QUOTE/STORY OF THE WEEK...
“We meet this evening, not in sorrow, but in gladness of heart. The evacuation of Petersburg and Richmond, and the surrender of the principal insurgent army, give hope of a righteous and speedy peace whose joyous expression cannot be restrained. In the midst of this, however, He from whom all blessings flow must not be forgotten.” -- Abraham Lincoln, final speech as president, April 11, 1865
From Lincoln Online: “Two days after the surrender of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's army, a jubilant crowd gathered outside the White House, calling for President Lincoln. Reporter Noah Brooks wrote, ‘Outside was a vast sea of faces, illuminated by the lights that burned in the festal array of the White House, and stretching far out into the misty darkness. It was a silent, intent, and perhaps surprised, multitude.
“’Within stood the tall, gaunt figure of the President, deeply thoughtful, intent upon the elucidation of the generous policy which should be pursued toward the South. That this was not the sort of speech which the multitude had expected is tolerably certain.’
“Lincoln stood at the window over the building's main door, a place where presidents customarily gave speeches. Brooks held a light so Lincoln could read his speech, while young Tad Lincoln grasped the pages as they fluttered to his feet. The speech tackled the complex topic of reconstruction, especially as it related to the state of Louisiana. For the first time in a public setting, Lincoln expressed his support for black suffrage. This statement incensed John Wilkes Booth, a member of the audience, who vowed, ‘That is the last speech he will make.’ A white supremacist and Confederate activist, Booth made good on his threat three days later.”
“And having thus chosen our course, without guile, and with pure purpose, let us renew our trust in God, and go forward without fear, and with manly hearts.” -- Abraham Lincoln, message to Congress, July 4, 1861
THINGS I HEARD AROUND THE NFL...
“There is neither happiness nor unhappiness in this world; there is only the comparison of one state with another. Only a man who has felt ultimate despair is capable of feeling ultimate bliss. It is necessary to have wished for death in order to know how good it is to live....The sum of all human wisdom will be contained in these two words: wait and hope.” -- Alexandre Dumas, “The Count of Monte Cristo”
1. I hear that the Tampa Bay Bucs prefer Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh over Oklahoma tackle Gerald McCoy but will be happy with either.
2. The Lions are pondering between Suh and Oklahoma State offensive tackle Russell Okung. Okung can play left tackle, so moving Jeff Backus to guard would fill two needs for the Lions.
3. I know I had the Seahawks taking Clemson running back C.J. Spiller in my 10-player mock on Friday, but I hear they want an offensive tackle at No. 6 — maybe Trent Williams from Oklahoma.
4. From talking to teams around the league, I hear the Dolphins are looking to move down from the 12th pick in the draft to acquire more picks.
5. My sources tell me that Browns president Mike Holmgren talked to Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen and told him that he has not ruled him out as the seventh overall pick, despite what he’s told the media. It was Holmgren who said he “wished he liked Jimmy Clausen more,” but after Clausen’s workout Friday, he does.
6. Speaking of Clausen, the Seahawks spent a long time with him after his workout, even though Pete Carroll was not in South Bend. The Seahawks have spent considerable time with Clausen and Florida’s Tim Tebow.
7. I keep hearing from teams that Buffalo will not pick Clausen in the first, preferring a more athletic player at quarterback. In fact, someone told me that Chan Gailey, while he was offensive coordinator in Miami, was not in favor of Drew Brees as a potential pick because he had Ray Lucas on the roster. Keep in mind, Gailey has always loved athletic players as evidenced by his style of recruiting while head coach at Georgia Tech.
LEADERSHIP IMPROVEMENT IDEA...
“The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.” -- Isaac Asimov
This blog (formerly the "Be Excellent" blog) has over 1,500 blog posts about strategy execution, business coaching, leadership development and business process improvement. Look around and you'll soon find out why this blog previously won prestigious blogging awards, has been syndicated by major media distribution and has thousands of visitors every month. Is there a topic you're interested in, but can't find? Let me know! (Skip Reardon)
Communicating the Need for Change, by Skip Reardon
If there's one thing that's constant, it's change.
