Dublin’s Silicon Docks
Quite a transformation is happening in Dublin thanks to Google, Facebook and other big tech names.  Sharon Daly recently wrote:  "Many of the new buildings at Grand Canal Docks were completed just as the 2007 financial crisis hit Ireland. This meant that many of these high-end buildings stood empty in the period of economic uncertainty that followed. Now, international investors are swooping in to buy prime office space in what is one of the most exciting technology and business hubs in Europe."  Click here to see a map of how big this really is!
Green Shoots in Ireland!
The students began their projects today in earnest.  I traveled around Dublin to visit each of the five, three-person teams as they got started, and I am humbled by the enthusiasm of the students, and the willingness of Irish entrepreneurial leaders to provide such a great learning opportunity for American students.
Memorial Day Speech from Gold Star Dad
Jeff Falkel delivered this speech to over 600 people in Irvine, California on Memorial Day, May 26, 2014.  I found his message of love to be powerful and moving, and received his permission to post it here:
“Relaxing” in Ireland
As if I needed a reminder, today again showed me that I am terrible at relaxing. I can't remember the last time I had nothing on the calendar. Absolutely zero. After going for a good run, I came back to my room and prepared for tomorrow's class at the University College of Dublin. Some of the questions on leadership I plan to ask my students tomorrow follow:
Understanding Ireland
In the past, the student's first day in Ireland was a series of lectures from business leaders.  Great stuff, but not ideal when one is suffering from a bit of jet lag.  This time, we started with a tour of Kilmainham Gaol.  It's a former prison and it played an important part in Irish history, as many leaders of Irish rebellions were imprisoned and some executed in the prison by the British in 1916.  After hearing from Jim Lyons before we left, it really puts current affairs into context.  Jim was a Special Advisor to the President and U.S. Secretary of State for Economic Initiatives in Northern Ireland and the border counties of the Republic. He is now the Honorary Consul General of Ireland for Colorado.
Destination Dublin
We left Denver late due to severe weather caused by low pressure over the region that had, in recent days, spawned hailstorms and a number of tornadoes.  I traveled via British Airways direct from Denver to London without incident along with the teaching assistant for the trip and one student.  Some of the students are already in Dublin, though most were enroute at the same time traveling through Toronto and various other routes.  I can't remember a more comfortable trip across the Atlantic.  Thanks, Ambien.
Inside the Mind of an Extremely Effective Enlightened Executive – Part 1
Colleen Abdoulah Interview - April 8, 2014 When Colleen Abdoulah enters the room, you know it's going to get interesting.  Besides the heartfelt embrace, you'll notice an executive with presence, wit, intellect, compassion and humility.  What makes Colleen so interesting is that she knows effective leadership is not the mastery of skills, but one of constant balance between results and relationships (performance and people).  As she says, "Leadership is simple, but not easy."  Colleen, more than most, has figured out how to care deeply for people while at the same time asking them to give more than they thought they could.  She draws out exceptional performance through others by being extremely clear with her expectations, and creating an environment for people to take risks, occasionally fail, but ultimately, learn, grow and produce.
The Proverbial Fork in the Road
During my annual mountain biking trip to Fruita, Colorado, I took a tumble (an 'endo' as in end over end) because I tried a different path.  It reminded me of the choice we have everyday to take the path of comfort, or the one that involves commitment, discipline, risk and sacrifice.  We all know which path provides the most rewards, but as we get set in our ways, it gets easier to choose comfort.  Here's to breaking free, and changing your trajectory - just not literally! 
My Hero is Gone…
[caption id="attachment_2460" align="alignright" width="150"]This Cross appeared in the sky right after "Taps" was played at George's funeral on St. Patrick's Day, 2014. This Cross appeared in the sky right after "Taps" was played at George's funeral on St. Patrick's Day, 2014.[/caption]

When I was preparing to enter the Army at age 17, I asked my mentor, "George - what advice do you have for me?"  He said, "When it's tough, and it will be, take it day by day.  When it's bad, take it hour by hour.  And when it's more than you think you can bear, take it moment by moment."  This is one tough moment, George.

