I first found this poem in a book called, Leading From Within – Poetry That Sustains the Courage to Lead.  As the editors say it in their opening note, “Our invitation to these leaders was simple: take a moment away from the sharp-elbowed context in which you do your work, step outside the cycle of pressure…

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‘There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.”   Jiddu Kishnamurti This quote seems to epitomize the idea of the growth mindset…

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As I write this, I’m getting ready to tell the world “I wrote a book!” It’s one thing to have an idea and something entirely different to write the book. And it’s definitely a third thing to decide to self-publish – something I know nothing about. Of course, there is no shortage of resources available…

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It’s the first full week in January – how are you doing on your resolutions? When I used to do resolutions, I was lucky if I remembered I had made them two weeks out. Accomplishing them was never likely. They were more in the neighborhood of wishes, things I’d like to do, things that were…

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It was about twenty years ago that I first sat down with a colleague who had the title of Risk Manager. Our new Risk Manager wanted us to make sure every musical act, any magician, well, anyone we invited to campus through our various programs, had insurance. It was a new idea, and an added…

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Three months into my job as Dean of Students at SMU, I was invited to welcome a group of students to campus. It was on a Friday evening at the start of a 24-hour retreat before classes started. It was a mixed group of students. Returning students were there to welcome new students to the…

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Both the Leadership Dance and Leadership Yoga workshops came about in the same way. I was teaching undergraduate courses in leadership at Trinity University and taking ballroom dance lessons or yoga teacher training. (Not at the same time – yoga teacher training came first). But in both situations, I began to see new ways to…

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Would you be surprised to learn that I haven’t been able to find a single positive quote on the topic of bureaucracy? Probably not. Franz Kafka’s “Every revolution evaporates and leaves behind only the slime of a new bureaucracy” may be my favorite. And I certainly have done my share of railing about red tape,…

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Last week I wrote that creating community is leadership work. This week, I’d like to share some of my experiences as a leader working to create community in organizations. Colleges and universities are complicated places with multiple systems of governance. Divisions have completely different values and reward systems. There are departments with widely varied purposes and…

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