Portland’s Alchemy Code Lab: Bringing Diversity and Opportunity Through Coding

Last week I sat down with founder, CEO, and Chief Alchemist of Alchemy Code Lab, Marty Nelson. Alchemy is a Portland-based technology company that offers a Professional Software Engineering Program that prepares people to launch careers in coding. Among its alumni are people who used to be baristas, folks who had degrees in history or other academic areas, as well as those who were hoping to shift careers and find intellectually challenging work.

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Kirk Lohmolder
Seeking a new normal in society: My interview with Milan Homola

My friend Milan Homola talks about his vision for a new normal in society, where communities of faith stop fighting for “brand recognition” and instead come together to care for their neighbors. The non-profit he co-founded more than 10 years ago, Compassion Connect, has initiatives that bring churches together in order to fight human trafficking and offer medical/dental service. 

Please read if you’ve been looking for an impactful way to give back to the people who live around you.

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Part 2: Addressing inner identity in leadership and at home

Last week I wrote about a coaching day that I had with Daniel Harkavy, the CEO of Building Champions. If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, you can find the link to that piece here. It illustrates what I think has set Daniel apart during his executive coaching career: his innate ability to see potential in others and empower them to experience inner transformation both as leaders and as human beings.

Today I want to share part of a conversation between Daniel and I, which came about a few weeks after our coaching day at the beach cabin.

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Part 1: Unpacking at the beach

…The next morning you wake up, and after pulling up a chair along with a cup of coffee, your friend hands you a stack of envelopes.

“These are letters,” he says. “They’re letters from your siblings, your wife, your best friend, all talking about how they see you, what they value about you. Why don’t you grab a blanket and read them?”

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Highlighting the unsung heroes in leadership

Launching the first week of September, Have You Met is a blog I’ve started to shed light on leaders who are doing extraordinary things but without much (or any) spotlight.

Far too often the media focuses on leaders who are making the obvious headlines: a billion-dollar valuation! A new private fleet of jets! We focus on these uber successful CEOs and leaders, only to find out months later that who they are as people is actually quite horrifying.

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Exploring accountability: is it promoted in your org?

Have you ever asked someone in sales a direct question about their quarterly goals, and instead of answering it and moving on with your day, you get entangled in an elaborate story about how their grandmother’s parakeet won a bird-singing contest three weeks ago?

This is just one of the tell-tale signs that an organization likely doesn’t promote healthy levels of accountability. This blog post is all about accountability, which I wrote with the help of a few friends on LinkedIn.

Read more to see how we compared and contrasted two different types of orgs:

  • Those that have low accountability

  • Those that proactively promote accountability from the top down

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Focus is ______

I wrote this post with CEOs in mind, but I think much of what I shared applies to anyone who wants to make a difference in their life.

Focus isn’t just about business—it’s about your personal life, and recognizing that neglecting your family and friends for the sake of your business will only ever result in out-sized problems.

It ends with a fill-in-the-blank. So tell me …

Focus is ________ .

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Dear CEO: 3 signs you’ve lost that lovin’ feelin’ 

Without having passion for the work we do, it’s easy to become sluggish, uninspired and desperate for a change.

But how do we know if we’re in the wrong role, or if our company just needs a little redirection? If you’re a CEO looking to make a change, I invite you to take a look at this blog post. I’ve included some tell-tale signs that you’ve "lost that lovin’ feelin’" as well as some questions to ask in order to help get you back on track.

For all of you who aren’t CEOs, the tell-tale signs aren’t typically that much different (though your solutions will probably will). How did you know you’d lost the spark for your current role? What did you do to get back on the right track?

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Two mission-critical tasks for any young startup

There’s an African proverb that says if you want to travel fast, travel alone; if you want to travel long distances, travel in packs. The same goes for startups—start with the right people, the right group of deeply invested leaders, otherwise you’re looking at an uphill battle. One main reason? Investors typically shy away from funding single-founder businesses. But a key reason is that the success of startups relies heavily on the energy within its leadership team. At some point (many points, really) you or your co-founder are going to hit a wall, and when that happens you’re going to need someone who’s as deeply invested in the company as you.

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The best advice I ever received from a leader

A few months ago I posted about being back from my sabbatical and was overwhelmed by the support I received from this community. This is my first blog on my new site - nordhorn.co. I will be sharing my experiences and offer insights to fellow leaders. It is important to me that what I post will provide you value and actionable tactics and techniques to help you along your journey of leadership and improvement. 

This first post is about the advice I received from Tom Monahan on the most critical thing a CEO does for their organization. I'm excited to share this journey with you. I would love to hear any of the best advice you've ever received as well. 

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