Blog

I hope you find these entries as enjoyable to read, as I find them enjoyable to write…

Tapestry of Thoughts

Posted by on Jan 29, 2019 in Blog, Featured | 8 comments

Tapestry of Thoughts

I recently created a book of all of my monthly blogs that I’ve written going back to February 2012. There are 84 of them. I spent several hours reading through the book. As I was reading, I began to discover that the book is like a non-sequential memoir. These blogs contain my values, what I care most deeply about, and who I am. They are just captured more in stories than teaching points. So, as I was reading, I decided to pull out statements that did a good job of defining me.  Here is what I came up with…..

  1. I have become convinced that employees need to start sharing more positive stories of fellow employees acting with courage, taking responsibility, and displaying teamwork. Not just leaders. Everyone. If I were the CEO of a company, I would demand it.

2. Social media has brought people closer together and farther apart simultaneously. I miss both writing and receiving a hand-written letter. I miss walking down the hall to have a conversation. Sometimes I feel more disconnected than ever.

3. When I was in college and home for several weeks in the spring, my father came in one morning, woke me up, drove me to the freeway, dropped me off, and I began hitchhiking halfway across the country to visit my sister. As he was driving away, I remember the lonely feeling of being kicked out of the house. But I pushed on and had a great adventure. I’ve never looked back and have always appreciated my father’s loving nudge.

4. I liked wearing a suit to work one day when I was working with an executive team and the next day putting on a pair of jeans to work with manufacturing employees. I liked that every day was different. I liked competing for work with other consultants. And I liked being an outsider who pushed against the grain.

5. We now live in a “back-yard” society. When I grew up, we had a big front porch that we would all sit out in. Neighbors would walk by and chat. But that is becoming more and more rare. Everything is now in the back of the house. It cuts us off from each other and we’ve become more isolated.

6. Dylan, my older son, arrived home considerably late one night when he was in high school. He saw me sitting there waiting for him and calmly said, “Dad, I know I’m late. You can ground me or take the car away from me. I just don’t want to have a meaningful conversation about it now.”

7. I love when guests to Farn and my house ask about a painting, a book they noticed, or the music we’re listening to. It’s a way of giving them a piece of ourselves. But I find that most people don’t ask or even notice things any longer. They aren’t curious or are just moving too fast. And it makes me sad.

8. I know that I am triggered by landscape—the stars at night, small towns, back roads, quiet places, and the beauty of mountains. They all appeal to my introversion. What is it about the natural world that slows my heartbeat and opens my eyes?

9. I hate to see map-reading skills fall by the wayside. Very few people are interested in maps any longer. I love knowing where in the world I am, where I’ve been, and where I’m going. I just prefer to orient myself with a spiral-bound atlas or a big, awkward, hard-to-fold piece of paper in front of me.

10. What I love about writing a one-pager is that it forces me to be succinct and crisp with words. When I taught a class, on the first day I had students write one paragraph that captured their entire life.  Students found it both challenging and rewarding. Every word counts. It’s a good discipline to learn.

There’s always a message in our writing… what we write about, how we say it, and the feelings that emerge. I’ve learned a great deal about myself over these 7 years that I’ve been writing this blog.

Toughest Jobs

Posted by on Dec 31, 2018 in Blog, Featured | 5 comments

Toughest Jobs

I got together with some old friends recently and introduced a fun game for us all. I asked everyone what were the “toughest” jobs that they have ever had in their lives.  (more…)

Grappling with Groups

Posted by on Nov 30, 2018 in Blog, Featured | 4 comments

Grappling with Groups

Back in the 1970s, I was trained to run sensitivity- training sessions when I was in graduate school at UCLA. (more…)

Enough Being Quiet

Posted by on Oct 28, 2018 in Blog, Featured | 6 comments

Enough Being Quiet

I’ve always been reluctant to share my political views. I tend to keep quiet. But right now I’m about to burst. I think my reluctance came out of childhood. (more…)

Both Sides of the Coin

Posted by on Oct 2, 2018 in Blog, Featured | 3 comments

Both Sides of the Coin

I’ve been thinking back over my consulting career quite a bit lately. It’s because Tony Petrella died recently in a boating accident. (more…)

Looking Through the Lens of Family

Posted by on Sep 4, 2018 in Blog, Featured | 5 comments

Looking Through the Lens of Family

I lay in bed this morning thinking about both my immediate family and my extended family. (more…)

Capacity to Chomp

Posted by on Jul 31, 2018 in Blog, Featured | 7 comments

Capacity to Chomp

One of my all-time favorite writers, Jerry Harvey, died three years ago today– August 1st, 2015. He was the author of The Abilene Paradox as well as one of the best titled books around, How Come Every Time I Get Stabbed in the Back, My Fingerprints are on the Knife? His writing in Organization Development helped shape my own writing more than any other person and I miss him dearly. (more…)

Dancing in Africa

Posted by on Jul 1, 2018 in Blog, Featured | 7 comments

Dancing in Africa

Recently I was watching a movie on TV entitled Get On Up, a biography of the R&B singer, James Brown, starring Chadwick Boseman, a great actor who has also starred as Jackie Robinson in 42 and in Black Panther. Seeing the movie rekindled a memory that I thought I’d share. (more…)

Reflections on His Life

Posted by on Jun 4, 2018 in Blog, Featured | 7 comments

Reflections on His Life

I can’t tell you how many of my friends have told me, “ I wish I had done a better job of capturing my parents’ stories before they died. I just wasn’t interested in hearing those stories until it was too late. It’s such a loss.” (more…)

The Art of Listening

Posted by on Apr 30, 2018 in Blog, Featured | 8 comments

The Art of Listening

I’ve written about my love of books and my love of films so it’s time to write about my love of music. I grew up as a child hearing Billie Holiday, Dizzy Gillespie, Bill Evans, and classical music. I remember standing at the top of our stairs and yelling down to my father, “Dad, can you put on Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto so I can get to sleep?” (more…)