Adaptive Situational Awareness

“A leader is only as effective as their capability to recognize and understand their surroundings, whether it is a crisis, a team, or a project. I always begin with promoting adaptive situational awareness, meaning a leader has to have systems that provide them accurate and timely information, is accepting of bad news, and is willing to pivot in light of changing circumstances.  In so many cases in homeland security or crisis management, it is the failure to capture fully the magnitude or the situation that leads to consequences that could have been avoided.” Juliette Kayyem, Senior Belfer Lecturer in International Security at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government,


Without mature self-leadership competencies, leaders face an increasingly unsustainable environment. The stress of growing job complexity, difficult decisions, limited time, information overload, the high stakes of negative consequences (this list goes on for a while) combined with the attention required to maintain family, friends, church, hobbies (this list also goes on) can be impossible to manage.  UNLESS you understand that self-leadership comes before all other levels of leadership (direct-, organizational-, strategic-) and have ingrained the self-leadership disciplines you need to sustain the leadership environment.

Self-Leadership is a continual cognitive discipline that strengthens the spiritual core and builds mental, physical, and emotional wellness to maximize performance and happiness* to reach personal and organizational objectives.

*The Stoics defined happiness (eudaimonia) more deeply as “flourishing” and “living in agreement with your purpose (nature).” Contrast with “hapless


On Leadership Vision

“Questions of implementation are of no consequence until the vision can be imagined. The imagination must come before implementation. Our culture is competent to implement almost anything and to imagine almost nothing.”

Walter Brueggemann, American Protestant Old Testament scholar and theologian

It’s about what you show them

[Your subordinates] will take queue from you: You show loyalty they learn loyalty; you show them it’s about the work it will be about the work; you show them some other kind of game then that’s the game they’ll play….there will come a day when you will have to decide if it’s about you or about the work. Lieutenant Daniels, The Wire 

Favorite quotes from Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values – Robert M. Pirsig

“We want to make good time, but for us now this is measured with emphasis on “good” rather than “time” and when you make that shift in emphasis the whole approach changes.”

“The truth knocks on the door and you say, ‘Go away, I’m looking for the truth,’ and so it goes away. ”

“Sometimes it’s a little better to travel than to arrive”

“In the high country of the mind one has to become adjusted to the thinner air of uncertainty, and to the enormous magnitude of questions asked, and to the answers proposed to these questions….one hesitates even to go near for fear of getting lost in them and never finding one’s way out…. (From above) The sweep goes on and on and on so obviously much further than the mind can grasp.”

“You are never dedicated to something you have complete confidence in. No one is fanatically shouting that the sun is going to rise tomorrow”

“To live only for some future goal is shallow. It’s the sides of the mountain which sustain life, not the top.”

“For every fact there is an infinity of hypotheses.”

“The past cannot remember the past. The future can’t generate the future. The cutting edge of this instant right here and now is always nothing less than the totality of everything there is.” [The ancient greeks] saw the future as something that came upon them from behind their backs with the past receding away before their eyes.”

“The place to improve the world is first in one’s own heart and head and hands, and then work outward from there.”

“‘Man is the measure of all things.’ Yes….The Quality which creates the world emerges as a relationship between man and his experience. He is a participant in the creation of all things.”


Every time I study Biblical writings…

“In the high country of the mind one has to become adjusted to the thinner air of uncertainty, and to the enormous magnitude of questions asked, and to the answers proposed to these questions. The sweep goes on and on and on so obviously much further than the mind can grasp one hesitates even to go near for fear of getting lost in them and never finding one’s way out.” Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Hierarchical Management Explained by Dr. Suess


Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are

Oh, the jobs people work at!
Out west near Hawtch-Hawtch
there’s a Hawtch-Hawtcher Bee-Watcher.
His job is to watch…
is to keep both his eyes on the lazy town bee.
A bee that is watched will work harder, you see.
Well… he watched and he watched.
But, in spite of his watch,
that bee didn’t work any harder. Not mawtch.

