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A Year End Review: A Better Tradition than New Year's Resolutions

All men should strive to learn before they diewhat they are running from, and to, and why. 
~James Thurber

At the end of every year my father used to give a “State of the Family” report.  He would talk about things which had happened to our family through the previous year:  deaths, births, marriages, awards won, struggles overcome.  Then each of us would have the opportunity to share our memories of the year.


Leadership and the Earbud Problem

A year ago, while attending a conference in a major city, I would either walk several blocks from my hotel to the conference or ride the subway each day.  Travelling through the city, I noticed that the majority of the people wore ear buds (small in-ear headphones) and were somewhat oblivious to what was going on around them.  People walked down the street silently, heads down, avoiding people and traffic by means of peripheral vision, never making eye contact with passers-by and never engaging those around them.

A few months back I was visiting with a company about developing a training program for their employees.  Management felt the employees needed work on communication and teamwork skills.  The leaders stated that the employees were always grumbling about various things and constantly missing deadlines; they were not being team players and did not understand the importance of the assigned tasks.


The Essence of Leadership

Jeff Hough on Jun 25, 2013 4:00:00 AM


Many leadership gurus will tell you that by doing certain things you will become a better leader. To sell more books or get more speaking engagements, they develop lists to follow that help you become a better leader. While some of what they may tell you will help, I believe they miss the mark of what really helps someone become a great leader.

I have long held the belief that there are core elements of leadership that are essential and timeless and those individuals who possess these traits are the ones who really move and influence people. I am reading a book, Eleven Rings, by Phil Jackson, the most successful coach in NBA history, outlining his philosophies on leadership and the art of dealing with people. Phil Jackson is known for his ability to take a diverse group of individuals and form them into cohesive units that consistently achieve greatness. In the book, he alludes to Parables of Leadership, published by the Harvard Business Review, which attempts to “capture the unseen essence of leadership.”  Using parables based in Oriental culture, the authors examine leadership using a unique medium that encourages introspection and deep thought.


Stop Destroying the Art

“You have everything you need to build something far bigger than yourself.” - Seth Godin

On a recent trip to Washington D.C., I had the privilege of wandering through the National Art Gallery for an afternoon. As I looked at the masterpieces, I couldn’t help but compare the work of these “masters” to the work done by millions of workers each day in their own art studios.


The Case for Stackable Credentials in Education

I live in Idaho, which is typically not a very progressive state, and to be honest, I think I like it that way. Idaho tends to lag behind the rest of the states in many areas, but the last couple of years Idaho tried to move to the forefront of the national education debate. The cry for educational reform has rung loudly, with initiatives making the ballot boxes in numerous states. While the public education system is in need of repair, another education system is silently undergoing radical changes using stackable credentials.



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