Different is Clarity

You are different. You like different things. You pursue different opportunities. You light up at different ideas. And being different can feel like shame. Why can’t I be more like them? Why am I the only one who doesn’t _____? But different is a great gift. The way you are different is clarity about the... Continue Reading →

Back in the Shop

Bishop Milton Wright grew up on a farm in Indiana. His wife died of Tuberculosis, leaving the Bishop with their five remaining children (two others died in infancy). Wright read obsessively and cultivated in his kids a desire to learn. Two of his children developed an obsessive fascination with the possibility of human flight. In... Continue Reading →


I learned something about my life through a favorite author, David McCullough. McCullough, two time winning Pulitzer Prize winner, died last year. Generally, I can’t get through biographies, but his books don’t read like biographies. I learned that in his youth, McCullough aspired to paint portraits. In his 20s, he thought he would write plays.... Continue Reading →


At any time I am one of two people: A. Someone who initiates B. Someone who expects someone else to initiate. The first is active, the second is passive. The verb in the first is to initiate. The verb in the second is to expect. I am always deciding if I will be the the... Continue Reading →

Who You Are

Last week I was with a group of really smart people. They have given most of their life to developing their craft to serve others.  They spent a considerable amount of time talking about why some junior colleagues were struggling. One leader made this observation.“The folks who are struggling don’t have a clear identity. They... Continue Reading →

The Hell Yes

I travelled too much last year. I know this because my neighbor told me, "You travel too much." Thanks Brent; clear is kind. Now, before you jump down my throat about it, Nicole was on board. We understood what we were getting into and knew it neither sustainable or forever. But at the tail end... Continue Reading →

You can’t make old friends

As you consider what you will pursue this year - I recommend pursuing people. For many years Nicole and I have done something that will sound wildly offensive. We sit down and (separately) make a list of what we call our A friends, B friends, and C friends. Here’s why. About ten years ago we... Continue Reading →

Running your family like a business

“Because we run our family like a business.” I overheard my wife saying this to someone. I think it was at a 10 year-old birthday party.  I had picked up this conversation mid-stream. It’s true. We (try to) run our family like a (mildly successful) business. I reflected on what Nicole said, and I thought... Continue Reading →

One clear option

Our neighbor is a business coach. This week he told me some advice he got from his business coach. ‘If you have multiple options, more than likely you need to stay put. It’s only time to move forward when you have one clear option.’ Here's why I love this advice. I hear too many leaders... Continue Reading →

It will be difficult

My neighbor was over late the other night. He said something that encouraged me. “The Erickson's are moving." My neighbor is really going to miss them. He paused, and then reflected, "You know, a lot of people come here for a little while and leave. Living here is hard.” You know what? Living here is... Continue Reading →

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