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. 

view:  full / summary


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...

Read Full Post »

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...

Read Full Post »

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...

Read Full Post »

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...

Read Full Post »


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...

Read Full Post »

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...

Read Full Post »

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...

Read Full Post »

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...

Read Full Post »

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...

Read Full Post »

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...

Read Full Post »

Remarks from St Mary's

Posted by Dave Griffith on May 10, 2016 at 1:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

Good Morning. My name is Dave Griffith and I am honored to be with you this morning here at Saint Mary’s and I thank you and Father Mike for the invitation.

Before I share with you my prepared remarks I need as an Episcopalian to comment on events this week. I have never been prouder to be a member of the US Episcopal Church and with our new Presiding...

Read Full Post »

Time as an Asset

Posted by Dave Griffith on April 23, 2016 at 4:50 PM Comments comments (0)

I have been thinking about leadership these days. I give an annual lecture on leadership at both Penn and The Fox School at Temple and have done some for many years. It is based on the premise that time and where one spends time is one of the defining attributes of good leadership.

Time is an asset that you as an individual have some control over. How you spend it, on ...

Read Full Post »

Easter Everyday

Posted by Dave Griffith on March 20, 2016 at 8:25 PM Comments comments (0)

As a people of faith we take sure and certain hope in the power of the resurrection.

We know in the Book of Common Prayer:

Christ has died.

Christ has risen.

Christ will come again.


Read Full Post »

A life well lived... is a life lived well

Posted by Dave Griffith on February 20, 2016 at 4:20 PM Comments comments (0)

News arrived Monday that Ray Welsh suddenly passed away over the weekend. We had been with Ray the week before at an investment committee meeting for ECS where he had served with distinction for many years. Reading the obituaries this week one note’s that not only did ECS lose a mentor and good friend, but so did The Bancroft School, The University of Pennsylvania, the Salvation Army, and the community at large....

Read Full Post »

Jonas Storm 1.23.2016

Posted by Dave Griffith on January 24, 2016 at 12:35 AM Comments comments (0)

I am sitting in my New Hope home office watching the “Jonas” blizzard drop 18 inches or so of snow. Who picks these names? I have been instructed by state officials to stay off the roads and stay indoors. I do couch really well.

Unlike other years and other storms I have some new things on my mind these days. First, it has been six weeks since our friend...

Read Full Post »

Mcneill Eulogy

Posted by Dave Griffith on January 3, 2016 at 10:25 PM Comments comments (2)

At the request of several folks in attendance please find the following:


Sunday, December 13, 2015, 2:00 PM

At Trinity Church Solebury, PA

David Griffith

Eulogy for Ian and Jane McNeill


Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.


Good afternoon.


My name is Dave Griffith. My wife Jacqui and I are ...

Read Full Post »

Merry Christmas all year....

Posted by Dave Griffith on December 23, 2015 at 8:00 AM Comments comments (0)

An old Welsh blessing that comes to mind every Christmas season 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.


I would like to think that not only at Christmas, but throughout the year this blessing sums up the work that we do and look to grow at Episcopal Community Services.

Read Full Post »

The Porch is Closed

Posted by Dave Griffith on December 9, 2015 at 12:30 AM Comments comments (1)

We are in shock. The news tonight that Ian and Jane McNeil were killed in a car accident is simply impossible to process.

We spoke to Jane today. We broke bread with them last week. We traveled with them to France and Italy and sailed to Malta and climbed the slopes of Mt Etna. For 22 years we have been in and out of each others house. Bowmen's galas, Philips Mill shows, Ho...

Read Full Post »