This quote from David and Goliath (1/3 of the way through and it’s a lot fun, per usual) is about parenting but it has everything to do with leadership:
“A parent [leader] has to set limits. But that’s one of the most difficult things for [the wealthy], because they don’t know what to say when having the excuse of ‘We can’t afford it is gone.’ Parents [leaders] have to learn to switch from ‘No we can’t’ to ‘No we won’t.’ But ‘no we won’t’ is much harder.
‘No we won’t’…requires a conversation, and the honesty and skill to explain that what is possible is not always what is right. Yes, I can [do] that for you. But I choose not to. It’s not consistent with our values.
But that, of course, requires that you have a set of values, and you know how to articulate them, and you know how to make them plausible to your child [the people you lead].”
From our staff trip to the MIT Museum yesterday:
I wholeheartedly endorse The Fault In Our Stars. If you read only one book this summer, let it be this one. I will say no more, so as not to spoil it for you…just read it!
“The Christian life does not start with moral behavior. We don’t become good in order to get God…moral behavior provides forms for maturing in a resurrection life. Moral acts are art forms for arranging and giving expression to resurrection.”
– Eugene H. Peterson Practice Resurrection
“The family has long been a haven in a heartless world, the one place immune to market forces and economic calculations, where the personal, the private, and the emotional hold sway. Yet, that is no longer the case: everything that was once part of private life–love, friendship, child rearing–is being transformed into packaged expertise to be sold back to confused, harried Americans.
[There is an] incursion of the market into every stage of intimate life. From dating services that train you to be the CEO of your love life to wedding planners who create a couple’s ‘personal narrative’; from nameologists (who help you name your child) to wantologists (who help you name your goals); from commercial surrogate farms in India to hired mourners who will scatter your loved one’s ashes in the ocean of your choice…the most intuitive and emotional human acts have become work for hire.“
– Christopher Lasch
Reflecting on his wild years:
“You begin to lose yourself, you know…a lot of men think the more women they get, the better. But…you lose a piece of yourself with every time you do that. If you are out there wilding out, drinking and partying, that’s not real life.”
On marriage and having kids:
From Dan Kimball’s facebook post this week:
“If I wasn’t in the lead role of the whole church, I would want to be the college pastor. So much happens in that time of life and questions and challenges and idealism and thinking. I am very thrilled to be speaking to our college ministry this evening. I would also volunteer in the youth ministry too if I wasn’t in the broader role I am currently. One day perhaps…. but thankful for all the youth and college ministry leaders in our churches across the world.”
A friend in my community group let me read his favorite book, which happened to be Catch-22. Never read this in school for some reason, but it is fantastic…an absolute tearing apart of the absurdities of war, but also of bureaucratic life and America in general. My favorite quote:
“The chaplain had sinned, and it was good. Common sense told him that telling lies and defecting from duty were sins. On the other hand, everyone knew that sin was evil and that no good could come from evil. But he did feel good; he felt positively marvelous. Consequently, it followed logically that telling lies and defecting from duty could not be sins. The chaplain had mastered, in a moment of divine intuition, the handy technique of protective rationalization, and he was exhilarated by his discovery. It was miraculous. It was almost no trick at all, he saw, to turn vice into virtue and slander into truth, impotence into abstinence, arrogance into humility, plunder into philanthropy, thievery into honor, blasphemy into wisdom, brutality into patriotism, and sadism into justice. anybody could do it; it required no brains at all. It merely required no character.”
‘Craftsmanship’ may suggest a way of life that waned with the advent of industrial society–but this is misleading. Craftsmanship names an enduring, basic human impulse, the desire to do a job well for its own sake.
Every good craftsman conducts a dialogue between concrete practices and thinking; this dialogue evolves into sustaining habits, and these habits establish a rhythm between problem solving and problem finding. The relation between hand and head appears in domains seemingly as different as bricklaying, cooking, designing a playground, or playing the cello–but all these practices can misfire or fail to ripen.
There is nothing inevitable about becoming skilled.
~ Richard Sennett “The Craftsman”