The Art of Wandering Downhill

Imagine you’ve ventured deep into a mountainous landscape. Picture that in every direction are miles and miles of hills and mountains, varying in elevation from tiny hillocks to majestic alps...  Now imagine that your goal is to find the highest peak possible... but visibility is extremely poor. It’s so foggy, you can’t see what’s beyond … Continue reading The Art of Wandering Downhill

Tree Care For Forest-Viewers

Photo by Lukasz Szmigiel on Unsplash Link to audio version On Wednesday of that week, I was certain that if the opportunity still existed four days later, on Sunday night, I would be boarding a flight from Honolulu to Austin. At the same time, I was growing increasingly agitated seeing some leaders try to publicly minimize the seriousness … Continue reading Tree Care For Forest-Viewers

A few of the things that culture perhaps is and is not, at times. 

A culture is not a product. It is the emergent outcome of behaviors and attitudes, driven by underlying values and the processes, structures, systems, and habits that inform and are informed by them.   Culture pivots on an axis of norms. It is a fickle, complex system- a climate that churns and is churned by sub-climates … Continue reading A few of the things that culture perhaps is and is not, at times. 

In response to the sentiment “The Air Force Doesn’t Care about People”

This is in response to a Facebook post in which someone recalled a Senior NCO telling them "The Air Force doesn't care about people. It only cares about mission." I was just writing about this very thing. If we, as leaders of this organization, don't decide what our values are, our values will be informed … Continue reading In response to the sentiment “The Air Force Doesn’t Care about People”

Agitate: On Being the Unfrozen Middle

Whenever we talk about innovation in the Air Force, we inevitably end up stumbling upon that familiar old trope of "The Frozen Middle", which approximately describes the theory of "middle-status conformity", in which those mid-tier leaders with enough power to enable or impede innovation for the majority are incentivized to remain risk-averse by their long-earned … Continue reading Agitate: On Being the Unfrozen Middle

A Little Tribal Overlap

I have a theory that service-members of my generation and later are less likely to accept the premise that their military identity is an exclusive one. Many of my enlisted and commissioned peers consider themselves to be equally members of other tribes and communities--not just as a matter of personal perspective, but as a fact easily … Continue reading A Little Tribal Overlap