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The Wear Muddy Boots Blog

Muddy Boots Blog

I will not stand in the way of the Meeting.

Posted by griffithd on November 16, 2019 at 3:45 PM Comments comments (0)

One of the many benefits of living where we live is there is a long and deep Quaker tradition and active practice. To be clear I am not Quaker, but our children attended a Quaker school, kindergarten through eighth grade. I was asked to clerk the development committee and in turn sat on the school committee. I called a good friend who is a Quaker and asked a few questions after my first meeting. What’s a clerk? Someone who chairs a committee, but does not lead. What do they mean by a ...

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The Interview

Posted by griffithd on September 1, 2019 at 3:05 PM Comments comments (0)


When I graduated from college and interviewing for my first job, I was fortunate to get an interview with IBM. One of the meetings was with a branch manager in New York City. I walked into his office, and he was sitting behind his desk, I sat in front. Early on in the interview he pulled out of his desk a set of wooden-handled rubber tubed stretching exercisers called a pull apart. W...

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This is your time

Posted by griffithd on August 16, 2019 at 10:35 AM Comments comments (0)

I played hockey. I quit when I was 37. I remain a fan. To me, it is still the greatest game on the planet. If you are a fan and if you are old enough, you know where you were in 1980.


My wife and I were in the car on I95 driving to a friend’s house for dinner, and we were listening on the radio to the 1980 Olympics and the semi-final game between the USA and the Soviet Union. In a match for the ages, the US beat the Soviet national team and went on to win the Gold med...

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We are all Baltimore

Posted by griffithd on August 3, 2019 at 11:45 AM Comments comments (0)

As one who works in a historic Philadelphia social service agency focused on the issues of intergenerational poverty and the associated solutions for individuals and families, and as one calling for us as a nation to join the movement to address poverty with intentional actions and investment, https/www.wearmuddyboots.com/apps/blog/show/46936679-the-movement, I cannot sit quietly while the President tweets and speaks not as a leader of all Americans, but in language that is racially changed ...

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The Movement

Posted by griffithd on July 9, 2019 at 9:20 AM Comments comments (0)

The Movement

I work at a one of the oldest social service agencies in Philadelphia. For 150 years we have run to the fire and served some of the most vulnerable individuals in our City. The elderly, the homeless, youth, individuals and families experiencing poverty and deep poverty, many over generations. There is no question that our work saved lives, improved immediate situations, and eased the pain of being in crisis when no obvious solution was apparent. For many social service agen...

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Talent Matters

Posted by griffithd on July 3, 2019 at 12:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Over the years, I have been asked about what makes for a successful business or organization. Many answers come to mind. Product, service, marketing, strategy, capital, technology, values, culture, and the list could go on.

However, in my experience, the number one factor and the one that the great CEO’s focus on is Talent.

So the identification, the acquisition, the care and feeding, and the development of Talent is vital. You could be overloaded in all of the other succe...

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Tight Lines

Posted by griffithd on June 8, 2019 at 5:05 PM Comments comments (0)



As many of you know in recent years, I have rediscovered fly fishing. Much is written about the Zen of fly fishing, so I am not going to go there. I have written some on that subject in the past. https/www.wearmuddyboots.com/apps/blog/show/45693167-on-the-water

Instead, I have been looking for connections and insights from being on the water, my work at Episcopal Community Services, my work with t...

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Muddy Boots Basics

Posted by griffithd on May 21, 2019 at 7:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Last week I had the opportunity to speak to an assembled group of leaders of family businesses sponsored by the Delaware Valley Family Business Center. They asked me to share my perspective, aka scar tissue, on the attributes of leadership observed over my years in business and my service as a board chair with privately held for-profit organizations.

I shared five core attributes.

Muddy Boots. Leaders who put on their Muddy Boots and go into the field and listen to the answers to ...

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May 1st

Posted by griffithd on May 2, 2019 at 10:35 AM Comments comments (0)

On May 1, 2019 I was elected by my fellow board members to be the next Chairmen of the Academy of Natural Science of Drexel University effective July 1, 2019. I am humbled and honored by this call and I am energized by the challenge given to all of us to be “A force for nature”. Ironically May 1st also marks six years as the Head Coach at Episcopal Community Services.

