Real Leaders

The Leader as a Rainbow

The intense storm came and went quickly. Then, as the sun reappeared, it left behind the rainbow you see in the photo above.  As my wife and I drove by the church at the time, she photographed the image and sent it to Rev. Dr. James Smith, pastor of the church under the rainbow. Later, […]

When Your Customer Becomes the Leader

Let’s start with two important leadership principles: 1) There is a good service person inside almost every front-line server; and 2) just as customers can stand on the outside and see the absurdity of stupid rules, we need to sometimes help a service person navigate the bureaucracy that can govern their service. Practice these two […]

Air Pollution Costs Each American $2,500 a Year in Healthcare – Study

Air pollution also contributes to 107,000 premature deaths per year in the United States, a report finds. Air pollution from fossil fuels costs each American an average of $2,500 a year in extra medical bills, researchers have said, as climate change hurts both health and finances. The national pricetag was put at more than $820 […]

“I Wish the CEO Would Try and Open This F@#!* Package”

The title of this story is a line we use at my house when a product or service is unusually challenging. It might be that bottle or package that requires a hack saw and a blow torch to open, or it might be that service that offers way too many steps to reach your desired […]

Leaders, Put Magic in Your Mission

Legend has it a man was driving his relatively new Rolls Royce across the English countryside. The luxury vehicle unexpectedly coughed, sputtered, and stopped running.  Realizing it was several miles back to the nearest small town, he called the dealership where he had purchased the car for their advice. The friendly service tech got his […]

Sailing Toward the New Metrics of Leadership

My good friend, George Heiring, is a connoisseur of fine foods. He has traveled the world, enjoying unique cuisine from Tanzania to Poland to New Guinea. His newest book, soon to be published, is entitled When Do the Lions Eat? Dinner with George and his wife not only includes a discussion of the recipes of unique […]

Leadership Lessons From a Mediocre Restaurant

It was the Fourth of July week. Two of our granddaughters were off at camp; the third was in Spain playing in a soccer tournament with her mom along as a chaperone. So, my son brought his black labrador, Bella, to our river house for a couple of days. When our son decided to float […]

Are You Leading in the Lost City of Atlantis?

This summer I visited the ancient ruins of Akrotiri on the Greek Island of Santorini. Akrotiri had been a wealthy, flourishing city enjoying a booming commerce because it was on an important trade route between Cyprus and Crete. I witnessed very advanced building construction including indoor toilets on the second floor of homes, complete with […]

The Power of a Noble Purpose

My good friend, Lisa Earle McLeod, author of Leading with Noble Purpose writes in her best-selling book: “We’ve all heard the adage: ‘No one on their deathbed wishes they’d spent more time at the office.’ That adage, though, is misunderstood. It belittles the critical role that meaningful work plays in our lives. Human beings are hardwired […]

Leadership Lessons from Crazy Horse

Crazy Horse was one of the Native American warriors who defeated Lieutenant Colonel George Custer at the Battle of Little Bighorn in Montana in 1876. He was famous for his extreme bravery, quiet humility, and strong dedication. One Arapaho warrior, Water Man, who fought with Crazy Horse, characterized him as “the bravest man I ever […]