Showing posts from March, 2008

Meet the Demographic Future of Nashville

On the matter of the national and local immigration debate, I have often said that Nashville today reminds me of South Texas when I was a student in the 80's. In those days Anglos (which is the Tex-Mex label for white folks) were uneasy with how Hispanic culture was invading their area, but powerless to do anything but watch it happen. Economic dependence on Hispanic labor, and being eclipsed by that group's birth rate vs. the natives, all anyone could do was utter a racism slur or two and watch as Texas became, well, more uniquely Texas. It wasn't Mexico; there was too much native Texas history for that; but it sure was different with everyone's maid and landscaper being Hispanic. Over time, however, people got used to it, got over it, and race relations have been mostly peaceful and in some areas downright warm. Speed forward 24 years since my leaving College Station and I present to you, in the upper right hand corner of this page, Dr. Elsa Mureno , recently i

What I Learned from the Homeowners Associaition

Last night I chaired the annual meeting of the Merritt Downs Homeowners' Association. I am blown away by how well that meeting went, capping a year-long turnaround effort by the two of us who comprise the HOA Board of Directors. Now some of you who know me know that I'm a start-up and turnaround junkie; a fact that has a lot to do with my coming to Nelson seven years ago. Having done so many of these I thought I had a good handle on how its done. The feedback from the homeowners last night, however, gave me some new insight on what people look for in leadership. Here's where we've been and what I've learned. Context This week last year Dalton Masson and I came to the annual meeting to see what in the world was going on. We'd had two Boards in the three years that the community had existed (being a former cattle field in Old Hickory). One Board resigned amid scandal, the second resigned in disgust. There were only a hand full of people at the meeting,

Ahead of Your Boss? What An Opportunity!

Hiring and promotion decision-making is not an exact science. Its highly subjective and often you won't agree that the person to whom you now report was really that good of an idea. You may feel that you're more qualified, and you sometimes may feel that you're just plain smarter than the person you report to. When I've dealt with these complaints from an HR perspective I've generally found them to fall into three categories: the new boss is from another discipline (but quite capable), the new boss has traits you haven't seen or appreciated yet, or the new boss is a Pretender. Let's briefly discuss each. Another Discipline - Often a promotion decision is made based upon general leadership or managerial skills identified in one discipline, but the next promotional opportunity is in another. Supervisors in this situation will get off to a slow start because they have to remediate in the new discipline first. Over time, however, their gifts show through