About Conversation Kindling

The purpose of this blog is to share stories, metaphors, quotes, songs, humor, etc. in hopes they'll be used to spark authentic and rewarding conversations about working and living fruitfully. There are at least three things you can gain by getting involved in these conversations. First, you'll discover new and important things about yourself through the process of thinking out loud. Second, you'll deepen your relationships with others who participate by swapping thoughts, feelings, and stories with them. Finally, you'll learn that robust dialogue centered on stories and experiences is the best way to build new knowledge and generate innovative answers to the questions that both life and work ask.

I write another blog called My Spare Brain. This is where I am "storing" ideas for use in future books, articles, blog posts, speeches, and workshops. There is little rhyme or reason for what I post there. I do this to encourage visitors to come as treasure hunters looking for new ways of seeing and thinking vs. researchers looking for new or better answers to questions they already know how to ask.

05 July 2009

When the Time Comes for Dying ...

This story is told by David Kirk Hart, former professor at Brigham Young University's Marriott School of Management.
"During World War II, a British war correspondent had gone into Normandy. He was particularly disgusted by the fact that the generals were living in mansion and estates, in posh digs, while the grunts were on the line. The reporter was really upset one night when he heard that the Nazis had parked two Panzer divisions near Cannes, and a Scottish division was to face the worst of the Panzers the next morning; they were to attack right into the Panzers.

"The reporter went immediately into one battalion, and asked the Sergeant Major, 'Where's the Lieutenant Colonel?' only to be told that he was in the back of the lines with the General. The reporter just flipped out and said, 'Well doesn't it anger you to know that you attack in the morning and your Colonel is back there with the General?' At that point, the Sergeant Major drew himself up and said: 'Sir, when the time comes for dying, he will be with us.'"
  • What would you give if your people could say that about you?
  • What greater reward could you ask?
"If your boss demands loyalty, give him integrity. But if he demands integrity, give him loyalty." - John Boyd
"Your position never gives you the right to command. It only imposes on you the duty of so living your life that others can receive your orders without being humiliated."- Dag Hammarskjold, former Secretary General of the United Nations
"We must draw our standards from the natural world. We must honor with the humility of the wise the bounds of that natural world and the mystery which lies beyond them, admitting that there is something in the order of being which evidently exceeds all our competence." - Vaclav Havel

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