Tag Archives: vision

Shopping for opportunities

26 May

Would that we could whenever we wanted!


It takes a village to raise a school

30 Nov

For years, the people of Coburg, Oregon (population 1,080) have heard that their elementary school will close because it’s not economically viable. This past June, 4J regional school district officials again warned that Coburg School would likely close within the year. City leaders and parents were once again discouraged about the future of their school. A small group of parents started strategizing. By November, when 4J Superintendent George Russell confirmed the closure as one of his recommendations to address a gaping budget deficit for the 2011 school year, something remarkable had happened in Coburg.


Anticipating more than snow

22 Nov

Here on the floor of the southern Willamette Valley, snowfall is rare, especially this time of year. Yet for the past several days, our news has been full of snow talk. As I work, I watch. The still air by the window frames has become progressively more damp and cold. In the last hour, the raindrops have swelled heavy as peas and viscous as honey. Whether or not the snow comes, the anticipation is an energizing joy. What if we could infuse every day with such anticipation?


Conversations that inspire action

31 Aug

You know the difference between a conversation that energizes you and one that saps you. What makes the difference?


Telling the untold

17 Aug

Driving to Portland yesterday, I heard a news story about “untold casualties” from monsoon flooding in Pakistan. In contrast to the highway unwinding straight and flat before me, the concept of “untold” twisted and turned in my head. I’d heard the term many times before, but hadn’t paid attention to what it actually means.


The power of seeing what isn’t planned

13 Aug

I took lots of pictures at the wedding of a good friend this past weekend in Northeast Oregon. My absolute favorite picture, however, was totally unplanned. I didn’t realize I had taken this picture at all until I reviewed the set. In fact, I didn’t realize I had even seen this particular vignette. Discovering this hidden gem in the rough hay of shots, I’m reminded that when we can see what we didn’t plan to see, we’re richly rewarded. Two specific community leadership applications come to mind


Why nonprofits are like archipelagos, and why it matters

28 May

The term “archipelago” refers to a chain or scattering of islands that often share volcanic origins. Three recent articles about metaphors and the nonprofit sector have me seeing “archipelago” as an especially apt metaphor for framing nonprofit challenges and opportunities today.


On battles and transformation

19 Mar

While few people say they seek out or enjoy battles, many people say they’re transformed by battles in a positive way.


What I learned from the wolf moon

5 Feb

The January full moon is known as the “wolf moon” by the Algonquin tribes of North America. It’s the wolf moon because on moonlit nights deep in midwinter, hungry wolves are visible as they howl. In warmer months, the full moons have gentle names; strawberry moon, corn moon, buck moon. The wolf moon, however, casts long dangerous shadows.


Witnessing sunrise

25 Jan

Even if I were a morning person, which I’m not, it’s hard to glimpse a sunrise this time of year in Western Oregon. The fog rising up from rivers, the clouds dropping low to graze fields, and the mist, suspended, conspire to blanket us in gray. This morning, however, both I and the clouds lifted early enough to witness a beautiful day begin.