But the one thing that our employees need is a clear explanation of:
• Why are we changing? (What's wrong with what we're doing now?)
• What are the benefits of changing? (How will things be better if we do?)
• What are the consequences of not changing? (What will happen if we don't?)
It's no wonder then, that:
• 70 percent of all change initiatives fail -- primarily due to human nature (people) issues.
The reasons? Sometimes it's because of senior leadership's inability to lead or explain the reasons that changes are needed. Other times, it's a lack of understanding, or engagement, or unwillingness to deal with change, and so forth.
Bottom Line: Keep in mind the following eight-steps of change, by John P. Kotter:
1. Establish a Sense of Urgency -- Examine market and competitive realities -- Identify and discuss crises, potential crises or major opportunities.
2. Form a Powerful Guiding Coalition -- Assemble a group with enough power to lead the change effort -- Encourage the group to work as a team.
3. Create a Vision -- Create a vision to help direct the change effort -- Develop strategies for achieving that vision.
4. Communicate the Vision -- Use every vehicle possible to communicate the new vision and strategies -- Teach new behaviors by the example of the guiding coalition.
5. Empower Others to Act on the Vision -- Get rid of obstacles to change -- Change systems or structures that seriously undermine the vision -- Encourage risk taking and nontraditional ideas, activities and actions.
6. Plan for and Create Short-Term Wins -- Plan for visible performance improvements -- Creating those improvements -- Recognize and reward employees involved in the improvements.
7. Consolidate Improvements and Produce Still More Change -- Use increased credibility to change systems, structures and policies that don't fit the vision -- Hire, promote, and develop employees who can implement the vision -- Reinvigorate the process with new projects, themes and change agents.
8. Institutionalize New Approaches -- Articulate the connections between the new behaviors and organizational success -- Develop the means to ensure leadership development and succession.
ARTICLES YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED THAT AREN’T WORTH MISSING...
“Somehow I can't believe that there are any heights that can't be scaled by a man who knows the secrets of making dreams come true. This special secret, it seems to me, can be summarized in four C s. They are curiosity, confidence, courage and constancy, and the greatest of all is confidence. When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.” -- Walt Disney
STORIES TO SHARE...
“It is necessary to keep one's compass in one's eyes and not in the hand, for the hands execute, but the eye judges.” -- Michelangelo
The Brilliant Lessons of Michelangelo
By Tom Russell
The artist Michelangelo often stirred up the opposition of the contemporary artists of his day. Many of them envied his magnificent abilities. One example was the architect Bramante.
Pope Julius retained Michelangelo to build him a splendid tomb. Michelangelo gladly accepted the project and spent eight months in a marble pit personally cutting and selecting the most perfect stones. When he returned, he found the pope had second thoughts. Bramante had turned Pope Julius against the project. The Pope cancelled it.
Later, the idea for another special project entered the Pope's mind. Bramante saw the project as a time-consuming trap for which there would be little public recognition. Bramante recommended Michelangelo for the job.
The great artist saw the trap. He knew what Bramante was up to. He wished to turn the project down but did not want to refuse the Pope's request. So Michelangelo went to work. He spent many years doing the slow and tedious labor the project required. It was the Sistine Chapel.
The inspiration that flowed through Michelangelo can likewise flow through any human being. That is what the inspiration wants to do. It cannot be stopped. It is a living, powerful river that easily circumvents all obstacles.
Michelangelo collected his inner forces for a complete victory. Likewise, we must not fear to face the trickery of some people and expose it for what it is. This is not negative, but intelligent protection and spiritual perception.
In his many books on inner development, author Vernon Howard refers to Michelangelo several times. He quotes him as saying, "The more the marble wastes, the more the statue grows." And, "I released the statue from the stone." He chiseled away all that was unnecessary, and David emerged.
Follow me on Twitter: michaelombardi
APR 15 Jerry Angelo
A strategy session for draft day as well as my top-five players in this year’s rookie class.
APR 14 Jeff Fedotin
Oakland has whiffed on its first-round picks.
APR 12 Joel Corry
Jacksonville’s pursuit of center Alex Mack came up just short after a valiant effort.