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Postcards from the Open Road

Magnificent and…mean

In honor of the Independence Day holiday, I wanted to share this very brief recording of me describing an amazing display of power and persistence by our national bird, the Bald Eagle, and an Osprey.

We are all have the potential for an astonishing array of behavior. What will you choose today?

Click here for 3 minute audio blog

Burnout buster for social change agents

I took a walk today and was delighted to discover this teeny-tiny egg shell at my feet on the way home. Like a little piece of the sky. I made a nest from grass clippings to honor the creature that gave birth to it, and the creature that was birthed from it.

Before I took my walk, I was feeling discouraged and frustrated. Wondering whether my work made a difference. How I would keep going despite all the challenges. Crispy around the edges, if not quite burned-out.

A tiny soft voice that I could just barely make out whispered “get outside.” I’d been ignoring her for hours, but she’d made some sort of deal with my dog to guilt me out of the house. (One of the many things I like about dogs – they seem to be aligned with wise mind more often than not.)

What does your tiny soft voice say? If you’re feeling burned out, you’ve been ignoring her, or him, for a while now. Start listening. That voice will lead you to signs of new life, reasons to have faith and hope, and clear evidence that you’re making a difference.

Tell me what you hear and what you learned in the comments.

Blah blah blah leadership…and my favorite kind of chocolate

farsideRaise your hand if you tune out a little when you hear the word “leadership.”

Raise your hand higher if you tune out completely.

OK, I see a lot of fully extended armpits out there. Thank you for your candor. And for wearing deodorant today.

For the sake of this post, and because it’s 4:12 and I want some, let’s use the word “chocolate” wherever we’d use the word “leadership”.

I am passionate about chocolate. I feel endlessly curious about all the chocolate theories, studies on chocolate, and watching people come into their own…as chocolatiers.

There must be a lot of other chocolate fans out there, because chocolate is one of the most popular subjects of popular nonfiction. We can never write, or read too much about chocolate, at least according to publishers.

I just finished teaching a quarter on Leadership Strategies for the University of Washington’s Nonprofit Certificate program. My wonderful co-instructor, Laura Pierce, and I had to choose a small number of quality books on leadership for the students to read and workshop for the class.

The eager and talented students did an amazing job with their final presentations. And as I watched, I wondered: how many other really useful and excellent books on chocolate are there that I don’t know about?

So I thought I would ask you fabulous folks: What are your favorite/most influential chocolate books?

I’ll start a list – please continue it in the comments!

  • The Practice of Adaptive Leadership by Ron Heifetz et. al.
  • Good to Great, by Jim Collins
  • Switch: how to change when change is hard, Chip and Dan Heath