Park and recreation’s big picture issues

The park and recreation profession is a diverse and comprehensive industry that improves personal, social, environmental, and economic health; promotes unifying and comprehensive solutions to societal issues; and advances standards of living wherever its unique contributions are sought and valued. In preparation for developing a series of statewide issue-based strategic plans, I am enlisting help Read More

How dare I NOT be offended!

One late evening of the American Civil War, President Lincoln visited the home of General McClellan, head of the Army of the Potomac, to discuss vital strategy. The General was out, so he waited for his return. After an hour McClellan arrived and was told that his important guest was waiting. Without a word, he Read More

Does your private life truly impact your public life?

It’s frequently denied, but more commonly ignored. We swear we don’t want to know what public leaders do privately—it’s their own business. (Yet the media claims it’s merely scooping up the private dirt the insatiable public appetite demands!) Perhaps. But we need look no further than the morning’s headlines to document the direct correlation between Read More

How to live, eat and breathe leadership

When her workplace instituted a new nonsmoking rule, Gail came to realize that healthy living is a lifestyle choice—not just a workday prohibition. Practicing it part-time simply wouldn’t produce the results she wanted. So she chose to quit smoking entirely, eat better, exercise more frequently and enjoy the benefits of her healthier body. This serial Read More

How to hire the right people for the right jobs

One of my most challenging and delicate personnel issues involved a young man I had hired for his first professional job. Unfortunately, a number of disturbing shortcomings surfaced soon after he completed his orientation and assumed his duties. Despite his willing cooperation and our collective best efforts in seeking ways to improve, he was unable Read More

Mission: I’m possible

Episode 4-20-15 Setting: Right here, right now. Good morning. Your natural mental and emotional outlook today can be your most important ally—or your most insidious foe! Normally undetected by remote surveillance, your mental disposition runs a clandestine intelligence-gathering operation. It is well-connected, extremely clever and highly efficient. All your internal communiques, all your interpersonal diplomacy, Read More

Leading and defining organizational culture and why it matters

How would you describe the overall atmosphere in your office? Are your public statements verified or disproved by your employees’ behaviors? What kinds of perceptions are revealed in their candid comments? Do your people feel appreciated—or depreciated? How does their collective demeanor affect the quality of their work and the comprehensive customer experience? Like water Read More

What do you truly value?

From the annals of Aesop’s fables comes a lesson from stag on what’s truly valuable. Reflecting on his image in a pool of water, a great stag admired the strength, size and shape of his comely antlers. But of his trifling feet of small split hooves, he pitied himself. A lion appeared and the stag Read More

How to confront someone without making things worse

Which makes you cringe more? a. Fingernails scraping a blackboard. (Aarrrgh!) b. Biting into aluminum foil. (E-youch!) c. Confronting someone. (Nooooo!) I’m going to be blunt here: The purpose of confrontation is to effect a positive resolution. But to most people, that’s not the immediate implication. Many will declare they do not like confrontation, they Read More

The meaning of the Boy Scout Law

February is national Boy Scout Month. As an Eagle Scout, and the proud father of three Eagle Scouts, I can declare that Scouting, for very many reasons, has made a remarkable impact in each of our lives. Despite being maligned in recent years for one of its more unfavorable stands, the Boy Scouts of America Read More