On a recent morning, I headed to a favorite place just down the street to fetch a couple of lattes for my wife and me.
Our forebearers would have awakened in woolen underwear, stepped in the dark onto a cold dirt floor, and stumbled outside to chop some wood to start a fire in the cook stove balanced on the rocks outside.
They would have tossed some coffee grounds into a beat-up metal pot … grounds that had already been used for several days … filled the pot with water, boiled it … and at some point, would finally get that first bitter cup of java.
No coffee house down the road, no car to get there, certainly no latte or cappuccino. Eat what you kill, literally. If you ain’t got it, you ain’t gonna get it.
In many ways, we’re much less resourceful than our forefathers.
While we may have expanded the definition of community in many positive ways, using our physical and social media “mobility” to create unimagined connections, we’ve also become more dependent on external resources to get through our day.
In some ways it’s probably better that we’re co-dependent.
Experienced leaders know that they are standing in the Spotlight of Leadership all the time. I’ll tell you about a video you should watch just below.
Have you read any of the news stories and interviews recently with General Stanley McChrystal, whose new book is coming out now, My Share of the Task?
You’ll recall he is the four-star general whose resignation was precipitated by a Rolling Stone article which disclosed some unsavory remarks about the President’s executive team.
The reporter was given broad access to McChrystal and his staff, with few conditions, to see how the general and his leadership team worked together.
You can read the candid response from General McChrystal about this incident here.
Among some of us dads, we often remark, “Dads never get any credit.” Dads teach their kids how to play ball, run, catch, dodge … but if they score a run, a touchdown or a basket … and the camera zooms in on them, don’t they always say, “Hi Mom!”
Have you ever heard the phrase, “… as good as Dad and apple pie?.” I doubt it. I never have. How about, “the father of all storms” … nope … I think you catch my point.
I’ve written several articles over the years, including a recent one about lessons I learned from my 94-year-old mom, but Dad deserves at least as much credit.
I lost my Dad on Nov. 16, 2001, and I still miss him every day. Perhaps my most striking memory is that he had the most unusual combination of careers of anyone I’ve ever known … a world-ranked professional boxer with a record of 82-5-0 who became a minister when he heeded the calling.
All his life, he loved boxing with great passion and practiced his ministry with great compassion.
He believed deeply that boxing’s demand for discipline, training and sacrifice was a way out for “street toughs,” a route through the gym and into a productive life that would be otherwise inaccessible.
He knew that every soul was worth saving and he never wavered from that commitment.
He had a great sense of humor, too, and it reflected his vision of life as a joyful journey. I’ve still got a copy of a parking ticket that I may have forgotten to pay while in college.
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
~ Winston Churchill
Yes, I know Mom doesn’t look 94. (This picture is only 2 years old, so she was just 92 then. ) Why do you think I don’t like to stand next to her among strangers? She looks
This year is likely to be a trying time for many of our friends and colleagues as well as ourselves.
Let’s vow to act urgently when someone calls on us for aid, be positive about the those things we can control and be compassionate when misfortune comes calling.
Best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous 2013 for you and
“There is a remarkable breakdown of taste and intelligence at Christmastime. Mature, responsible grown men wear neckties made of holly leaves and drink alcoholic beverages with raw egg yolks and cottage cheese in them.” — P.J. O’Rourke
“There is nothing more exhilarating than to be shot at without result.”
~ Winston Churchill
Why do you have your own business?
Winston Churchill could have been an entrepreneur to have so eloquently dramatized the thrill associated with building a business.
Whether you own it yourself or share it with partners, it’s yours to build, to mold according to
“ Leadership is not magnetic personality,
that can just as well be a glib tongue.
It is not ‘making friends and influencing people,’ that is flattery.
Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to higher sights,
the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard,
the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.”
~ Peter Drucker
“Communication is something so simple and difficult that we can never put it in simple words.”
~ T. S. Matthews
Communication = Collaboration ≠ Consensus
One of the most popular words in the business lexicon these days is collaboration.
Everyone seems eager to flatten the organization, get rid of hierarchy, eliminate command-and-control structures and collaborate across broad multifunctional teams.