Category Archives: Uncategorized

New Blog! Embracing Followership

New Blog! Embracing Followership

If you have enjoyed my various musings on this site, you may want to check out my new blog where I am now active:

I have been investing more time in considering followership, the complementary idea to leadership, and my desire is to encourage others to also be thinking about the crucial way we contribute to the achievement of organizational goals. I’ve captured many of my thoughts in a book, Embracing Followership: How to Thrive in a Leader-Centric Culture, which will be released this October.

I’ll continue to offer thoughts and resources via this new blog, and I welcome you to come and participate in the conversation with me by subscribing to the blog and sharing your comments!

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Posted by on August 18, 2015 in Uncategorized



It’s that time of year: New Year’s resolutions are coming to the forefront. Conversations at parties are turning towards personal plans and goals for 2013. Are you going to try the paleo diet? Finally going to work through that bedside stack of books? Run a marathon? Write a bucket list?

I must confess, even my own thoughts are turning to the opportunities of the coming year. How do I want to grow? How do I want to commit myself?

It has become a commonplace to consider the whole idea of New Year’s resolutions as a joke. We often jest about how quickly the commitments of January 1st are set aside and forgotten about. Most people are content if, come February, they can still remember what they said they were going to do.


Rather than the half-joking annual personal commitments, my thoughts turn to official documents that acknowledge situations and assert action.

A quick online search finds various guidelines for writing resolutions, offered by various local governments, councils, and other oversight bodies. This one, from the American College of Emergency Physicians, is simple and focused. It goes into specifics regarding the format, highlighting that there are two essential parts: the Whereas statements, and the Resolved statement(s).

Various Whereas statements provide the rationale for the resolution. They enumerate the current needs, realities, and observations that provide the foundation for the recommended action. The Resolved statement recommends either a change in policy or a specific action step to be taken (or both).

Rather than a half-hearted statement of intent about something that we’d like to accomplish, a real resolution thinks through the circumstances and makes a recommendation for action. It’s not a response to a fad nor is it the fruit of a whim. It’s a reasoned choice, believed to lead to the betterment of the situation.

And more than this, it is not something worked at individually. A resolution is created by committee, and submitted to a committee. It is an embodiment of collective observations and commitments.

When I consider our normal practice of New Year’s resolutions, it seems to be that we miss several of these critical elements. Not only are they weak on real commitment, but they are often lacking in Whereas acknowledgments, and hardly arrived at or aimed at communities of people; they are nearly always individual.

So as I think about 2013, where do I need others to journey along with me? What are the realities–not just in my own life, but in the communities, groups, and associations of which I am a part–which should impel me (and others) to take action, to revise policy, to change the way we operate, to alter the course of our habits?

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Posted by on December 29, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Do Not Fear

My wife and I have a tradition of celebrating a “Jesse Tree” as part of our Christmas season. Each night, we read a passage from the Bible which refers to a member in the family line of Jesus Christ (Jesse was the father of King David) or a significant event of the work of God in the salvation of the humanity. My wife made ornaments which represent each of these readings and we add one to our Christmas tree each night.

A few nights ago, we were reading about the giving of the Ten Commandments in Deuteronomy. A lot of people are familiar with all of the “Thou shalt not” statements, but there is a little preface which really caught our attention.

Moses says this to the people of Israel: “I was standing between the Lord and you at that time, to declare to you the word of the Lord; for you were afraid because of the fire and did not go up the mountain” (Deut 5:5).

God wanted to speak to the people from a mountain, and there was fire and other severe weather accompanying His presence there. The people were afraid to go into the presence of God, so they asked Moses to go for them, and promised to do whatever he said when he came back from listening to God (Exodus 19:16-19; 20:18-21).

The people were afraid, and that fear kept them from coming into the presence of God.

“Do not fear” (or “fear not” or “do not be afraid”) is perhaps one of the most repeated phrases in the Bible–from God’s interactions with Abraham (Gen 15:1) to His final appearance (Rev 1:17). Nearly every angelic encounter is accompanied by these words, and the words come up in the Christmas story as well, when both Joseph (Matt 1:20) and Mary (Luke 1:30) are informed of God’s plan, and also when the shepherds are accosted out in the fields (Luke 2:10).

In each case, there is a warning: fear will cause you to miss God. If the shepherds cowered in fright out in the fields, put their fingers in their ears trying to ignore the angels’ message, they would have missed out on the Savior in a manger. If Joseph had given into fear, he would have abandoned Mary and missed out on raising the Son of God.

The people of Israel, at the foot of the mountain with their leader Moses, gave in to fear and missed out on a face-to-face meeting with the God of the Universe. They were afraid, and gave up their right to personally engage with God, instead choosing to use an intermediary. And so it continued, for generations, centuries, and millennia…most Hebrew people only experiencing God through the words of someone else.

Christmas is about God coming to have an encounter with us. He’s not afraid; He didn’t remain far off. He came to be here, to be near.

And now it’s our turn to respond. Will we tremble at the thought of relating to God? Will we fear judgment, condemnation, uncertainty, life change, ridicule and seek instead to remain at a distance from Him? Or will we, like the shepherds, overcome our fear and proclaim, “Let us go and see this thing which has happened”?


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Posted by on December 20, 2012 in Uncategorized


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