January 2016

Christian, Muslim, Friend (A Book Exerpt)

I just read this exerpt in Christianity Today on line, and thought this is an important book, on one of the core issues of today.

So I am re-posting, Two Ways Christains Distort Islam (and Two Ways Muslims Distort Christianity)

Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International



Addicted to Praise

Insecurity, lack of confidence, the need for constant praise... these are always serious issues. When they are in a leader - they have even more consequences. It is one thing to have legitimate needs for feedback, encouragement and affirmation. And one of the vital leadership tasks is to "encourage the heart" of those you lead. But for many leaders - it goes a lot farther.

Here is a very nice article that asks: Are You Addicted to Praise.

Worth reading and a careful reflection...

Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International



Books Change Lives

Anyone who has read a great deal can imagine the new world that opened. Let me tell you something: from then until I left that prison in every free moment I had, if I was not reading in the library, I was reading on my bunk. You couldn't have gotten me out of books with a wedge... months passed without my even thinking about being imprisoned. In fact, up to then, I never had been so truly free in my life... the ability to read awoke inside me some long dormant craving to be mentally alive.  Malcolm X

Facts and Opinions

Super short thought today --- but a great one. Here is a quote (slightly morphed) from Jim Barksdale, the past CEO of Netscape.

"If you have facts present them and we'll use them. But if you have opinions, keep them, we're gonna use mine!"

I love it!

Discussions, debates and decisions, need facts, not opinions. So if you have facts, present them. If you don't have facts, your opinion is not needed. Especially since your opinion is not based on any facts you thought important enough to learn and remember so you could contribute.

Hmmm... maybe I better remember this idea when I am ready to contribute my "facts-missing" opinions at the next meeting I attend. Seriously - we all have opinions on everything. Take the time to get some facts. Then, let's share our thoughts about the facts.

Leaders Think

While a recent focus has been Leaders Learn and Leaders Read... a corollary thought is that Leaders Think.

So How is Your Training Program Working For You?

In Work Rules: Insights From Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead, Laszlo Bock gives a discouraging statistic about training programs. 

"Some experts go so far as to say that 90% of training doesn't cause a sustained improvement in performance or change in behavior because it's neither well designed nor well delivered" (pp. 59).

That is of interest to me since I run a lot of training (formation) programs. I run programs because I want to help people change. So to think that 90% of people do not benefit from the training they receive!!! Here are a few of the ideas that go into how I design learning communities.

FOR THE DESIGNING PART, you need . . .

The Dangers of Leadership

Here is a collection of quotes on the dangers of power... and misusing and abusing it. These are thoughts from some of the great leaders of history, as well as philosophers and historians. Look them over... which ones hit you most?

Nature has left this tincture in the blood, That all men would be tyrants if they could.  Daniel Defoe

Always be slightly wary of people in positions of power, but be especially wary when that person in power is yourself. Mardy Grothe

Those who have more power Are liable to sin more; no theorem in geometry is more certain than this.  Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz

Martin Luther King, Jr.

A Few of the Many Great QUOTES by Martin Luther King, Jr.
In Honor of His birthday and legacy.

A Well-Read Life (A Little Guide)

In January, I have been reading books about "reading books." You have heard of meta-thinking, which is "thinking about thinking." Apply that idea to reading about reading, or thinking about reading.

Over the years I have read some real classics on this, with the number one book being Mortimer Adler's, How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading. Now, that is a pretty long book, and most people may not want to wade through it. So I want to offer you a very nice, well written, and MUCH shorter book - The Little Guide to Your Well-Read Life by Steve Leveen.

One Word

One Word that will change your lifeJUST ONE WORD!
Sometimes the short, simple, and FOCUSED is the way to go. A friend got me a copy of the book One Word That Will Change Your Life. It is actually an article turned into a book that will make its authors a LOT of $$$.

How Fast Should You Read?

how fast should you read a book

The important thing is not so much to read fast, as to read each book at the speed it deserves. It is as regrettable to spend too much time on some books as it is to read others too quickly. Jacques Bonnet

I read a lot. The last two years I read about 175 books each year. People think I am a speed reader. I am not. I have never sped-read a book in my life. However, my reading rate can be pretty fast. But I don't read to get through a book. I read to enjoy a book and to learn from it. Therefore, I love this advice from Jacques Bonnet about the speed at which one should read.

So I read at the pace a book deserves. Most of the books I read, need good time, energy, and focus to get the most out of them. 

The Library as the Testament of Reading

to build a library is to build a life

To build a library is to create a life.
It is never merely a random collection of books.

The Paper House


A library is a reflection of the collector-reader. I suppose there are some readers who are utterly spontaneous, and unrestrained in their purchase of books. They read widely, and give little thought or focus to their reading.

The Mystique of Books

the library is what brings us closest to paradise on earth, Jacques Bonnet

The library is what brings us closest to paradise on earth. Jacques Bonnet

There is something wonderful about the great libraries. They are the symbols of knowledge, learning, the pursuit of wisdom, the results of research...

Really large libraries are like cathedrals. They are vast, spacious, soaring... and that makes their accumulation of "knowledge pursuits" even more wondrous. But one's personal library serves the same purpose, but on a smaller scale. When I look at the books on my shelves, they remind me of the greater wisdom of those who wrote them. They remind me of the "countless" other books on the same subject, that I have not yet read.

Books: Buying, Reading, Collecting and Organizing Them

The Working Library

This week I will have a series of short reflections on books, reading, and libraries.

I'm talking about a working library, the kind where you don't hesitate to write on your books, or read them in the bath; a library that results from keeping everything you have ever read - including paperbacks and perhaps several editions of the same title - as well as the ones you mean to read one day. A non-specialist library, or rather one specialized in so many areas that it becomes a general one.  Phantoms on the Bookshelves, Jacques Bonnet

a prodigious desire to buy and own books, Julian the Apostate