When I finished the Special Forces Qualification Course, George gave me one his berets.  A high honor, and I said, "George - that course was the toughest thing I ever did, and your advice really helped me make it through."  Of course George wouldn't take credit, and said, "There will be plenty of things in life that will be far tougher than that course."  And once again, George was right.  He was always right.

Crucible FOR Leadership

cru-ci-ble - a difficult test or challenge; a place or situation that forces people to change or make difficult decisions 

Tired of your status quo? Do you know your life's work? Do you feel constant time urgency? Does it feel like you're living Groundhog day, everyday? Do you desire to live and lead with deeper conviction and greater purpose? Looking for people who are also inspired, and committed to unlocking the extraordinary? Are you ready to take on an adventure that will weigh up your life, and challenge you to your core? Sick of working to overcome problems, and ready to enable the highest potential in yourself and others?
Mentors to Many
I have written often about the mentor I have had since I was 17 years old, George Callahan.  Before I went into the army, George invited me into his home where he told war stories and showed me military memorabilia and old photographs.  George was positive, optimistic, immensely inspiring, and completely encouraging.  I saw George again recently, and we presented a pen to him with the phrase, "Mentor to Many."
One Simple (Missing) Word
The most common expectation I hear from CEO's these days is "accountability."   They want more of it, which infers they don't think they're seeing enough of it.  The owners and leaders want their people to be more engaged, committed, and to have an ownership mentality with customers.  The folks being asked to do more with less believe they're working for people who simply don't trust them.  What I hear from those in the middle is they simply want to know their leaders care about them, are committed to their success, and trust them to do the right thing. They perceive a high degree of command and control, and less flexibility with regard to telecommuting, flexible schedules, and "face-time."  The absence of trust is a major cause of dysfunction, and a reason many corporate cultures are in disarray.
Work in Progress
If it wasn't for one of my mentors, I don't know when I would come to know the Socratic virtue of self-control; and that self-sufficiency alone doesn't equate to a good life. Aristotle taught us we achieve true happiness when we fulfill the design of our nature (i.e., we stay true to our core values, and leverage our strengths).  I believe that self-reliant leadership means knowing what tough questions to ask yourself, and then have the courage to answer those tough questions and act!  Self-reliant leadership also means knowing when you need help with the questions, and it can be useful to have someone hold you accountable to the commitments you make.
What do you think of you as a leader?
I have a mentor who says that he only needs to figure out one thing during an interview:  Is the person a giver or a taker?  It amazes me that very few up and coming leaders say they have ever been mentored.  I contend mentoring goes both ways, and I believe the relationship has to be initiated by the mentee.  That is, a mentor has to be selected based on the mentee's perceived fit.
Two Dirty Words and the Multi-Generational Workforce
Carbon-copy. White-out.  Red-line. In-box.  If you entered the workforce before 1980, you remember when those terms described actual physical things.  You typed on carbon paper, used white-out to correct mistakes, made red-line changes on a sheet of paper with a red pen, and the whole editing process involved papers in and out of actual wooden in-boxes. A lot has changed in the last 30 years.  Technology advances have been explosive with major effects on the four generations working side-by-side in today's organization (i.e., Traditionalists born before 1945; Baby Boomers born 1946-1964; Gen Xers born 1965-1980; and Millennials born 1981-1999).
What are you asking of you?

"In every study of successful people, the acceptance of personal responsibility seems to be the starting point."  -Brian Tracy

Through speaking events throughout the country, I have had the opportunity to work with a number of leaders in business, government and non-profit organizations.  As leaders, we advocate for change in the organizations we lead, and that carries over into our personal lives.  It seems many of us are in various states of "transition," and we often don't know how to approach the tough questions we're asking ourselves.  Questions like… What would you regret not fully doing, being, or having in your life?

I have a mentor who says that he only needs to figure out one thing during an interview:  Is the person a giver or a taker?  It amazes me that very few of my students say they have ever been mentored.  I contend mentoring goes...