Thoughts from Behind the Azure Gate


Use of “Thou” in Pervasive Leadership Principles

A few weeks ago at the Intel Agile and Lean Development Conference in Hillsboro, Oregon I had a chance to talk to an audience about Pervasive Leadership. It’s always good to be able to do this as [...]


Why is Loyalty a Problem?

WHETHER I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show. – David Copperfield by Charles Dickens Life presents us with a [...]


Who Do You Belong To?

When I was a child, my family tended to move house every few years.  My mother hated hot, dry weather and loved the rainy days common in a coastal climate.  My father hated dark, dreary days and [...]


Competitive or Collaborative: How Can You Tell?

I have been writing, speaking, and teaching about collaboration for over ten years now. However, one of the most interesting and crystallizing moments I have experienced in relation to [...]


Collaboration―Ta Da!

All kinds of amazing things seem to drop into my email inbox. Lately, there’s been a flood of collaboration topics. One that left me with a bit of a sardonic smile stated boldly that agile’s [...]


Welcoming 2015 by Making the Case for Pervasive Leadership on InfoQ

It’s been somewhat silent on my blog this last months while I work on other writing projects.  One project that may interest the readers of this blog was published today on InfoQ, a go-to [...]


Living in a House Fire

A few years ago I was asked a startling question.  “Do you really enjoy going into environments where people aren’t getting along, things aren’t going well, turning things around and [...]


Conscious Software Development

Something interesting may be happening. Actually, of course, something interesting is always happening. But in this case, I’m referring to a conversation that appears to be starting around the [...]


Buck Up: Resile

I am an itinerate problem solver.  I walk into organizations in various roles to solve various kinds of problems.  Not uncommonly when I walk around a new organization I notice things like “No [...]


Crisis of Courage?

My last post, Courage— Learned or Innate, seemed to generate some interesting conversation in several forums.  I know the responses certainly caused me to do some more thinking. First, for those [...]


Courage: Learned or Innate?

Over the last couple of years, courage has become more and more interesting to me.  I have come to understand that people move to compassion more easily than they move to courage.  I see a [...]


Controlling the Stress Machine

Many years ago I had a client that I just loved.  Well, I didn’t always love them in the moment, but when I was consulting with that organization, I knew I would definitely learn new things. [...]


What Shows Up When X Shows Up?

I’ve found myself involved in conversations about performance reviews and evaluation of others.  At the same time, I have watched certain of my colleagues betray themselves and their values [...]


Who is Lisle Mason?

Last week the first Lisle Mason story was published on  Some people think they know who Lisle Mason is.  Maybe they think she is a thinly disguised version of themselves or [...]


Are You Tough Enough?

Recently, I sat across the table from someone who is taking on a really tough leadership challenge.  He’s confronting entrenched conflict in the organization he cares so much about.  I listened [...]


The Ease and Hazards of Pervasive Leadership

Lately, every day seems to bring new opportunities to meet someone somewhere doing some form of experiment with leading differently. Sometimes, though, it seems like what I see is the same old [...]


Losing Your Sense of Taste

Several years ago I took a friend of mine for tea at the tea house in the local Chinese garden.  Lan Su is one of my favorite places in the city, and I have spent many happy hours sitting alone [...]


Leader Is a Role, Not a Career Path

I’ve been doing a lot of reading and writing about leadership history and models lately. And, for a long time now, I’ve been coaching and listening to people who are in positions of nominal [...]


Violent Agreement

I have a colleague who beats the drum that, “We do not do project management. We do project leadership.” I tend to agree with him. Though I do think there is an element of management to what [...]


Time Management, Mistakes, and Scarcity

When people waste my time, I can get really ticked off. I tell them: “Time is the only thing I can’t get more of. Once it’s gone, it’s gone.” I can get more money (though wasting that leaves me [...]

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