Leadership is not hierarchical, situational or stylistic. It is not a position to be held by an individual over individuals. In fact, singular leaders often lack the perspective of their fellow leaders because they abide by the "Law of One".

Leaders must trust other leaders and share their vision, perspective, issues, lessons learned, hopes and fears. 

They must lead with other leaders. And, for leaders to lead they must trust.

Leadership is trust.


When will leaders understand that big ideas and no action have no place in every day life or history.

Life is action. History records action.

Action brings change – however you define change.

History records change - sometimes way beyond the time after it happens.

This is life as we know it.



I think that every person running for an elected office should be required to take a standardized test for critical thinking.

If they don’t pass, they don’t pass GO!

Purely possessing knowledge or subject matter expertise does not make a leader. They must demonstrate how to analyze a problem or issue, synthesize data and deliver a clear path to a desired outcome. Pronouncements, announcements or predictions are not critical thinking. 



While change swirls around us, and unexpected challenges confront us daily, we need to ask ourselves:

What is important in life? 

Clean and safe water, food and neighborhoods. Access to health care and professionals who care. Safe streets and households. Self-worth. Contributing to our society and family. Self-esteem. Respect for the environment. Respect for each other. Lifelong learning. Love. Peace . . .



I have studied, taught and applied social and community alienation theory for most of my adult life. Here is a bit of advice for those who haven't:

Before quoting Saul Alinsky people should actually read his greatest works "Reveille for Radicals" and "Rules for Radicals" in their entirety.

Alinsky is first meant to be understood, then inspiring, and only then, quoted.


A very wise man once said:

“Dinosaurs screamed the loudest right before going extinct.”

And so do leaders who fear change.

 As scientists have suggested, dinosaurs ruled the earth at one point in time because of their size and position in the food chain. Ultimately, though, their inability to adapt to a changing environment made their species extinct.

Leaders who fear change often do the same thing. They create a persona that is “larger than life” and then proceed to create noise, distractions, and even traps designed to neutralize the change agents in their midst. They do this to manipulate those around them in order to maintain the status quo. When they choose to throw their title around, exhibit controlling behavior and act out, it eventually catches up with them.

 When a leader who fears change is screaming the loudest, they are about to go extinct.

Making change is a noisy business.


Public-Private Partnerships (P3) are Cleveland's Response to Crisis

The link below features a recent story the New York Times published along with a short film detailing the City's recovery from the housing crisis - a crisis which started way before 2008 and the #GreatRecession. This is one of the many great neighbor-hood level actions underway today.

This morning, as I reflected with a civic leader on community development/housing lessons-learned over the last 20 years, it took but a moment to spout - but the schools weren't at the table then. 

Since 2010 our public school system has been lead by one CEO and a stable Board of Education. And, under our Mayor's leadership our City has made education a number one priority.

This week this message my get lost among many other messages - but after the #RNCin2016 adjourns, the City's leaders and concerned citizens will continue the important work of investing in our people!

A Crisis in Cleveland http://www.nytimes.com/video/us/100000004534428/a-crisis-in-cleveland.html?smid=tw-share


In 1910, iconic architect and planner Daniel Burnham said:

 “Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will not die, but long after we are gone be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistence.”

Great leaders put forth big visions and are comfortable with the fact that they may never see the vision fully realized. However, they take joy in knowing that if they have done their job well, the vision will transcend generations and involve thousands of people before it is realized.

Great visions are “built to last”.



In her autobiography, Reconciliation, Benazir Bhutto “tried to trace the roots, causes and potential solutions to the crisis within the Muslim world and the crisis between the Muslim world and the West. Theology, history, economics, democracy, and dictatorship have all played significant roles in bringing the world to this crossroads.” Her premise from the beginning has been “that extremism thrives under dictatorship and is fueled by poverty, ignorance and hopelessness. The extremist threat within the Islamic world and between the Islamic world and the West can be solved, but it will require addressing all the factors that breed it."

While watching the attempted military coup unfold in Turkey overnight, I recalled the loss of a great democratic leader on December 27, 2007 when she was assassinated in a bombing after leaving a political rally.

Democracy can work if we support and protect our leaders who help create and nurture the conditions for sustaining democracy.