Leadership 101

Leadership 101

I enjoy those leadership books that revisit the basics.

While some books on leadership are better than others, I always find it helpful to be reminded of the fundamentals.

Whenever I’ve managed to get myself in trouble it’s because I’ve…

7 Things to know about leadership

The concept of leadership has seen its own evolution.

What constitutes a leader and leadership in fields of study and in various contexts have changed over the decades.

Over the years some concepts have proven more helpful, and more…

Your Advice Isn’t Helping

Some time ago someone sent me an e-mail asking for advice on a matter.

I wrote back saying, “I don’t give advice,” though I did provide some resources related to the question.

Later, this person asked me to explain what…

The Balancing Act

When I was a teenager I had the opportunity to play in a woodwind quintet for a wedding. It turned out to be a highlight of my musical experiencemy clarinet joining in with the flute, oboe, bassoon, French horn.


Get Understanding

Few things escape the consequences of their own success.

This axiom seems true even of Bowen Family Systems Theory.

It seems that systems theory is now the “in” thing—never have there been as many courses on it, or more “experts”…

Deep thinking, powerful ideas

Quick quiz: What philosopher said, “To think is easy, to act is difficult. To act as one thinks is the most difficult of all.”?

Answer: None. I pulled that quote out of a fortune cookie after lunch at a local Chinese restaurant….

15 Common Sense Practices for Pastoral Ministry

Emotional Intelligence is one of the fields of research applied to pastoral leadership.

I think it holds great promise for effective pastoral leadership because the nature of leadership in the context of congregations is more about understanding relationships in the…

Education by Israel Galindo

Thriving Congregations. Part 1: Challenges to Becoming and Sustaining A Thriving Congregation

NOTE: Columbia seminary’s Center for Lifelong Learning has launched its Lilly-funded Thriving Congregations program, “reKindle: A Congregational Development Initiative.” Selected congregations will be awarded grants of up to $15,000 to execute a thriving congregation initiative in their ministry context. Applications…

Coaching:  We’ve Come a Long Way From Kansas, Dorothy 

The Wizard of Oz is one of the most-watched movies of all time, actually in the top three according to some rating agencies. 

Why would a 1939 movie still resonate with modern audiences?  

Yes, it is a family movie, lacks violence, and has a happy ending. 

Self defeating behaviors in leaders

On any given day we may read about a leader, in corporations, government, business, or religious institutions, who has lost a job, prestige, reputation, or respect due to self-defeating behavior.

A common first response upon reading these instances is, “What…

Adapt and Thrive Through Coaching 

Our world is in crisis.

COVID-19 has left unprecedented challenges in its wake for leaders and organizations.

Sheltering-in-place, social distancing, and historic unemployment have become our current realities.

Adapting to the “new normal” requires retooling.  

Coaching is a great…

Leading from the Right Side of the Brain

I’ve been a lifelong doodler. At times doodles have turned into sketches and sketches into drawings. This graphite drawing of a sharecropper titled “Toil,” done several years ago, started as a doodle which eventually became a favorite rendering, which today…


Goals vs. Magical Thinking

In my consultations I often have to help folks think through what is a realistic goal and what is aspirational, or, as I call it, “magical thinking.” Their ideas for a goal are often fuzzy (“more,” “better”). People consistently overreach…

How to Avoid Choice Overload

A friend called asking for help. She was stuck trying to make a decision. After months of discussion she and her family finally convinced her mother of the need to move her into an assisted living facility. That’s never an…

People Need a Narrative: Clergy and COVID-19

I’ve been gratified for, and impressed with, at the presence of our pastors on social media during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many have jumped in reluctantly onto social media. The learning curve is evident, sometimes amusing.

As is often the…