Bring Your Best or Forfeit Your Country

In the January/February 1996 Harvard Business Review, 21 years ago, economist Paul Krugman ran out the ways countries are not businesses. The ways successful business people cannot automatically apply their skill sets to steering a nation and its economy. At the same time, he admitted that economists could not, without considerable extra expertise, run successful businesses. Krugman writes, “Let me begin with two examples of economic issues that I have found business executives… Read More

Eight Years Ago – Listening to American Voices

Today, eight years ago, I was just across the threshold into a giant project. A listening project. Only 16 days earlier, on New Year’s Eve, I’d decided to take time off from work so I could drive around the country with a flip camera to record the voices of  everyday Americans. I would start the day after the inauguration of the 44th President of the United States – Barack Obama. I would… Read More

Paying Attention

Today a friend posted the notice above on her Facebook page. This friend is a communications and diversity specialist – a Chippewa/Cree woman nearing completion of her PhD as a scholar of decolonization. Another friend, a white Texan in Denver, posted the runoff results in Georgia’s 58th District. Park Cannon, a health advocate, has earned this Congressional seat, filling the post left vacant when Simone Bell, the first Black lesbian to serve in… Read More

50 Years after Bloody Sunday – Where is Elderhood?

  ANSWER:  It’s in every one of us. Really. Even in the headliners criticized by the vast and varied media.  Overt or latent, Elderhood ™ is in you and it’s in me.  It’s in Obama.  It’s in Boehner.  It’s in Netanyahu. And, most surely, Elderhood ™ is in John Lewis and each of the original Selma foot soldiers gathered today to remember Bloody Sunday – the horror they survived 50 years ago… Read More

Afghanistan in the Days around Christmas

  Over the past week, I’ve received three email messages from my friend Zaher Wahab.  Each of them was written across the time he and his colleagues in the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF) were in lock down – a rather horrifying protective captivity complete with razor wire, massively thick concrete walls, deep basements, and heavily armed guards on the grounds.  And, as Zaher says, a situation that is finally a privilege… Read More

I AM MORE THAN – Leadership out of Montgomery

  I want you to know about this! Thanks to the vision of my friend Michelle Browder, and her collaborators – the youth of Montgomery, Alabama – there will be a powerful commemoration of Bloody Sunday – The civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery March 6, 1965.  Michelle and her colleagues are pulling out the stops.  They’ve created an organization – I AM MORE THAN – and they are working steadily toward a… Read More

Leadership of People – A Follow-up on McAllen, TX

Leadership is a social phenomenon. I mean really – no leading is the least bit relevant outside of a group, outside of society.  I must concede to my biologist friends that leadership arguably happens among chimpanzees, lions, ants – even amoebas and cellular mitochondria.  But, right now, I’m focusing on leadership where people are concerned. And, I’m thinking it’s way too easy to forget that a leader has no credibility outside the… Read More

Why Read a Blog on Leadership and Change?

You may know this blog has a history.  It started January 21, 2009 – the day after Barack Obama was inaugurated for his first term as President of the United States.  It was a time when the ragged red underlining of word processing programs – the marks used to flag misspellings – showed up without fail beneath the two words, Barack and Obama. The blog first followed my road trip around the… Read More

On the Cusp of 2014 – Change and What Endures

Soon the calendar will shift for another roll through dates, through seasons and all the moments we have no way of knowing from here.  Each of us lives in our own contagion of this following that.  The unavoidable change that is living itself can sometimes feel unnerving — or at least the anticipation of it, the impossibility I already mentioned of knowing completely any change before it happens. I’ve been writing this… Read More

“Good Job, Dad” — Change 4 Years Later

“The first step is faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” Martin Luther King, Jr “If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress.” Barack Obama Sasha Obama hugged her dad after he took the Presidential Oath of Office yesterday.  “Good job, Dad,” she said.  “I did it,” her father responded. Then today, President Obama stood before… Read More