Cultural Values

I met a pleasant shopkeeper in Nice, France, and she asked a lot of questions about Americans. She expressed a desire to see the "real" America someday, but then said her choice destination would be New York! She admires the American work ethic as the...

A Race

[caption id="attachment_54" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="The Win"][/caption]I watched my son win a cycling race today (see video), and I was an ecstatic and proud father, but not for the win. When he crossed that finish line I thought of everything he did to be competitive. I...

Two questions if you’re spending money on training

I recently finished teaching a course at the University of Denver called, "Evaluating Training Strategies." The students' primary project was to find a local firm and create a training evaluation plan. The key part of creating an effective training evaluation plan is to tie together...

The Healthcare Summit and Team Size

By most accounts, there was little progress at the President's Healthcare Summit. I am not surprised. Not because of the political and policy differences on the intricacies of healthcare, but because of the size of the group. There were 40 people in that room, and...

Uncommon company – uncommon leader

[caption id="attachment_61" align="alignleft" width="90" caption="Paul Spiegelman"][/caption]Paul Spiegelman is the Founder and CEO of Beryl based in Dallas. The company claims the distinction of being the second Best Medium Company to Work For in America. What's uncommon is that this company is a call...

The Mirror

The good you find in others, is in you too. The faults you find in others, are your faults as well. After all, to recognize something you must know it. The possibilities you see in others, are possible for you as well. The beauty you see around you, is...

Reading, Writing and Leadership

There are many reasons writers write, but why do readers read? A writer might write to persuade, but I doubt many readers choose a text in order to be persuaded. A reader might want to be informed, entertained, inspired, or emotionally connected to a story. As...

The Ultimate Listener

[caption id="attachment_69" align="alignleft" width="197" caption="Jo Berry & Pat Magee"][/caption]The amazing thing about Jo Berry is not that she forgives the man responsible for killing her father in Northern Ireland in 1984. The amazing thing is how she got to a place where she could...

A Gift of 7 Questions

Self Reliant Leadership is synonymous with knowing which questions to ask yourself, and having the courage to answer them and act. What is your life story and purpose? What sacrifices do you make on a daily basis towards the achievement of your goals? When will you...

Leadership in the making

They call it America's Game as it's the oldest rivalry in sports. The Army-Navy game was played yesterday for the 110th time. Football aside, it was quite a site to see 8,000 cadets and midshipmen all in one place. Looking at the...

Wrapping up…

This note is from a student at the conclusion of a course I teach at the University of Colorado. The quotes are from the reading, lectures and guest speakers...

Learn to Balance to Lead

Think of leadership as achieving a balance between task and relationship; and will and humility to gain a commitment versus mere compliance. At the center of this balance is the fulcrum of self-awareness which requires discipline and self reliance for personal growth and development. In...

Our Fallen Soldiers

I commend the president for his respectful tribute to our fallen soldiers, and believe senior members of his administration should be duty-bound to attend the arrival of every flag covered casket. Only then will we appreciate the true cost of our policy decisions. ...

Hiring Heroes

The woman looked and me and said, "Your mistake - you made eye contact!" Like a laser beam, she was headed straight for me on the tradeshow floor. Her name is Sara Trask, and unlike most of the corporate zombies one meets at...

Did you do that on purpose?

I was feeling contemplative recently while riding a trail along the foothills in Denver when I spotted three young mule deer bucks grazing in an open area. I stopped to admire them, and they grew skittish and ran towards me to the scrub oak that...

Sign Post for Life

I saw this sign near Burlington, Vermont. I thought the sign was hilarious even before I saw the pond. The pond was about five square meters and twelve inches deep. I wondered what possessed someone to caution people about a pond. It wasn't a caution...

Should you always get your hands dirty?

Here's a story. A new lieutenant in charge of engineers tasked with building a bridge wanted to impress his men, so he jumped in and starting doing the hard work. The lieutenant's colonel appeared on the hill overlooking the river. With cigar in hand, he...

Will Skill

I had not planted my feet on that ground in thirty years, but there I was standing in front of 460 brand new paratroopers at Fort Benning, Georgia. I remembered some aspects of my training clearly, but some of it was like looking through...

Amazing leaders on the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica

The presence of leadership can come from the most unlikely places. While visiting the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica, I met Aida Bustamante. She is working with "Friends of the Osa" to understand "the population dynamics and extent of habitat necessary to support large mammals...

Self Reliance on the Colorado Trail

Purpose, Planning and Focus. That's what I thought about over the course of backpacking 16 hours covering 40 miles. And how much my feet hurt! Regarding purpose - that was easy. I needed some quiet alone time to just plain reflect. What surprised me was how...