Things Change!

The photo on the front page of this site is a pic I took of the front door(s) of what is claimed to be the oldest house in America, its foundation originating in 1646, and it still stands today. But why are there two doors?

First, a little history: the wood in the ceilings reveal cutting dates of 1740-67. Also, a plaque on the wall outside the front door tells visitors that the west section of the De Vargas Street House in Santa Fe is made of pueblo foundations that date back to the 13th century. A tribe of Native Americans vacated the site in the early 1400s leaving the pueblo behind. The spot was later resettled by the Spanish, with numerous conflicts and turmoil, and by the end of the 19th century Navajo and Apache tribesmen had moved in as well. Through all of this change and turbulence, some remnant of that original pueblo has always remained. The original portion of the building still has dirt floors, low ceilings, and the adobe-style walls that it had hundreds of years ago. This 800-year-old house is home to some of North America’s richest history, and was wonderful to experience firsthand!

The two doors? During my visit, I initiated a conversation with the caretaker and asked about them, and he told me that the taller door was added over centuries, as human populations became taller. He told me that, over time, people changed, and adaptation was necessary if the building was to remain useful. Wow! Think about it! The size of human beings had changed! We are, and have always been, adaptive creatures! And to adapt, the door needed to be replaced with a taller door! Perhaps we can learn something about ourselves, about possibility and about change from that story.

My website is a result of almost 50 years of both being a leader and teaching leadership, and is anchored in the premise that we are adaptive beings, capable of changing ourselves and our environments to accomplish our purpose. And no, this is not a political site for argument or airing negativity, but rather a site for constructive reflections about leaders and those who aspire to leadership. I intend to use this space to tell the stories that I have encountered in my practice, stories that have taught me much about leading and changing in a turbulent world. I can promise you that I have had to adapt!

A couple of principles that will frame future content:

• People are adaptive creatures, and have unlimited capabilities.

• Inspiration trumps force as a motivational approach, every time.

• People want to be part of something great, and will work hard to do that.

• Leadership is a practice, and practice takes time, experience, patience and repetition. This is not for the meek.

• Challenges come in all forms, and leaders must step up to those challenges in real time, without much rehearsal or time for planning. Resilience is key.

• Change is a given and leaders too, must be adaptive, and be able to respond rapidly to changing circumstance.

• In all of this, master leaders lead equally from mind, heart and spirit. All three movements are necessary and critical to leader success.

• Conversation is where ideas are shared, issues explored and possibility examined. Leaders must be masters in creating conversation.

Ultimately, I hope to create more conversations, conversations that take us to new ideas, new places in our thoughts. We live in challenging, divisive times, with much polarization. But this world is also full of inspiration and possibility. And that is where I intend to focus my reflections. I invite you, dear reader, to reflect as well on your own leadership. And if you want to share your reflections, please forward them to me, and we can begin a conversation.