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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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Thoughts

Posted by Dave Griffith on September 21, 2017 at 4:45 PM Comments comments (0)


Values Matter.

Dignity

Community

Justice

Impact

Wear Muddy Boots.

Go into the field and listen.

You can be in the maintenance business or the change business.

Choose change

It is all about talent.

Your goal as a leader should be to be the dumbest person in your organization.

Scar Tissue is the best teacher.

Just make sure it is not repetitive.

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Labor Day

Posted by Dave Griffith on September 4, 2017 at 2:45 PM Comments comments (0)


Labor Day


I have long viewed Labor Day as a significant annual marker. Two-thirds of the year is gone, a third to go. Summer ends and the school year begins. The first days of fall give rise to the change of colors, the days grow darker, and soon the V’s of geese will be forming for the migration south.


This year it also marks a rise...

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How about you? Reflections on Charlottesville.

Posted by Dave Griffith on August 15, 2017 at 3:05 PM Comments comments (1)


I have read and listened with interest the commentary of events in Charlottesville this weekend. I have done so through the lens of being an old white guy working at a faith based social service agency after a 38 year run in the private sector. First violence is unacceptable; hate is unacceptable; but what provokes it?


Four years ago I did not understand the term privileged when it was used to describe...

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No more Tweets

Posted by Dave Griffith on August 2, 2017 at 12:15 AM Comments comments (0)




As I write this posting, the world has changed a bit since the first Muddy Boots Blog in November of 2013. As is our family practice, I am sitting on the porch of a house in Codfish Park in Sconset Nantucket overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. I am about as far away from Philadelphia, and our work at Episcopal Community Services as one can be. Perhaps it is the contrast that sharpens my thoughts, and...

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July 4, 2017 Mr. President

Posted by Dave Griffith on July 4, 2017 at 2:20 PM Comments comments (0)


Age and Citizenship requirements - US Constitution, Article II, Section 1


No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty-five years, and been...

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All Rise

Posted by Dave Griffith on June 7, 2017 at 4:50 PM Comments comments (1)


I went to a New England boarding school in that late 1960’s. Part of that experience is the instilling of traditions that become imprinted. Class room dress, Chapel dress, mandatory sports, mandatory study hall, and lights out. One that has a particular memory for me is the tradition of standing when the headmaster and his wife entered the dining room for family style dinner. A prefect woul...

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Lobsterfest

Posted by Dave Griffith on May 29, 2017 at 7:50 PM Comments comments (0)


For 22 years our church Trinity Episcopal Solebury has been hosting Lobsterfest. Originally created as a fund raiser for our youth group, it has evolved into a fundraiser for Mission Philadelphia and other outreach efforts of the parish. I have cooked lobsters for 21 of the 22 years the event has been held and have done so with many of the same individuals. Traditions have taken hold, fri...

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Four Year's In

Posted by Dave Griffith on May 3, 2017 at 8:30 AM Comments comments (1)


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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