Author Archives: Tom Nees

Intelligent Disobedience – Learning From Guide Dogs

In Ira Chaleff’s 2015 book Intelligent Disobedience: Doing Right When What You’re Told To Do Is Wrong, ‘intelligent disobedience’ in guide dogs is a metaphor for an important but often overlooked behavior pattern for humans. A guide dog trainer told … Continue reading

Posted in Leadership, Reviews | 1 Comment

Living and Leading in a Tribal Way

We live in a country ‘at war with itself’ writes war correspondent Sebastian Junger in  Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging. The battle lines are everywhere—political gridlock and the most divisive presidential campaign in modern times, the widening wealth gap, worsening … Continue reading

Posted in Leadership | 4 Comments

‘The Poor Who Love Trump’

If you don’t have time to read the Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, I recommend Jennifer Senior’s NY Times review of J. D. Vance’s new bestseller – ‘A Compassionate Analysis of the Poor Who Love … Continue reading

Posted in Leadership | 6 Comments

“Can We All Just Get Along?” — Rodney King

69 percent of Americans say that race relations are bad and getting worse according to a New York Times/CBS News poll taken immediately after the killing of five Dallas police officers.   The headline read, we “Hold a Grim View of … Continue reading

Posted in Trends | 4 Comments

We Must Not Be Enemies

“We must not be enemies” – from President Lincoln’s First Inaugural Address Following last week’s horrific violence it seems that we are like a ship without a rudder.   There is no national consensus about what to think or to do … Continue reading

Posted in Leadership, Trends | 5 Comments

Doing Small Things With Great Love

In response to my last blog – “The Inner Life of Leaders,” Gary Morsch posted this comment: Your post reminds me of a quote from Mother Teresa: “We’re not called to success, but to faithfulness.” Mother Teresa will be canonized on … Continue reading

Posted in Leadership | 2 Comments

The Inner Life Of Leaders

Parker Palmer’s Center for Courage & Renewal is offering a 6-month program to ‘explore the inner life of leadership.’ I have learned that in their reflective moments good leaders are more interested in their inner life or self-awareness than how … Continue reading

Posted in Leadership | 3 Comments

On Leaving Our Comfort Zones

During my first pastoral assignment at a rural church in Eastern Washington State we lived near a stop for freight trains.   Transients riding the rails would occasionally hop off trains, walk across the road to our house, knock on our … Continue reading

Posted in Leadership | 4 Comments

Figuring Out What’s Most Important

In his best-selling posthumous memoir When Breath Becomes Air, 37-year old neurosurgeon Paul Kalanithi reflected on how his battle with lung cancer led him on a search for priorities and values. When a terminal diagnosis gave him a year or two … Continue reading

Posted in Reviews | 3 Comments

Of Covenant Leaders

I thought about the difference between covenant and contract leaders when reading David Brooks’ recent NY Times column – “How Covenants Make Us.” Contracts are about making deals, providing services, protecting interests.   They are temporary quid pro quo obligations; precise and … Continue reading

Posted in Leadership | 2 Comments