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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. 


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Four Year's In

Posted by Dave Griffith on May 3, 2017 at 8:30 AM Comments comments (0)


May 1st marked my 4th year as Head Coach at Episcopal Community Services after a 38 year run in the for profit world. I thought I would share a few observations and top 10 thoughts:

1. Poverty if not addressed will consume us as a society.

2. That for many, the way out of Poverty is a real job.

3. That the current and historical methodology of dealing with Poverty is on...

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Easter in Waders

Posted by Dave Griffith on April 15, 2017 at 3:50 PM Comments comments (0)


Tomorrow is the end of lent. By tradition and practice one gives up something for lent. I tried something different this year. I decided that I would give up sitting on my backside and try things that I have wanted to do and had put off. Given the season and on reflection, I wanted them to be events or activities that would lead to changes, and with focus, positive change.


So...

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Long into the Night

Posted by Dave Griffith on March 18, 2017 at 4:00 PM Comments comments (0)


Long into the night I look out the kitchen window, the glass acting as a dark mirror, sitting at the table with a cooling cup of coffee, the phone in my ear, listening, trying to be present when I cannot physically be.

In my work words matter, but so does the ability to listen. Tonight the person on the phone just needs to talk to a trusting ear. Some nights they just need an assurance, oth...

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We all come to look for America

Posted by Dave Griffith on February 21, 2017 at 7:40 PM Comments comments (0)


The iconic final to verses of Simon and Garfunkel’s “America”

So I looked at the scenery,

She read her magazine;

And the moon rose over an open field.

"Kathy, I'm lost", I said,

Though I knew she was sleeping.

"I'm empty and aching and

I don't know why."

 

Count...

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A Change Pivot

Posted by Dave Griffith on February 10, 2017 at 10:35 AM Comments comments (0)


I remember clearly the first time I was told that change is constant and that if you don’t adapt, you die, and that change is what happens. On reflection that was harsh advice for a 5 year old on the passing of his dog, but setting that aside, the observation has, as we all know, proved out. The evidence is overwhelming. No comment on the parenting skills.

So why do we fight it?

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Resolutions

Posted by Dave Griffith on January 2, 2017 at 2:00 PM Comments comments (0)


It would be way too easy to fall into the trap of if 2016 was a wine we would put it away and never drink it. Might gift it, but that’s another post.


However I will agree that 2016 has been a year of high highs and low lows.


On the high side our Son moved back east and is working and living in Philadelphia. I don’t miss the 3000 mile...

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The Power of a Safety Pin

Posted by Dave Griffith on November 25, 2016 at 4:30 PM Comments comments (0)

So the presidential election is over. No doubt it will take some time for the dust to settle.

 

Thanksgiving has come and gone.

 

Advent begins.

 

Winter is upon us, I know this because of the movement of geese settling into the cut fields, feeding, and calling loudly as they do this time of year. You can set a seasonal clock by their call. It is a season defined more by the da...

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Chicago UnleashWD

Posted by Dave Griffith on October 22, 2016 at 1:35 PM Comments comments (0)


I was recently in Chicago to speak at “UnleashWD”, a conference on innovation in the distribution space that feature speakers in a TED like setting. Three of us were asked to speak on leadership in an environment of innovation.


While I am currently in the nonprofit space with Episcopal Community Services, I have been in distribution most of my professional life. I...

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The Founder's pledge

Posted by Dave Griffith on September 24, 2016 at 2:45 PM Comments comments (0)


“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”


One of the benefits of living and working in Philadelphia is we have many reminders of the founders of the Republic and the events which brought them together, starting wit...

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Tux

Posted by Dave Griffith on September 1, 2016 at 10:00 PM Comments comments (0)


There are milestones in life that mark both transitions and are also teaching moments. While many occur early on, I take pleasure that at 62 I can still have experiences that teach if your are willing to listen for the lesson.


This week we had to deal with the passing of our eighteen and a half year old cat, Tux. I am not sure what that is in cat years but I am guess...

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It started with Muddy Boots

Posted by Dave Griffith on August 6, 2016 at 5:30 PM Comments comments (0)



Muddy Boots


The title of this blog comes from an experience when I first became a manager at IBM with responsibility for employees. I called my Dad and let him know I had become a manager. He asked me to stand up, look down, and tell him what I saw.


Black wingtips I replied.


Wrong Answer: you need to be wearing muddy boot...

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The Dignity of Choice

Posted by Dave Griffith on July 30, 2016 at 3:55 PM Comments comments (0)


I have been working with a number of young adults as they go about seeking employment. Some are in our programs at ECS where I work and some are individuals I know from our church, community, or through my network.


I am struck by just how much the job market has changed since I was looking 40 years ago. What also struck me is how many of the fundamentals then and t...

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A Question for November 8th

Posted by Dave Griffith on July 5, 2016 at 5:35 PM Comments comments (1)


This month both of the major political parties will nominate their candidate for President of the United States. If all goes as indicated we will have our first woman nominee and we will have our first candidate of the modern era to never of held public office or significant military service prior to running.


This is not a commentary on the quality of candidates or how we got here as a country. Nor do I wa...

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A long line of towns.......

Posted by Dave Griffith on June 14, 2016 at 8:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Remarks to the staff and stakeholders of ECS where I am an employee:


The events this weekend in Orlando catch all of us. I fear that we grow numb to the violence and note that would be a great danger because it is all around us. In Orlando now and in communities across our country 50 dead or 1 dead due to gun violence or any violence is one too many. At ECS our work is about building bridges and not walls between communities. It is about leaning into the work of inclusion an...

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The month of June

Posted by Dave Griffith on May 26, 2016 at 9:15 PM Comments comments (0)



I have an interesting June coming up and as a result I have been thinking about friendship. 


On June 4th I will gather with many members of my parish to work our annual “Lobster-Fest” Event which raises funds to send sponsors and our youth to Mission Philadelphia, our annual community service project in Philadelphia. Our 20th year and I hav...

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