It’s okay to have followers. The question is why do we want them? Do we want them for their success or for ours? Are we leading out of generosity or neediness? Are we longing for something in, or from, them that will benefit us at work, home, or some ...

How's Your Leader-Ship? And, Your Follower-Ship? ARGH!

It’s okay to have followers. The question is why do we want them?

Do we want them for their success or for ours? Are we leading out of generosity or neediness? Are we longing for something in, or from, them that will benefit us at work, home, or some other venue?

Poor Leadership uses its followers. Out of sense of inadequacy, fear of loss, and a lust for power, control, or success it controls, intimidates, dominates, and manipulates. It uses tricks, treats, craft and gimmicks to gain and retain followers.

Good Leadership is self-aware of its tendency to use people, but really longs to set people free, help them prosper, and to be all they can be. It wrestles with questions like, “What kind of leader am I?” And, “Am I secure, afraid, needy, arrogant, or conceited in my leadership?”  It struggles as it leads. Its great desire is to encourage, equip, and empower others toward useful work and relationships.

I like business consultant Tom Peters’ quote, “Leaders don’t create followers; they create more leaders.”

If you’re left thinking that Good Leadership may be a bit daunting you’re on right track.

But what if others need your Good Leadership? What then? What sacrifices will you make?


Quitting – the Quieter Quest.

Starting is hard, but so is stopping.

After writing a column in a small town weekly newspaper for over 15 years, I quit. Last month, voluntarily, under no pressure or duress, I let the let newspaper know that I was stopping.

My editor’s “retiring” and moving-on was a big factor in my decision.  I tried writing for a few more weeks but then realized this was a good time for me to move-on too.

Feelings ranging from elated to awkward then showed up.  Elation occurred, as the subtle writing pressures that had been around me all those years, for about half of every week, went away.  Awkwardness and emptiness also came sneaking around trying to fill up the vacuum of reduced activity.

How about you?  Have you stopped something lately? How’s that going?

Perhaps, it’s time for you to stop something.

I’d enjoy hearing back from you about your journey.



The Happiest Brains may be Sad, Angry, or Scared!

Here’s what brain research* says will make you happy:

1. Ask, “What am I grateful for?” No answers? Doesn’t matter. Just searching helps.
2. Label those negative emotions. Give it a name, and your brain isn’t so bothered by it.
3. Decide. Go for “good enough” instead of “best decision ever made on Earth.”
4. Hugs, hugs, hugs. Don’t text — touch.

*(This piece originally appeared on Barking Up the Wrong Tree.

I really like point No. 2., Label those negative emotions. My observation is that those who can recognize and acknowledge that they are sad, angry or scared are more comfortable with themselves than those who see such “negative” emotions as, well, negative, bad, or wrong.

When the weather’s bad, it’s okay to say that it’s raining, or windy, or cloudy. Admitting such weather conditions allows us to dress and drive appropriately. Wouldn’t it be weird to insist that it’s sunny, lovely and balmy of those days?

The other day, I was sad and angry. No, wait, that was today. No, maybe it was both days.  Okay, fine, this week I felt sad and angry a lot.

When I slogged onward I remained somewhat uptight and burdened.  But, each time that I slowed and stopped long enough to simply acknowledge those not-so-fun emotions I relaxed and regained a nice fresh dose of peace.

So, I am encouraged that a brain-science article backs up my own experience! Now, I will be even happier that I am feeling happy, when I acknowledge that I feel sad!

Please Reply! Your brain will thank you.



Tree-climbing fish! Are they sitting ducks?

Einstein says, “Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid!”

Poor fish.

Except for the Mudskipper (pictured). It does climb trees. But what do all the other fish think? And what about the squirrels? What do they think?

If we are unique does that make us weird? Is that okay with you?

Or do you sometimes wish that you were more like normal people. Or, do you feel sad, angry, scared that others aren’t more like you?

Please click reply and, well, please reply.

BTW: Sorry for my fish-out-of-water reply link two week ago that DID NOT WORK. Thanks, Vivian, for letting me know. Oh well, I felt like I was up a tree and let it go…sorta kinda. NOT.

What’s your definition of Weird?


The gulf between 'risky' and 'feels risky' is huge. – Seth Godin

Seth Godin writes:

“The gulf between ‘risky’ and ‘feels risky’ is huge. And it’s getting bigger.

“It turns out that value creation lives in this gap. The things that most people won’t do (because it feels risky) that are in fact not risky at all.

“If your compass for forward motion involves avoiding things that feel risky, it pays to get significantly better informed about what actually is risky.”  (from Feels risky by Seth Godin 8/2/17)

How much that could strengthen, encourage or comfort others have we avoided because it “felt risky”? If we are listening and watching we’ll know better about when to press past our feelings and frights and take the risk.

Please, take a risk and “reply” without any risk.  Argh, John


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