Leadership

It disturbs me when I open a package of M&M’s and there are significant differences in the quantity of each color. When I was about six, I sorted an entire box of Fruit Loops by color, only to be terribly disappointed that there were vastly different amounts of red, orange, and yellow (the only three...
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I have a friend who shares my love of music. We play a game where we use song lyrics and titles to carry on a conversation. The game often begins with one of us texting an obscure lyric and then waiting for a response. Most of the time, this leads to both of us listening...
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While spending two days discussing high beam planning with the officer team, we had a second-floor overview of an intriguing process. In the center of the grass courtyard below us, workers began removing sod from a carefully measured circle about 50 feet in diameter. We learned from one of the workers that they were raising...
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I was in Grand Rapids to visit Steelcase and decided to walk to breakfast at a place called Little Bird. I had eaten there a few years ago and was excited to experience their creative breakfast menu again. In the same area, one can also find the Grand Rapids Art Museum and a store named Kilwins, where you can purchase handmade...
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One of the enjoyable things I get to do as a CEO is work with a wonderful board of directors. During a recent board retreat, we had a facilitator join us to help work through some difficult decisions. This person happens to be a good friend of mine. During our day, he said something that...
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I suffer from lower back pain. Thankfully it is not constant and is often tied to my controllable behaviors. The better I take care of myself, the less pain I experience. Today is one of the days where I hurt, and I have been thinking about how that affects me. While pain is necessary as...
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Today is Memorial Day in the United States—a day set aside to remember those who have died in the service of our country. Originally called Decoration Day, the tradition of visiting the graves of fallen soldiers likely began before the Civil War was even over. In 1971, Congress standardized the holiday as “Memorial Day” and...
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Nestled into the landscape in the Sonoran Desert above Phoenix sits Taliesin West, architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home and studio. Wright and his students (the Taliesin Fellowship) lived and worked there during the winters from 1937 until Wright’s death in 1959. I went to Taliesin last week to see the architecture again but also...
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Hammer and nail
I believe it is important to be punctual and do what you say you will do. Occasionally, I am late to a meeting or event, or I don’t get something done that I promised to do. In the moment when I am confronted with the reality that I have not acted with punctuality or dependability,...
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Two hands
We all hate being lied to, but we don’t always want the truth. One of my colleagues said that the other day, and it struck me that this is often a problem with leadership. Leaders ask for the truth all the time, but then we do several things that keep people from telling us. We...
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