edadg


Muddy Boots         

The Wear Muddy Boots Blog

Muddy Boots Blog

Leadership never comes from sitting behind a desk....you need to get your boots muddy and get in the field with your employees, customers, clients, vendors, and stakeholders. The more you listen the more you learn. The individual closest to the action generally knows the real story. 

I have been a manager for 40 years, starting with IBM and now leading a non-profit, Episcopal Community Services, in what I hope will be my last professional chapter.  I have a fair amount of scar tissue, which I have come to learn is the best teacher. Leadership can be about talk and vision, but it is way more about deeds. For what it's worth, here are some of my thoughts on the subject of leadership, muddy boots and other stuff I find interesting. 

Thank you for your interest and I welcome your comments and exchange. Ideas and views are better when shared.


view:  full / summary

My Prayer

Posted by Dave Griffith on April 11, 2018 at 6:25 PM Comments comments (0)

My Prayer

Lord watch over family, guide, and protect them.

Watch over the people and animals that we love and those we do not know.

Look over and bestow your blessing on the good people of ECS.

Lift up the individuals we serve and give them the strength and courage to overcome

all that is before them.

Given me the heart and wisdom to do your will and to lead with humbleness, humor, grace, and grit.

When we are called Lord, guide us and show us the way...

Read Full Post »

A Call in the Night

Posted by Dave Griffith on March 25, 2018 at 4:25 PM Comments comments (0)


It is rarely good news when the phone rings late at night. The same when your text reads “ Call, it’s urgent.” Such was the case last week.


ECS is made up of some 150 individuals focused on the issues of intergenerational poverty in the Philadelphia region. The work is challenging, but one thing that makes it less so are the individuals we work with, as they a...

Read Full Post »

Snow Day

Posted by Dave Griffith on March 21, 2018 at 3:45 PM Comments comments (0)


For the fourth time in March, a Nor'easters have come through Philadelphia. I have not had this many snow days since I was a kid growing up in Connecticut. I have been fortunate in that I have been able to adjust my schedule; I did not have major travel disrupted, I could get work down with technology. My biggest project was getting my chainsaw to start so I could clean up some limbs that broke off from our white pines.

Read Full Post »

Innovation

Posted by Dave Griffith on March 10, 2018 at 8:35 AM Comments comments (0)


Innovation



The challenge with any system built on processes and best practices is that once designed and implemented they immediately start to become obsolete. The cause is not necessarily inferior design or execution. The reason is that the market, technology, and knowledge changes with every minute in every day.


The tension is systems, with the associated processes, training...

Read Full Post »

We are at War,let's act like it

Posted by Dave Griffith on February 17, 2018 at 3:10 PM Comments comments (1)


Despite recent events, I am cynical about our political will or our ability to enact effective gun control or fund essential mental health programs and processes that can efficiently prevent another child or citizen being killed by an unstable individual with an automatic weapon.


So while I am not happy about that reality, I have been doing some executive math lately s...

Read Full Post »

PHILLY PHILLY

Posted by Dave Griffith on February 7, 2018 at 4:45 PM Comments comments (1)


I want you to hold onto the feeling you had Sunday night, 4th quarter and Tom Brady has the ball with a little over two minutes to go. We are up 5 points and your heart is in your throat.

In your mind, you are replaying the Atlanta game a year ago.

Then for the first time in the game the Eagles defense come through with a QB sack and recovered fumble. Eagles run the clock, put three more on the board and shut ...

Read Full Post »

A Pin Drop

Posted by Dave Griffith on January 30, 2018 at 11:25 AM Comments comments (0)

My brother recently sent me the following:

“Secretary of State, Dean Rusk, was in France in the early 60's when

DeGaulle decided to pull out of NATO.

DeGaulle said he wanted all US military out of

France as soon as possible.

Rusk responded,

"Does that include those who are buried here?"

DeGaulle

did not respond.

You could have heard a pin drop.”


I share this snippet because it is a useful reminder that al...

Read Full Post »

Leadership Thoughts

Posted by Dave Griffith on January 23, 2018 at 5:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Every time I read another tweet, read a newspaper or listen to the news, regardless of the station I find myself needing to reset my definition of leadership. To do so I turn to a guiding, bedrock quote. Perhaps Congress could take note.


"Leadership is hard, and it is rewarding. It is about doing the right thing, not the popular thing. It is about being confident in yourself and wise enough to take the advice of those you trust. It is about understanding the facts, not the e...

