Sad to be here…

I can’t believe it’s been a year.   I started this blog years ago and it has evolved over that time.  I’ve kept it up over the years as a place where I’d “live out loud”.    I never restricted it.  I would mix the intensely professional with the intensely personal.  I would be fearlessly me.

Writing has given me that in my life.  It has given me the ability to be intensely, honestly me.  From the crass and often just “in poor taste” comedy of my early life to the wistful songs of my later years, I’ve channeled my experience into my writing.

But writing is not just a creative outlet.  Writing is how I understand things.  It’s how I make sense of everything.  It’s how I learn and absorb.

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Chapter 1 – What is Leadership?

To study anything; to truly look at it in an objective way and then to share that experience is a true challenge.  First you must first be able to agree on what it that you are talking about.   That seemingly simple first step is often harder than it seems, particularly when it comes to the subject of leadership.

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A small book about leadership

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The Lucky Ones

A bit of a warning here.   This is probably more personal than my average post.  I’m not sure how relevant it is to those who come here looking for business or strategy.  But at this time of year, my thoughts turn to the more personal side of life.  So in the spirit of “changing the game” – I’m talking about and sharing some intensely personal moments.

I’m not trying to be anyone’s inspiration.  I leave that to others.  Here’s one.

The hardest part baby is smilin’ when your plans don’t work out,  and count yourself – a lucky one…

Willie P. Bennett wrote those words in the 1980’s for his album of the same name.  He called it “The Lucky Ones”.  From the moment the words came through the speaker of my car stereo, on an early mix lent by a friend, they spoke to my heart.  They inspired me then as they do now.   At that time in my life, I was myself experiencing a slow awakening. Continue reading

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Hot Potato – Why We Need To Rethink Management

Remember that childhood game, “Hot Potato”?   You would take a ball, beanbag or other item and pretend it’s a hot potato.  As soon as you got it you’d pass it on to the next person.   Then at the end of the music, a timer or just a random announcement from the game master – whoever is holding the hot potato loses.

Child’s game?  Or is it how we manage our companies?  If it is, we need to find a way out of this trap.  It kills productivity, destroys job satisfaction and dooms us to a world of enforced mediocrity.   That’s what I was thinking about the other day.  Here’s how it started.   Continue reading

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Where Are the Snowdens of Next Year?

The enemy of freedom is not tyranny.  It’s complacency.

Our freedom, our lives – all that we believe in and hold dear does not get ripped from us all at once.  It happens, as T.S. Eliot so famously said when he wrote:  “This is the way the world ends.  Not with a bang, but a whimper.”

So it is.  And so it would be without the whistle-blowers, the leakers of information – the dissidents. Continue reading

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ROC – Return on Curiousity?

This is a story about the future impact that Waterloo can have on the country and maybe even the world.   But it’s NOT about Blackberry.  Crazy, you say?

Today, on a beautiful Friday afternoon in late September – what could be one of the last great summer-like days of the year we did somethign crazy.   We said “to heck with that” and headed indoors to a crowded lecture theatre in the Engineering building at the University of Waterloo.  It was worth every minute. Continue reading

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