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Posted in Leadership

A Different Leadership Model

Snip20180916_1My phone rang at 9:30 p.m. one Thursday evening. I recognized the caller immediately as my boss, a senior director. The caller said, “Mike, you have a new assignment. Beginning tomorrow morning, you are the new QA [quality assurance] lead for our next-generation product, with a staff of fourteen. The project is eighteen months old and has missed all its delivery dates. Your team has worked twenty-six consecutive weekends.”

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Posted in Book Reviews, Leadership

A Leadership Model That is Different Than the World

A pivotal scene in Disney’s Lion King occurs between Simba and Rafiki as Simba looks at his reflection in the water.Snip20180705_1Rafiki: Look down there.
Simba: {Disappointed} That’s not my father. That’s just my reflection.
Rafiki: Noo. Look … harder.
Rafiki: You see … he lives in you.
Mufasa: {Quietly at first} Simba . . .
Simba: Father?
Mufasa: Simba, you have forgotten me.
Simba: No. How could I?
Mufasa: You have forgotten who you are, and so have forgotten me. Look inside yourself, Simba. You are more than what you have become. You must take your place in the Circle of Life.
Simba: How can I go back? I’m not who I used to be.
Mufasa: Remember who you are. You are my son, and the one true king.
Simba: No! Please! Don’t leave me.
Mufasa: Remember…

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Posted in The Second Half

This Parenting Thing

As a father, I have been very intentional with my four children—especially when it comes to making a way for them.


This is the season when my relationship with them transitions from parent-child to adult-adult. I must admit, I miss them as children. In retrospect, those child-rearing years were so fleeting. As I’ve thought about this transition, I’ve realized that our peer-to-peer relationship has moved us from directive interactions to collaboration. Continue reading “This Parenting Thing”

Posted in The Second Half


Person by person, my generation is passing away.

And there are so many of us. Each day, ten thousand members of my generation reach retirement age (Pew Research).  Funerals are constant among my peers.

It is an easy conversation starter when I approach someone my age and ask about plans for retirement. Most have no plans. They have not even checked their Social Security accounts. But they always say that waiting to draw Social Security will give them a larger payout. To which I reply, “It depends. It depends on how long you plan to live.” And that’s the part we have no assurance about.

Continue reading “Forward”

Posted in General, The Second Half

Making Aging Positive

The 2014 Atlantic Article returns interesting observations. “Many of my older-adult patients wanted to make a difference in the world but, finding no role for themselves, were treated as socially useless. Having created a new stage of life, the next step is to make it meaningful.”


“Many of my patients wanted to make a difference in the world  but, finding no role for themselves, were treated as socially useless.”

“According to some researchers, ageism is more pervasive in our society than negative stereotypes based on gender, race, or sexual orientation.”


Posted in General, Leadership

How My Greatest Failure Turned Into a Real Life Parable

Snip20171015_13Can a career failure return more value than any success? My question was not a philosophical one following an annual review that left me completely humbled. Like many Silicon Valley firms, my company had just initiated 360 reviews. In this process, all direct reports and three peers submit anonymous assessments evaluating all aspects of your job performance and your contribution to the larger engineering mission.
Continue reading “How My Greatest Failure Turned Into a Real Life Parable”

Posted in Book Reviews, That Theology Thing

Rob Bell asks, “Will all people be saved, or will God not get what God wants?”

Snip20170819_2I read Rob Bell’s book two times about 2 years apart. My first read I looked for all the things I found easy to reject. The second read I tried to understand his questions, reservations, and point. Rob Bell’s questions and arguments are NOT new. Some can even be traced to Barth. Bell’s approach shares much with the notion of Christian Universalism. Christian Universalism has a 200-year tradition, but can find alignment prior to the 6th century. Continue reading “Rob Bell asks, “Will all people be saved, or will God not get what God wants?””