Category Archives: Leadership

At the center of the universe…

…there is a jazz trio: joy, generosity, and reciprocity. The music they make creates endless waves – each named ‘gift’ – upon which we can surf with our lives, relationships, and vocations.

At the center of our individual, small worlds, there is a scorecard and endless games that involve boundaries, rules, fouls, and the tallying of points as time expires.

Which center will you pledge your allegiance to?

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Ashton’s Weekend Read(s)

The art of letter writing is something I’ve noticed leaders do very well. I’ve read two letters to shareholders in the last couple of weeks….one short, one very long. Jeff Bezos ends his final letter as CEO at Amazon in the way only he can. And Jamie Dimon has the sharpest vision I’ve seen.

Godin on Investment and Expenses.

Love and Friendship from the Center for Action and Contemplation.

Red Bird Explains Himself by Mary Oliver.

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Creating Space

Watch any sport and you’ll find that the player or coach that creates space for himself or her teammates, is what we would call a valuable player and coach.

This trend continues the further we look into our lives, relationships, and businesses.

A nap, creates space to rejuvinate.

A walk around the block, creates space to release some negative energy and maybe just notice something beautiful.

A book creates space for a new idea, a new understanding.

A small investment, of any kind, creates space for tomorrow’s dividend to bloom.

A home can create space to grow as go.

A kind word just may create space for one to feel the warm rays of belief that can melt their loneliness.

Unfortunately, all too often, we choose to crowd these spaces we’ve been entrusted.

We crowd the soul, the heart, the family, the business, the calendar, the life.

Poor leadership crowds the psyche, the mind, the vision, and the places it has been entrusted.

What we need is space.

Be a space maker this week.

Good Word of the Day // Doing Without

“We are happy in direct proportion to the things we can do without.” Henry David Thoreau

Episode 172: Morgan Harper Nichols – How Far You Have Come Good / True / & Beautiful | with Ashton Gustafson

Morgan Harper Nichols is an artist and poet whose work is inspired by real life interactions and stories. Morgan spent the first couple of years of her professional life as a college admission counselor, and then, as a full-time touring singer-songwriter and musician. It was on the road that she cultivated her curiosity and passion for writing, art, and design and slowly began to share her work online. Her next book, How Far You Have Come, is available on April 27, 2021.
  1. Episode 172: Morgan Harper Nichols – How Far You Have Come
  2. Episode 171: True Self Series #5: Mark Nepo
  3. Episode 170: True Self Series #4 with Michael Rudzena
  4. Episode 169: True Self Series #3 Parker J. Palmer
  5. Episode 168: The True Self Series #2 with Dr. Kelly Flanagan

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