A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand

lincoln_gettysburgpaintingThis article is a different topic for me, but one I can’t stop thinking about. I thought I’d share my thoughts and would like to hear yours. I have deliberately tried to present neither side, but the more holistic question that faces us – how do we come together? I wish I had an answer.

“If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could then better judge what to do, and how to do it.

We are now far into the fifth year, since a policy was initiated, with the avowed object, and confident promise, of putting an end to slavery agitation.

Under the operation of that policy, that agitation has not only, not ceased, but has constantly augmented.

In my opinion, it will not cease, until a crisis shall have been reached, and passed.

‘A house divided against itself cannot stand.’

I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free.

I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided.

It will become all one thing or all the other.

Either the opponents of slavery, will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become alike lawful in all the States, old as well as newNorth as well as South.”

Abraham Lincoln campaign speech for US Senate, June 1858. (By the way, he lost to Stephen Douglas only later to become our 16th President.)

We are, once again, a house divided.  Fractured might be a more descriptive word.  Our choices in this coming election are polarized, with each side using colorful and destructive language to describe the other side. (more…)

Becoming a Trusted Advisor

roadmap w creditThere is nothing better than a great speaking engagement where I learn from the attendees. Last week, I had the opportunity to share the story of my book, Repurposing HR: From a cost center to a business accelerator, with a group of experienced HR leaders. When I give presentations such as this, I hope I can provide something of value to the audience. But I always take something of value away and learn from the dialog as well.

In the presentation, I introduced the RoadMap; a disciplined process that can help HR think collectively about the customer and add value to the organization through focus on what is important to customers – in this case, operational leaders.  The RoadMap consists of eight StopOvers, each of which provides a series of questions for HR leaders to ask and answer, leading to a deeper understanding the business, discovery of pain points or opportunity, getting to the root cause, and helping to shape human behavior to improve performance. (more…)

A Lesson in Trust and Leadership from my Cat

Endora 0715Endora is the newest edition to our family, joining her sister Elphaba. Both are shelter cats. We adopted Elphie at 7 weeks. She rules the house and is afraid of nothing. When our older cat passed 10 months later Elphie was visibly grieving, so we set out to find a friend for her.

Endora was a stray until she was rescued by the county and put up for adoption. She was about a year old when rescued, and had been in the shelter for several months when we arrived. I might have thought it odd that she had burrowed under the paper litter box in her cage, as far away from “the humans” as she could be. But I was distracted by her big, beautiful eyes that seemed to be begging me to “adopt me.” So we did. (more…)