Read Full Post »

A Day of Service vs. A Life of Service

Posted by Dave Griffith on January 16, 2018 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (1)


Across America today in many communities individuals and organizations have gathered to give a day of service. They do so in honor of Dr. King's legacy. In my part of the country, the day comes in cold weather, and the needs of the homeless and hungry are particularly significant.


As I wrote last month, this work on a holiday is always appreciated and always needed, but perhaps the highest value is highl...

Read Full Post »

Is the curve dead ?

Posted by Dave Griffith on January 6, 2018 at 2:35 PM Comments comments (0)


"The Phillips curve given by A.W. Phillips shows that there exists an inverse relationship between the rate of unemployment and the rate of increase in nominal wages. A lower rate of unemployment is associated with higher wage rate or inflation, and vice versa.”


42 years ago I graduated with a joint History and Economics degree from Kenyon. The Phillips curve w...

Read Full Post »

Leadership in the New Year

Posted by Dave Griffith on January 1, 2018 at 12:25 AM Comments comments (0)



As we enter into 2018, I have been reflecting on leadership. Upon review, I have concluded that organizations crave leadership; the good ones get it from every member.

When I look at high functioning organizations, they focus on talent, and they focus on their mission, vision, and values. What is it that you do? What does it look like when it is right, and how do you roll as you go about your work. Mis...

Read Full Post »

ECS Employee and Board Message

Posted by Dave Griffith on December 23, 2017 at 8:05 AM Comments comments (0)


Our families traditional note at this time of year is:


In this season of Peace, we pray for Peace.

In this season of Joy may you find it.

In this season of Hope may you have it and give it.


To that, I add


I wish you a Happy Hanukkah, Joyful Kwanzaa,

I acknowledge and pay respects to Eid al-Fitr,

moreover, Merry Christmas.


Regardless of your tradition, and we honor all, I thank you for ...

Read Full Post »

A Christmas Wish

Posted by Dave Griffith on December 11, 2017 at 10:55 PM Comments comments (0)



Across the region this month hundreds of organizations and thousands of individuals will give time and treasure to assist individuals and families in need. As someone who works in social services in Philadelphia, I am thankful for these good and kind acts.

But an uncomfortable truth persists in this season of Peace, Hope, and Joy. Philadelphia has the highest poverty level of any major city in America, upwards of...

Read Full Post »

A Good Sermon

Posted by Dave Griffith on December 7, 2017 at 11:45 AM Comments comments (0)

A few weeks ago I listened to a sermon, and one phrase has been rattling around in my brain since:

“There is right, and there is wrong, and there is no in-between.”

I will grant a combination perhaps of the Gospel and Yoda. I am good with that as I am an equal opportunity listener and enjoy a strong, solid sound bite regardless of source. Especially one that grows from a soundbite to a full meal.

The lesson here hits on a few levels.

One the simple, a con...

Read Full Post »

Thanksgiving 2017

Posted by Dave Griffith on November 22, 2017 at 4:45 PM Comments comments (0)

In America, we are about to enter into a time that in many parts of the world would be impossible to experience, let alone understand. This Friday will be black Friday, Monday will be Cyber Monday, and then it will be 25 days to Christmas. Billions, with a “B,” spending will be massive, and consumer debt will swell for the January credit card mailings.


As I reflect on what is undoubtedly ahead, I think about why this bothers me so. As we get ready to head to our...

Read Full Post »

Priority

Posted by Dave Griffith on October 31, 2017 at 8:45 PM Comments comments (0)


One of the core learnings in the Leadership research I have done and in the teaching that I do as well as in my experience is that the only real asset we have that we can control is time.

Someone will always be smarter; someone will always be better looking, someone will have more toys, and someone will have something you do not. Another lesson for another time is someone will also have less.

On reflection the only ...

Read Full Post »

Privilege and Poverty

Posted by Dave Griffith on October 17, 2017 at 10:40 AM Comments comments (2)



“I know a few folks who were born on third base and think they hit a triple.”


“ People in poverty just don’t want to work.”


In the work that we do I hear the above all the time. The issue is the very uncomfortable topic of privilege. Privilege defined as a condition afforded to one set of individuals and not another. Th...

Read Full Post »

Values

Posted by Dave Griffith on September 29, 2017 at 10:25 AM Comments comments (0)


Over the last several years much has been written about values. To the point where one could grow numb. Perhaps this is a function of individuals giving speeches about their values and then living a life inconsistent with their words. Substitute the word faith for values, and the same comments are accurate.

I am not saying, in fact, few of us would say, that our own accountability to our v...

Read Full Post »

Rss_feed