serving the human molecule

Category Archives: Leadership

Attitude

We have all seen the news about our heroes who came and come home from Iraq and Afghanistan. Seeing the stories in the media is different than knowing these people firsthand. I have had the pleasure of knowing one of those heroes and watching his return to civilian life—the good and the disappointing. There is…

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Happy New Year! Forget writing resolutions…write your obituary.

Annually, people make resolutions only to quietly fail within weeks of January 1. How much do health clubs and gyms profit on failed resolutions? Behavioral economics and organizational research explains this and offers some ideas to overcome resolutions that do not stick. Behavioral economics research suggest decisions are generally emotion-based (see separate Nobel Prize winning…

Mandela’s Leadership Legacy: The Power of Grit

In 1976, I was in 7th grade social studies when I first learned about caste systems and apartheid. I recall being completely dumbstruck thinking, “How could this be the case in the modern world?” After all, in 1976 we celebrated the country’s bicentennial! It was difficult for my 12 year-old mind to digest. For the…

Happy Thanksgiving

President George Washington declared Thursday, November 26, 1789, “as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of Almighty God.” Washington’s proclamation of a day for the nation to stop and thank God has seen many legal iterations. However, it is essentially the…

Education Policy & Cross-Pollination: one-size-fits-all Doesn’t Fit

There is an old story that tells the tale of a central administrator in the U.S. Army who wanted to design the perfect uniform. This administrator went about measuring thousands of troops’ sizes. After collecting his data, the administrator created the perfect uniform based on the average of all the sizes he recorded—the new uniform…

“The Dark Night” of Leadership

In a recent talk with emerging leaders at Houston Baptist University, I approached a rarely discussed leadership topic—the dark night of leadership—the feeling of isolation and abandonment in the midst of serving one’s constituents. In the 6th Century, San Juan de la Cruz penned a poem, “The Dark Night,” that lamented his tormented state despite…

Excuse Me, Where Is This Bus going? The Great American tragedy

Thousands of people climb aboard a bus each morning, circle the block, and disembark at the end of the day to start the cycle anew 24 hours later. Punctuated by weekends and vacations when these worn and weary passengers can find relief by engaging in more personally meaningful activities, days turn into weeks and weeks…

Rediscovering the Four Truths about Leading: Old Fashion Value

A special thanks to Professor Rod Smith, Grand Canyon University, who prompted me to rediscover the classic work of James A. Autry, Love and Profit (1991). At a time when a new business book hits the shelves seemingly daily, Autry’s words still ring true. Perhaps, more true today than 20 years ago when he spoke…

Conflict and Safety: A Prescription for Innovative Teams

Has America turned into a country that fears conflict? In business, we go to great lengths to avoid offending anyone…everyone. In the name of political correctness, we may not authentically stand for our beliefs. You might even say this development is un-American. While it is important to be respectful, the lack of constructive conflict has…

Go Play!

A couple of years ago, Charlie Todd made an interesting point in his TED Talk, “The Shared Experience of Absurdity,” that as kids we were taught that play was a good thing. Why did play for play’s sake have value as kids, but not now as adults? Could playing have value in the adult world?…