Creative Extremists

A long paragraph in the middle of Martin Luther King Jr.'s timeless April 1963 Letter From a Birmingham Jail reads as follows: Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever. The yearning for freedom eventually manifests itself, and that is what has happened to the American Negro. Something within has reminded him of his birthright of freedom, […]

Values and Leadership

“Be curious rather than critical.”   That was a key statement from Dr. Graham Reside during a presentation on leadership values at Vanderbilt University this morning. Dr. Reside, a professor with Vanderbilt’s Divinity School, is executive director of The Cal Turner Program for Moral Leadership in the Professions, which hosts monthly breakfasts that draw participants […]

Engage the Whole System

During the past couple of days I consulted a leadership team on forming a strategic plan for 2010. The most dynamic aspect was what took place on the second day of the planning retreat, when several different levels–including the front-line employees–joined the senior management members in order to flesh out the high-level tactics that had […]

Strength Leads to Strength

I’m convinced that the greatest fruit of finding success in doing something you love is the chance of doing more of it. Sometimes the fruit of success includes wealth, fame, quality relationships and so forth, and these are icing on the cake, temporary pleasures found in seasons of abundance. For a big chunk of my […]

Contemplative Leadership

This morning I had the privilege of attending a monthly leadership breakfast sponsored by The Cal Turner Program for Moral Leadership, based at Nashville's Vanderbilt University. The speaker was Dr. Katharine Baker, a Vanderbilt professor and a passionate advocate of linking together a vibrant spirituality with effective leadership of people. Dr. Baker began the session […]

Writer vs. Writer

I am staring at a first draft of a manuscript that was supposed to have been finished by now. Throughout all of August and a decent chunk of September there was excellent momentum. And then the writer began to get in the way, especially by early October. It would be easy to justify the completion delay by […]

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