Riding MetroNorth. In reflection.


Stack ’em up and rumble. Dawn till dusk. Conference calls. One on one calls. Meetings. Emails + Texts: 175 and counting (the day isn’t over). Swinging a gas powered weed wacker. The day: A half-high-five. Many routine ground balls. No major drops. Grade? Falling forward.

I’m on the 7:15 pm MetroNorth railroad heading home.  The overhead air conditioning vent is heaven; a cool shower drying sweat from the sweltering cross-town walk.  I close my eyes. And drift back to the day’s highlight. A working lunch. I’m 7 minutes late. I apologize and sit. The team waited for me before digging into lunch.

We’re 10 minutes in.  The racing, charging, driving of the prior four hours burns off.  My heart rate slows. I’m not tapping my foot. I’m not pushing the pace. Not glancing at my watch. Not thinking ahead to the next meeting. I’m watching. And listening.  I’m actually present.

They are low key. Humble. But exude a quiet confidence.

They are respectful. They let colleagues speak. And finish, without interruption.

They offer a deep reservoir of expertise. Loyalty. Passion for their craft.

There’s no spin here. There is fierceness in their feedback.  A yearning in wanting to get this right.

I get up from the table and thank the team for their time. I take one last glance around the table. Solid.  Good, honest people doing great work.  In an era of fast burning sparklers and Reality TV, this room gushes with integrity.

I step out of the room to run to next meeting. My adrenaline elevated. I’m reinvigorated.

I open my eyes.  And ponder the single greatest joy of leadership.  Serving committed followers.

Image Credit: Conflictdynamics


  1. Didn’t you just have a post about really listening? There you are. It’s working already.


  2. That almost made me cry…seriously. Good for you, David. 🙂


  3. Passionate thought leaders, humble, with deep reservoirs. No spin, because there’s no need for spin. Low key with quiet confidence. That’s delicious.


  4. the wonderful realization that we are people who live love laugh and care is invigorating–you had a better day than I–I hope to have a better day today


  5. These are my favorite posts, David, your reflective ones…. You write so beautifully and you coax such timeless lessons from everyday situations. This is no exception. I love the fact that you were able to tune in to everyone’s energy and really immerse yourself in the moment, rather than racing on to the next thing. Mindfulness and savoring the beauty of the seemingly quotidian–priceless…. 🙂


  6. WLS – but you know that already.. Lao Tzu said, “There are my people – I must follow them”. The art of leadership – knowing when to get out in front, step aside or lead from behind. Good people doing great work with passion and integrity – sharing those results with the kind of leader every one wishes s/he had and few ever get. Good on you, pal – keep your brow cool.


  7. A very good reflection.


  8. The oasis in the desert. So glad you found yours today.


  9. paco gonzalez says:

    I wish I was there! Nice reflection Dave..


  10. Reblogged this on Wholeheartedness and commented:
    Heh, heh, heh… I did my time on the #7 line from Time Square to Flushing so I know what it’s like. Thank you for adding enjoyment to my 3.3 mile bike ride to ‘work’ along Lake Michigan this morning…


  11. Makere Stewart-Harawira says:

    Such beautiful lessons in today’s blog, aimed straight at my resentments about meetings that aren’t even here yet! Wow. Thanks David. I so needed that.


  12. It works! Being present works! Hope lives!
    Thanks for the inspiration, Dave!


  13. Actually opened your post while in a meeting, one the complete opposite of your’s: toxicity rife and negativity rampant … managers clueless. At once longing for old times but thankful for your positive post and the memories.


  14. Achievement! Isn’t it? But it’s in you Dave. You have always been this way – A Leader.


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