What You and I Can Do About Baltimore

I was 10 when Detroit burned with rage and rebellion. Since then I have done little things, and little things matter, but have I done nearly enough? And, more importantly, what more can I do? If you believe in “everyday leadership,” or “kill (the idea of) THE leader,” then this question must be yours as … Continued

Finding Your Inner President

Who’s your favorite modern President? Was it their temperament or politics or a stand they took? Or was it some other yardstick you’d use to measure them? They all present one massive truth about leadership. Oh, my gosh, it’s hard and thankless. Here, compliments of the great Wikipedia/Gallup are their highs, lows and average approval … Continued

PROVE or IMPROVE – My pride in the 99

You can make the same shift as 99 students of whom I am greatly proud. They inspire me to make the same choice that I commend to you today. They chose to improve, rather than to prove. I’ve had a 100 undergrads this semester. I required that they take the Student Leadership Practices Inventory (360), … Continued

If Emotional Leadership Isn’t an Oxymoron

A week ago today a 20-year old man was found dead in a fraternity on campus.  I felt compelled to touch on it in my leadership class. All sixty of my students write papers weekly that reflect their desire to lead and grow as leaders.  Here was a chance. In slide 1 I wrote, LEADERSHIP … Continued

Celebrating a Veteran – Questioning our Assumptions

One of the favorite classes I teach is on giving feedback. It’s an art. And it’s a science, whose inner laws were taught me by my friend and mentor Mary Ann Hastings. I keep learning to “paint” with the feedback brush and to refine my understanding of the scientific laws of feedback. Last week I … Continued

Why Mistakes Can Be Great – Even Real Whoppers

I had a perfectly good explanation. But I had NO EXCUSE. Professionals don’t show up late when they’re presenting – sufficiently late that the program had to be rearranged. I’d hurried in, plugged in my deck and was ready to go in 30 seconds, but the train had left the station. They’d inserted a new … Continued

Practice Leading Where It Matters Most

For the moment the furor has died down.  NFL players who abused their girl friends, spouses or children have been rightly suspended. For the moment my furor has died down. Once again last week I said things to one of my family members I wished I hadn’t said. The individual reciprocated. I reacted with defensive … Continued

Leaders Question Lines

I begin today’s brief blog in a plane at 36,997 feet above the earth, specifically above Yellow Knife, Northwest Territories.  I’m mesmerized by the dynamic map on the monitor in front of me. It’s made up of shades of: greens, blues, browns, and a lot of white; white because we flew over the “top” of … Continued

Bosses Forget They Have Permanent Megaphones

My friend Miss Take – the professor of the school of lessons-from-experience — taught me a good one again this week.  It was a “dad mistake,” but reminiscent of “boss mistakes” I’ve seen and boss mistakes I’ve made. In short, I forgot that central authority figures speak with a megaphone, even when they think they’re … Continued