Month: January 2012

Simone's Maxims

I like to read just about anything but when a friend sent me an article titled “Understanding Academic Medical Centers: Simone’s Maxims I thought that might be more than I could stretch. However I looked at it and discovered any number of principles and maxims that are useful in almost every field. These are not just truisms or material for motivational posters. They are thought provok ...[Read More]

A Three Pound Trout On A Two Pound Line

The only time I went fishing with my father – and the only time I’ve been fishing in my life – I was nine years old and we were staying for two nights in Camden, Maine. It was handline fishing from a boat rocking in a small storm on a cold day. Everyone was sick and all I remember is the repeated advice “You’ve hooked him now yank him!” Even though I’ve never been fishing since but I’ve read sever ...[Read More]

Wrestling With Succession

I’ve probably thought far more about succession than I thought about starting two organizations. The ideas and the opportunities came and it was just a matter of acting on them and getting started. One of my favorite pictures is one of sitting in our breakfast room at home with my then assistant Jan Hommel two days after we started Fourth Partner and The Gathering. We moved the dishes out of ...[Read More]

Keeping It All In Perspective

Our youngest daughter spent a semester at The University of Florence in Italy a few years ago so Carol and I took the opportunity to visit her for a few days. I had not been back to Florence in 30 years and was looking forward to seeing it through my daughter’s eyes this time. One day while she and Carol headed out to shop Haley encouraged me to visit the Basilica of Santa Croce and then sit ...[Read More]

Friends Not Trends

Ten years ago I was asked to do a presentation on trends in religious philanthropy. That was the first version of “13 Trends in Christian Philanthropy” and it was the first time I had ever really thought about what I know from my experience with The Gathering. Over time, that piece opened up other opportunities for articles, speaking, consulting, and, frankly, I was pretty impressed wi ...[Read More]

A Chance Encounter

In 1972 I completed my service in the Navy and moved to Colorado to finish up my undergraduate degree at the University of Denver. I was shopping at Target for a writing lamp and found something I could afford – $3.99. Standing next to me was an older couple looking at the same lamp and it was we both realized the last one in stock. We knew there was going to be a discussion and it was just ...[Read More]

The Christian Industrial Complex

Some blogs are diaries – personal revealing and making you feel you have been invited into the interior of the author’s life. Others are more like almanacs – filled with useful information and resources. Pointing you to other people and places. I’m more like the latter. But sometimes you can blend the two and I want to point you to a wonderful example of the diarist who dra ...[Read More]

"I'm as Good as You"

The 16th chapter of Numbers is the account of the rebellion of the Levite Korah. While Korah is the instigator, he somehow manages to convince 250 of the leaders of Israel to join him. These are the men who are “famous” for their integrity and character. They were hand picked to help relieve Moses of the burdens of leadership. Yet, here they are attempting instead to relieve Moses and ...[Read More]

The Unpredictable Nature of Change

Candice Millard the author of “Destiny of the Republic” a biography of President James A. Garfield tells the story of Chester Arthur the Vice-President who became the President after Garfield’s assassination. Chester Arthur the son of a Baptist minister was selected to be the Vice-President of James Garfield’s as a way to secure the electoral votes of N.Y. where Arthur was ...[Read More]