Leadership News and Updates

  1. Lead Stories Podcast: I was recently interviewed by Jo Saxton for the podcast Lead Stories. We focused our conversation on the theme of vision. I also had the opportunity to share tales from my leadership and life journey. You can listen to the interview and catch up on all podcasts here.

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Announcing My Next Book Deal

Imagine two neighbors, one white and one black sitting down for a cup of coffee. The white neighbor has history in the small town—her family runs the local restaurant, her uncle is the community pastor, her mom is a career teacher at the only primary school, and her great uncle is the mayor. The story of the white neighbor is well known by everyone and it is considered normal. The black neighbor is new to town, so her story is virtually unknown. It is either distorted, rarely heard, or told in small snippets.

This is what it sometimes feels like to be black in America. We are treated as outsiders in a town where those in the majority group know and trust each other because of a known and shared history; but because of limited personal interactions, lack of familiarity, or cultural awareness, it is easy for Americans who identify as white to perpetuate lies and myths about their black and brown neighbors.

Some may ask: Why are we so divided across racial/ethnic and socioeconomic lines in America? I believe people desperately want an accessible way to answer this question, to confront their concerns, and to better understand themselves and their neighbors. People of good will may long to shed their fears of the unknown, reject false assumptions, and enter into relationships with their neighbor, but for this to happen, we must trade in the shallow break room chatter for more informed dinner conversations and long talks on the front porch.

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Natasha’s Study: A 2015 Reading Challenge

I reason I have a weekly “Natasha’s Study” column on this blog is because I lead and I write. It is believed that those who lead and write well, also read often. Over the past 3 1/2 years of attending seminary, I have read many books about theology and leadership. While I love both of those topics, I also have other interests which has lead me to accumulate quite a large stack of unread books. When I graduated in May 2014, I got into this bad habit of starting new books on a whim: “You know I really want to read that,” or “I have been waiting to read that book for a while.” Since I have accumulated so many great books, I was frequently starting and not finishing many of them.

As the year drew to a close, I committed to finishing the books I had already started and only intentionally beginning new ones. My intentional monthly reading plan for 2015 falls into five categories:

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