Forward thinking: Without virtuous leaders

Eric Metaxas, in his book If You Can Keep It, has provided us with a thrilling review of America’s uniqueness. It is also a chilling reminder that America’s greatness cannot continue unless we the people embrace our own crucial role in living out what the Founders entrusted to us. He makes it abundantly clear that America…

Forward thinking: Are the disengaged destroying us?

…Democracy? …Republic? …Other? What type of government does the United States have in place? If someone asked you that question, what would your answer be? If your answer is “a democracy,” that’s understandable. Many elected officials from all levels of government to instructors from the university lecture hall to the grade school teachers have repeatedly…

Forward thinking: First steps to success

Sales persons are coached in the power of a first impression. Orators devote hours to opening statements. Journalists are admonished never to bury the lead. Sprinters practice racing out of the starting blocks. Interviewees are taught the importance of their initial handshake with a potential employer. In many areas of life, the beginning . ….

Forward thinking: Signs of the times

How healthy is America… Several months ago, I was introduced to the writings of author Jim Nelson Black. He made several comments that stirred my gray matter. One in particular was that from ancient Rome to the superpowers of the 20th century, all of the greatest nations in history have something in common. In short,…

Forward thinking: Using time wisely

Time is precious. Ask the coach whose team is behind in the final seconds of a game. Ask the air traffic controller in charge of scheduling takeoffs and landings at a major airport like Sea-Tac. Ask the cancer patient who has recently learned they only have two months left to live. Or you might ask…

Forward thinking: How insecurity takes its toll

Insecure people, especially leaders, are like fireworks with a lit fuse. It is only a matter of time until they explode. When they do, they hurt everyone close to them. As I have reflected on the drawbacks of insecurity in my own life and that of others, once again I found myself focusing on the…

Forward thinking: Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda

If you were guaranteed success, would your thoughts and actions be different from what they are today? Would you take more risks and spend more time taking action and less time talking about how things could be? Author H. Jackson Brown, Jr. once said, “The biggest gap in the world is between I should and…

Forward thinking: Keeping score differently

They call it March Madness or the Big Dance… In case you are not overly familiar, it is the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) annual basketball tournament for men from the Division 1 level college teams. It is a single elimination tournament played each spring in the month of March. It currently features 68 teams….

Forward thinking: Founding mothers

The expression “Founding Fathers” has struck some students of American history as inherently sexist. Not so. The fact that only men signed the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution did not preclude women from leaving their imprint on the winning of American independence from Great Britain or on the founding of the new republic. Despite…

Forward thinking: The signers and their sacrifices

The Founding Fathers… It is a phrase that we have affectionately adopted over the decades to refer to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence. With even a casual familiarity with our nation’s early history, I am assuming that you recognize and can recall the names of at least a few of them….

Forward thinking: Gratitude at work

Please and Thank You… As a child, my parents stressed the importance of these words when speaking with others – especially adults. They had a magical quality about them. Remember the question, “What do you say?” And the answers were invariably either “please” or “thank you,” or sometimes both. For whatever reason, I grew up…

Forward thinking: Repairing broken relationships

Have you ever broken trust with an important relationship? Perhaps it was a loved one… personal friend… colleague at work or a teammate. How did you handle it? More importantly, did you take action immediately to repair and restore it? Or did you let the relationship rust? If you are a leader, you’re out in…

Forward thinking: A bigger, brighter future

“The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time.” ~ Abraham Lincoln Alvin Dark, former major-league baseball manager, used to say, “There’s no such thing as taking a pitcher out. There’s only bringing another pitcher in.” In other words, don’t look back at the bad pitches, the walked…

Forward thinking: To vote, or not to vote

I have a question for you. Did you vote in the recent local election? Did you take part in the 2017 elections to pick mayors, city council members and local school boards? Nearly two-thirds of Washington’s registered voters sat out the Nov. 7 election. This set a new low mark for turnout. Only 37.1 percent…

Forward thinking: Avoiding regrets in 2018

I began working on my 2018 goals in early December. In retrospect, it seems like the time lapse was a lot longer than a little over a month… but the final days of 2017 were quite full and overflowing. You might be working on your list of goals for the New Year or perhaps you…

Forward thinking: Helpful insights for 2018

I’m excited about what 2018 may bring! How about you? Most of us have an idea about areas where we would like to improve. At the beginning of the year, those ideas sometimes turn into resolutions, goals or intentions — at the very least. I for one am a big believer in making “intentions.” However,…

Forward thinking: Living like royalty

Crowns and scepters. Thrones and palaces. Rulership and riches. These are the words we associate with medieval royalty. Celebrity and ceremony. Elegance and style. Popularity and paparazzi. These are the words we associate with modern royalty. Tattered cloth and shepherd’s staffs. A stable and manger. Humility and servanthood. These are the words we associate with…

Forward thinking: Paying it forward

Giving. Generosity. When you hear these two words, what comes to mind? Unfortunately most of us think in terms of “financial donations” especially this time of year. The truth is we all have far more to offer than money. For example, we can give people access to our personal network, or leverage our influence to…

Forward thinking: Enriched by giving

Her name was Mary… When she crossed the pathway of my life, Mary was working as server at a truck stop in a relatively small community. She was a senior-aged widow and had been for several years. I later learned that she and her husband had no children. At the time of our acquaintance, I…

Forward thinking: A tradition of Thanksgiving

Our Nation has inherited a long, rich tradition of thanking God for His blessings – more so than most of us realize. In 1541 Spanish explorer Francisco Vasquez de Coronado and his men conducted a service of thanksgiving for the abundant food and water they found along the Palo Duro Canyon in the Texas Panhandle….

Forward thinking: Maximizing today

Are you maximizing today? In a few short weeks, I will turn 75… the mid-point of another decade. As I rapidly approach the cusp of a new year, one of the areas where I’m working on being more intentional is in my daily reflection. The older I get, the greater level of accountability I feel…

Forward thinking: Thank you, veterans

As a kid, I remember celebrating Veterans Day… I was born and raised in a small town. There would be parades, speeches and going to the local cemetery where small flags were put on each grave. It was a solemn time because my family and friends had many veterans among them. As I grow older,…

Forward thinking: Ideas matter–especially from leaders

The time is here. The 2017 General Election is upon us. Your ballots are due by 8 p.m. on Nov. 7. While it is debatable which of the local candidates offers stronger ideas for the future, one thing is becoming more certain: people expect elected leaders to put forth powerful ideas before entrusting them with…

Forward thinking: The best and worst of pride

Does the word “pride” strike you as positive or negative? There are certainly many types of positive pride. For example, it’s good to “take pride in our work.” We like it when someone tells us, “I’m proud of you.” And nearly everyone wants to live in a neighborhood where people display “pride of ownership.” All…

Forward thinking: Leadership needed

It happens every election… We elect people to public office who have never served before. In some cases, these new officials bring unseasoned appointees to run agencies or serve as staff aides. New people bring the eternal hope of new ideas and new direction. “By the people, for the people” is a cherished prescription for…