Leadership In The Passing Moment

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It was my first senior manager job, serving as communications director for the North Carolina-based regional office of a major telecom company. I was—no doubt—a little rough around the edges. Payton, a quintessential Southern gentleman who served as president of the region, took me under wing. It might have been because he saw some promise in me; humility reminds me …

The Language of a Leader

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I was in a convenience store a while back when I saw a sign at the register: No Checks Excepted. Yielding to the impish impulse to engage in some semantic sport, I asked the clerk, “Oh, so you will take my check? Any check?” Forgoing the detail of the resulting verbal parrying, let’s just say the exchange ended when she …

Trust and Credibility

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Trust and Credibility. If you search the use of those two words over the last two weeks, you will be overwhelmed by how they have infused, informed and inflamed the conversations about the Syrian chemical weapons conundrum. While debating current affairs and the politics of same used to be a hallmark of a refined culture, doing so today seems to …

Half A Brain

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“If you had more than half a brain, you’d be dangerous.” I recall hearing words to that effect a few times in my more impulsive youth — usually in the aftermath of some ill-considered venture like stuffing cicada shells in exhaust pipes, dispatching a rattlesnake in my parents garage with gasoline and a match, or choosing to paint a house …

Cool Stuff My Dad Used To Say

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’ve spent a lot of time on the issue of fathers this week. It included clients dealing with the influences of that role (both the receiving and giving side), a dear friend who lost hers, watching my son-in-law with his two ruffians, and perhaps looking ahead to a men’s weeklong fly fishing retreat where—inevitability—one of the most perplexing stations in …

Forced Swing Don’t Just Happen On The Golf Course

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Okay, there is a pattern here. By Day Two of a major tournament, Tiger Woods is at or near the top of the leader board, appearing invincible, and fueling renewed anticipation of his resurgent quest to beat the Jack Nicklaus record of 18 major championships. Then on Saturday, Tiger’s swing takes on this artificial feel, and by Sunday he can look …

Life Is Fair

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“Life isn’t fair.” We hear that a lot, most often as a bromide offered to reassure someone who has experienced some calamity or seemingly unjust return on their best efforts. It’s not true. Life is fair. That might seem like pretzeled logic, but our notions of fair reveal a lot about our beliefs that somehow we can stand in the right queue …

The Stuff of Legend

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I finally sat down this last weekend with the box of old CDs that had been muttering at me for years now for attention.  I figured I better rummage through them before my one remaining CD player went the way of my record turntable, cassette machine and digital tape player. (There is something here about the extinction of physicality in …

Leading is not “automatic”

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I took some time away this week to join a friend on a photo shooting expedition through a decayed inner city neighborhood. I did not expect to see much there (I was wrong) and was probably more concerned that some vandal would key the door panels of my new car parked on the street (I was right). I have a …

If The Truth Be Told

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“Tell me the truth.” How often do we hear that, say that?  Isn’t a bit curious that we have to exert ourselves to get it, even more to hear it? Why do we doubt we are getting the truth? Why do we so often battle it when it does come? The character of Lt. Col. Jessup in A Few Good Men said …