Astonished

Astonished

A captain approached Jesus with a big problem.  His servant is paralyzed and suffering great pain.  Jesus says he will come and heal him, but the captain explains that he understands authority and that by merely commanding things, it is done.  So he suggests that Jesus merely say that he would be healed and he knows it will be so…

Counterfeit

Counterfeit

A little over 10 years ago, I turned off the news.  There was a national election going on and in typical fashion, one side saw the alternative candidate as being full of darkness with no possible goodness capable in them.  The other side was in exactly in the same boat.  The acrimony and shrill hatred…

Machine

Machine

A good friend of mine purchased a time machine.  It cost less than you might think and almost nothing to run.  Every experience with it takes him back into his life and story, reminds him of things he’s forgotten, and helps him excavate essential treasure needed for the next step of his journey…

Scented

Scented

We were looking for a writing utensil for a leadership event we were offering at a historic boutique hotel.  No matter how much we were willing to spend, we couldn’t really find a pen that we thought was consistent with the event, location, and thoughtfulness of the experience…

Fearless

Fearless

This story is about a young girl with a very fragile heart.  A girl who loved to sing and perform in front of others.  The one that took all those roles in her church and school.  Upfront and unashamed.  It was part of her glory and her greatest joy.

Until one day when everything changed.  A school assembly with pretty much everyone present, including the cute boy she was currently carrying a crush for.  That young beautiful heart…

Decisions

Decisions

A leader at one of our board tables was making an analogy.  The decision-making process for many entrepreneurs or leaders is akin to shaking the Magic 8 Ball for answers.  We all laughed…nervously.  That sounded ridiculous and felt all-too-familiar, all at the same time.

The entrepreneur archetype is typified by a high-risk quotient.  It is bold, audacious, and I would even say courageous to embark on an entrepreneurial journey.  It also comes with a lot of isolation, loneliness, and second-guessing of nearly…

Wall

Wall

One of my all time favorite movies is “Warrior”.  Pretty rough, but it gets me every time and I have seen it quite a few times.  Brandon finds himself in the cage against a bigger and seemingly better opponent.  He gets brief reprieves between rounds.  He is moments from either blacking out or needing to tap out.  His manager repeatedly says something that completely takes me by surprise…

Observation

Observation

After six years of a successful run at managing my first investment portfolio near the start of my banking career, it seemed to be over in an instant.  My bank had been acquired and while I managed just north of $1 billion in fixed income assets, it was folded simply into the much bigger portfolio of the acquiring bank.  My position was the first to be eliminated in the acquisition…

Adversity

Adversity

Do you know what has happened 139 times?  The number 1 seed defeating the 16 seed in the NCAA tournament.

Do you know what has happened 1 time?  The number 16 seed defeating the 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

Number 1 seeds are 139-1.  That auspicious loss was experienced by the Virginia Cavaliers.  Yeah, the same team that won the NCAA tournament this year.  And that quote by the coach became a frequent refrain this season after he heard it on a TED talk…

Veiled

Veiled

A new friend and client was regaling me with some of the extraordinary history of the early Coptic that his family emanates from.  He recently told me about how they give a new name to a person before they enter the priesthood in the Coptic faith.  It is such a rich and compelling picture that I haven’t been able to get it out of mind…

Integration

Integration

A lot of our conversations with leaders is starting to include the Enneagram.  It is an ancient typing system that has really caught fire over the last few years.  We actually encourage three typing tests because of their low cost, approachability, and unique insights they provide.  Each of these can be found online for free or very little cost…

Logo

Logo

After surviving a Holocaust experience, Victor Frankl became a psychotherapist and ended up in the Viennese hospital system where they had a tremendous problem with depression and suicide.  Translating and redeeming the horrors of his experience under the Nazis helped him create a simple three-step process that is now known as Logotherapy:

  1. Identify a simple project that if you don’t work on, someone will suffer.  Something that makes the world a better place….

Questions

Questions

I’ve learned a lot about clarifying messages.  I heard a podcast, went to a conference, read a book, and then became a certified guide in a message clarifying process called “StoryBrand.”  Most of the other guides are in the marketing space and I suppose it is just another tool in their toolkit for how they help clients.

I think, possibly because I am not a full-time marketing person with experience and an expansive toolkit, it has become something way more than another tool….

Behavior

Behavior

I spent a lot of years trying to sanctify the life I had lived, the decisions I had made, and possibly even my family of origin.  The Baptist church I was baptized in at 19 said some really cool things about me coming “Just as I am” and the new bible I was reading said some pretty amazing stuff about forgiveness; past, present, and future.  I think I intellectually accepted all that, but I am not sure that I really believed…

Harness

Harness

Our family loves to have movie nights.  It has been a real challenge to find movies that we consider family friendly, but still meet the standard of a quality movie.  Finding something we feel is appropriate for our young teenagers that doesn’t insult their sensibilities is getting harder and harder.  

Recently we watched The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, a Netflix production that is available now on that platform.  Compelling storytelling of the true story of a drought-ridden farmer and his family in Malawi that are facing the extinction of their way of life.  A thinly educated…

Hurry

Hurry

I know the face well.  When I talk to individuals or groups of leaders, I have seen that face, those eyes, hundreds of times.  It is a look that says, “I know what you are saying is theoretically true, but it isn’t true for me,” or even… 

“You don’t know my life or circumstance.”

How do I know that many of them are thinking that?  Because I have heard it said so many times.  We talk a lot about the “unforced rhythms of grace” that Jesus talked about.  We reference that he said that we should …

Future

Future

We use a lot of business colloquialisms.  They are born of a mash-up of various coaching certifications, a lot of business book reading, numerous podcast listens, Kingdom theology, and 50 years of combined business management, consulting, and coaching.  They are standing the test of time and our resolve around them is deepening.

Eighty

Eighty

You often hear this talked about in terms of sales concentration for a company.  For example; “80% of our sales come from 20% of our clients”.  Or in the not-for-profit world it often sounds like “20% of the people doing 80% of the work” or “80% of our funding comes from 20% of the donors”.  Sometimes you will hear it discussed in terms of wealth distribution.  There have been numerous studies both domestically and internationally that show an approximate 80% of wealth being held in the hands of 20% of the population.

Place

Place

Maybe it is the fact that I sort of raised myself, making many of the decisions in my formative years that an adult typically helps guide.  Maybe it is the uglier self-protective side of my Enneagram 8 shining through.  Maybe it is the orphan spirit in me that sort of feels like I am on my own and in my own category.

But for whatever reason, I’ve never really been affected much by the wealth or power of other people.  I have had a relatively easier time being around people of significant means and not being particularly affected by that fact…