Here’s To The Pros

In a meeting yesterday I twitched with the unexpressed urge to insist on things I urgently felt needed attention. Something about one of the people in that meeting gave me pause, though. There was an attention, an ease, a control they projected over our work. I kept my mouth shut and watched. By the end of […]

In Which I Recall Harry Brunger

Harry Brunger worshiped at the Claremont Presbyterian Church in the twilight of his life, the final six years of which overlapped with my service as that church’s Associate Pastor. Harry was a big deal, a leader in the international YMCA in his prime. He founded the Y in Beirut, Lebanon. Still, he used to sip coffee […]

Dazzling Is A Form of Hiding

Keeping your mouth shut after an unimpressive introduction to someone protects you in two ways: 1) It guards you against being a jerk, and 2) it keeps your mind open to the impressive work they’ve yet to show you. The best kind of impressive reveals itself over time, and not all in one showing like spectacle. […]

Collaboration Is Leadership

Collaboration is leadership. That feels important to assert. The chair of a search committee once told me that my candidacy suffered for a lack of leadership experience. “You talk a lot about how you’ve collaborated on things,” He said,  “But not enough about how you’ve actually led.” I took that to heart and carried it […]

Today’s Volunteer Is Tomorrow’s Professional

Networks run on volunteers more than professionals. The work of the professionals is to listen to the network and help it amplify its impact. Today’s volunteer is tomorrow’s professional, though. Yesterday I heard the story of an urban farmer and educator–a professional–who’s running a big downtown operation and who came to that profession as a […]

Begin As You Intend To Continue

I’ve been fortunate to work with people who are excellent and who eagerly partner with me on things because they know me and expect that whatever we do together, even if it fails, will make us better. I stopped having to prove myself to those people long ago. Transitions, though, mean that you have to prove […]

My Sweater Game Needs No Leveling Up

I’m kind of love with the idea of “leveling up” at the moment. The work we do is multiform, and the only way we get better is by choosing to work on particular pieces of it. Sometimes that’s a choice to seek out a training or a coach. Learning Godly Play was a major leveling […]

I Emailed Seth Godin And He Totally Responded

I emailed Seth Godin yesterday and he replied within the hour with a direct answer to my query and a couple of links for follow up. Short. But no so short that he hadn’t paid attention to what I asked him. Clear: “not only this–also that.” Practical but not without heft. There’s no reason we […]

What If Your Public Work Is Practically Private?

I’m all about doing our work publicly and not hiding it behind some scrim while we “perfect” it before sharing it with anyone. Like what Landon is doing. Every day. But what if your public work is practically private? What if the product you’re making and sharing with the world gets no traction, no engagement? […]