I have two passions as I go about my final professional chapter after forty plus years in the for profit wo...

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deg muddy boots consulting

Posted by griffithd on April 20, 2019 at 7:30 AM Comments comments (0)

My board, speaking and consulting fees go to fund the nonprofits Jacqui and I support. At the urging of you all I am posting the deg muddy boots consulting site. I work with several individuals in this work and you can refer us where you see a fit or if you are like minded you can join us.

What we do.

"deg muddy boots" consulting provides tested advice and counsel to family businesses and nonprofits. Services include leadership development, strategy creation and review, team align...

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Leadership Matters

Posted by griffithd on April 3, 2019 at 12:25 AM Comments comments (0)

“It is hard to be accountable for history that you did not make. However, it is even harder to be accountable for the history that you will make.”

It is popular in the current political environment to look at the historical record and find an explanation for today’s ills. Poverty, Race, Economic Inequity, Climate Change, Gender differentials to name a few across the spectrum. One hears in the current call for restitution to right historical ills a call for accountabili...

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So you want to run a nonprofit ?

Posted by griffithd on March 23, 2019 at 6:05 PM Comments comments (0)


After 37 years of working in the for-profit world, I was asked to lead a nonprofit social service agency in Philadelphia. Having made the switch from CEO to Executive Director, I get asked about the differences from individuals thinking about making a similar transition as a final professional chapter and what they ought to consider.

So after 6 years here is my list.

1. Talent Matters. In both sectors the better the talent, the better the outcomes. Historically nonpr...

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"Time, like an ever rolling stream"

Posted by griffithd on February 24, 2019 at 4:45 PM Comments comments (0)

There are moments in all of our lives that are touchstone moments. We all know where we were if you are old enough when JFK got shot, when Armstrong stepped on the moon, 911.

There are also touchstone moments that are more personal when you met your spouse, the birth of a child, a wedding.

Then there are those that are markers, moments when you will never look at life the same way again. Your first paycheck, the first time you experience death, the day you “arrived,” t...

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A Patagonia Lesson

Posted by griffithd on February 11, 2019 at 1:10 PM Comments comments (0)


I have been away from Philadelphia for 12 days traveling in the Patagonia region of Chile and Argentina with my spouse and a small group. This is a trip that requires hiking boots, rain gear and because of the wind, layers even though it is summer. It does not need a jacket or bow tie for anything.

Patagonia is in the very southern part of South America on the Magellan St...

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With a deacon;s heart

Posted by griffithd on November 7, 2018 at 3:05 PM Comments comments (0)

I spend a lot of time thinking about how to communicate the work that we do at ECS and the need for our wider community to both understand the issues of intergenerational poverty and the solutions that deliver real impact and effect change with the individuals who experience poverty.

I have used numbers, but they are both overwhelming and can be numbing.

I have used stories, but they can be lost quickly in the mind of the listener.

I have used video and onsite visits and ...

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Vote

Posted by griffithd on October 27, 2018 at 11:50 AM Comments comments (0)


So America, are we looking in the mirror this morning?

Do we like what we see in our country?

Do we like what we hear from our leaders and the media?

Can you name the real values of America?

Can you name yours?

What the hell happened to the “us” in America, versus the “we” and the “them”?

What happened to the American Dream lifting all boats?

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Poverty, Privilege, and Race

Posted by griffithd on August 9, 2018 at 1:05 PM Comments comments (0)


I was recently invited to speakat Westminster where I am an Alumnus. Given our work they asked me to talk about Poverty, Privilege, and Race. The following are my prepared remarks. 

Good Morning. My name is Dave Griffith, and I graduated in 1972 and served as a trustee from 2004 to 2012. Our 2 children are among the 12 Griffith’s who have graduated from here sinc...

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We hold these truths to be self-evident

Posted by griffithd on July 7, 2018 at 11:35 AM Comments comments (1)



I recently had the opportunity to attend a function at Independence Hall. Three individuals, incredibly well done, reenacted Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson and some of their interaction around the Deceleration of Independence.


Reread the document. Some excerpts.


“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men ...

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