about Michigan’s leadership. If you can make it relevant to what we are writing about and discussing here, then go for it. If not, then find a good place where you can vent.

    • Greasemonkie,
      Guess which state actually spent less at the end of the decade than it did at the beginning?
      Oh, and it was by double-digits.
      Second question, honestly posed: Does writing that “you’re glad to see us leave Michigan” make you feel better? Honestly. Do you feel like you have vented and thus feel better? Or do you still feel whatever you felt before – hateful, or hurt, or resentful, or whatever? Might be worth pondering. My experience is that when I get hateful with others – my kids or wife when I’m frustrated, or somebody who cuts me off, expressing my anger doesn’t necessarily help. In fact, it lives with me longer.
      Finally, I’d encourage you to speak for yourself. I’m not sure how you get to speak for “most of us here in Michigan.” If it’s your opinion, stand with it.
      Lead with your best, my brother,

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