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  • Follow our leaders...and rediscover mentorship

    Much has been written about mentorship: its importance, how to mentor, choosing a mentor, mentoring subordinates, mentoring peers, reverse-mentorship, and so forth. Attempts to codify, formalize, or in extreme cases, even mandate mentorship often result in the "self-licking ice cream cone" syndrome. In other words, the mentorship "program" becomes
  • Tradition of excellence handed to new leader of Lankford Center

    I.G. Brown Air National Guard Training and Education Center may be the least familiar higher education campus in Blount County. Surrounded by a security fence and protected by armed guards, it is not easily accessible.But when it comes to maintaining the nation's security and to attracting a diverse student body from across the country to this
  • The Accidental Veteran

    My friend Gail Spain was an accidental veteran. Like many of his age (born in 1947) he began college but soon felt a draft. His grades did not merit a deferment but he did have enough credits to qualify for an Army commission and so he became what was then known as a "ninety-day wonder." Lieutenants were in short supply in Vietnam, and so within a
  • Tough Times Demand Tougher Leaders

    These are tough times to be a leader! Just take a look at the front page of any newspaper and you'll see why. Wall Street is a mess! Unemployment is sky-high and rising! Detroit auto makers are about to go bankrupt! The economy is in a recession! Where does it all end? As someone once said, "These are the times that try men's souls!" Words you
  • Memorial Day Thoughts

    In the basement family room of my wife's Iowa farmhouse is a pretty standard collage of family photos. Some are of now nameless turn-of-the-century relatives and some are fairly recent, portraying growing grandchildren. On one wall are three perfectly level rows of six 5x7 photos corresponding to the six Kahlstorf children born to Harold and Faye
  • The Best and Worst of Mankind

    Forty years ago tomorrow I was a Texas teenager, about to enter high school, and astronauts were about to land on the moon. To have lived and experienced that historic event remains a highlight of my life.As a boy I had a love of all things science and space. Astronauts were my heroes. I recall listening, with my father, to the radio as he
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