So then somebody said,
“Our old bee-watching man
just isn’t bee-watching as hard as he can.
He ought to be watched by another Hawtch-Hawtcher!
The thing that we need
is a Bee-Watcher-Watcher!”


The Bee-Watcher-Watcher watched the Bee-Watcher.
He didn’t watch well. So another Hawtch-Hawtcher
had to come in as a Watch-Watcher-Watcher!
And today all the Hawtchers who live in Hawtch-Hawtch
are watching on Watch-Watcher-Watchering-Watch,
Watch-Watching the Watcher who’s watching that bee.

You’re not a Hawtch-Watcher. 
You’re lucky, you see!
Dr Suess, 1973

A View From Above – The Bible’s Big Picture

The Bible is at times so grand and the plot so complex it’s sometimes difficult for most of us to gather details about God’s will for us. We rely on scholars and theologians to interpret passages, but because of disagreement among scholars we are forced to choose what we feel is most correct. That’s why it’s good to take an overview of the scriptures to discern the context; I describe this view as a “helicopter view.”

During my time in the Army, situations on the ground became much clearer when viewed from a position that permitted a view of the entire operation, not just one small perspective on the ground. This was done by finding high terrain, using unmanned arial vehicles (UAV), or jumping in a helicopter and seeing first hand the big view. This helicopter view is important when studying single scriptures to better understand the intent of the writer’s message to the recipients. The same can be said concerning the complete collection of biblical collection of writings. So what’s the story? Continue reading

Light Shines, Even in Darkness – Sermon Notes

1.  Intro  Extended periods of darkness in our lives are difficult to understand much more to deal with. But the reality of the love of God is that he is always light, even in the tough times.

This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.  1 John 1:5 NASB

2.  God is Light.  The story of Bible is about God’s people seeking (and losing) the presence of God and the comfort of his light

O send out Your light and Your truth, let them lead me; Let them bring me to Your holy hill  And to Your dwelling places. Psalms 43:3 NASB

3.  A brief history of God’s presence

  • God created Adam and Eve to be in His presence, but they ended up banned from the Garden and separated from God – Genesis 3:23-24 NASB
  • God walked with Enoch – Genesis 5:21-24
  • Noah walked and talked with God because he did not conformed to the world – Genesis 6:9
  • Abraham  walked in perfect obedience with God –  Genesis 17:1-2
  • Moses desires evidence of God’s promised presence – Exodus 33:12-18
  • God’s glory fills the tabernacle and stays with the Israelites – Exodus 40:34-38
  • The Ark of the covenant is stolen by the Philistines – but quickly returned.  1 Samuel 4:22
  • God’s glory returns to Solomon’s temple – 2 Chronicles 7:1-3
  • God departs Solomon’s Temple – Ezekiel 10:18

Then the glory of the Lord departed from the threshold of the temple and stood over the cherubim.

4.  The Exile. Because of their unfaithfulness, God turned his people over to exile at the hands of the Assyrians and Babylonians – Jeremiah 25:1-11

There is no record that God’s glory ever returned to his formerly chosen people.

5.  Jesus is the return of God’s glory

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.  In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.  The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. John 1: 1-5 NASB

Lightcomesback6.  Trust the light.  We face all kinds of darkness:  emotional, mental, physical spiritual.  Our joy and comfort is found in the spiritual light of Jesus.  Even when mental, emotional, physical darkness grips our lives we have the constant light that shines out of the darkness.  We must fight the desire to give in to darkness and trust the light.

Zoe:  of the absolute fullness of life, both essential and ethical, which belongs to God, and through him both to the hypo-static “logos” and to Christ in whom the “logos” put on human nature.  life real and genuine, a life active and vigorous, devoted to God, blessed, in the portion even in this world of those who put their trust in Christ, but after the resurrection to be consummated by new accessions (among them a more perfect body), and to last for ever.

Even in darkness, there is light.


God’s Glory — its Appearing, Departure and Return, Wm. C. Reid.

The Exiles of Israel: A Closer Look, Ed Stetzer

Walking in the light of God’s presence.

In Alaska, Darkness and Depression Descend, The Associated Press