A creative team building exercise yields great results

I recently hosted a brief, off-site retreat to reconnect and recalibrate with one of my teams following the re-election of Mayor Randall Woodfin.

Eight of us met in a room at the Birmingham CrossPlex — the facility was totally empty affording my team the feeling of being totally alone, undistracted and safe.

After a few rounds of discussion I asked the team to indulge in a brief exercise in creative thinking and team building. They agreed.

The exercise was simple: write a 5–7–5 haiku about something that makes you happy. …


Strategies, Traditions and Favorite Films at Birmingham’s Sidewalk Film Festival

Post #14 of #20: I am reflecting on twenty years of personal and professional experiences in Birmingham and beyond. Visit www.medium.com/HonestlyEd to read the full #20For20 series.

Dad: “Let’s go to the movies!”
Us: “Yaaaayyyyy!!”

Cinema has always been a major part of my life. Weekends with my parents and sister were centered around going to a movie theatre, watching a VHS tape at home, or when Dad really wanted to splurge we would order a movie on Pay Per View. …


Post #13 of #20: I am reflecting on twenty years of personal and professional experiences in Birmingham and beyond. Visit www.medium.com/HonestlyEd to read my full #20For20 series.

My twenty-year journey in Birmingham has been an awesome exploration of leadership and power. Some of my experiences have been intimate, intense and, at times, the revelations have been shocking.

Indeed, we are a city with a 150-year-old complicated relationship with power, especially at City Hall.

But, power is not what it appears to be. People with titles and organizations such as CEOs, activists, pastors, and other leaders are not moving the masses…


The Sheraton Apartments located in Highland Park neighborhood

Post #12 of #20: I’m reflecting on twenty years of personal and professional experiences in Birmingham and beyond. Visit www.medium.com/HonestlyEd to read the full #20For20 series.

You always remember your first.

First job. First love. First home. For better or worse, these experiences mean something to you. They shaped you and may have even been a part of your identity.

Moving to Birmingham after graduating from Alabama State University was a big deal for me. And, I commuted from Montgomery for the first six months before finally moving to Birmingham in February in 2001.

I still remember the process of…


I just released a new blogpost today.

I offer this National Poetry Month homage to a little known artist named Sleeping at Last.

Do you recall the atmospheric vibe from the big moments in the Twilight movie trilogy? That was him. Or, tear-jerking scenes from Emmy-winning Grey’s Anatomy. That was him. And, innumerable movie and commercial scores. But, that really isn’t his claim to fame.

His claim to fame is that he has no claim to fame.

Unbeknowst to many, Sleeping at Last is one of the most profilic and talented songwriters of the past two decades. His music is…


The Inspiring Music of Ryan O’Neal
In recognition of National Poetry Month

In April 2020, I shared my first post of personal poems in recognition of National Poetry Month. This year, I am expanding beyond my poems to the beautiful and inspiring words that lift us and, hopefully, through these posts, lift us to our higher selves with purpose.

I offer this homage to Sleeping at Last because his music has given me so much life. His music expresses my core outlook on love and life in a way I never could without the complete companionship of his lyrics, music…


Have you ever taken an unforgettable road trip? Road trips are adventures that stick with us for years. Most of my best road trips have been with friends and loved ones. But, I had a singular road trip that I won’t ever forget — and I took it alone.

Check out the story of my epic 47-hour road trip.

And, if you haven’t already read my two-part post about taking “Me Trips”, then check this out from my trip to The Roots Picnic in Philly!


Post #11 of #20: I am reflecting on twenty years of personal and professional experiences in Birmingham and beyond. Visit www.medium.com/HonestlyEd to read the full #20For20 series.

Have you ever taken an unforgettable road trip? Road trips are adventures that stick with us for years. Most of my best road trips have been with friends and loved ones. But, I had a singular road trip that I won’t ever forget — and I took it alone.

In August 2015, I took an epic 47-hour road trip that lasted two weeks and took me through 14 states. …


The Ultimate Chronicle of Birmingham’s Young Professional Evolution

Yung Brother Ed (2005)

I am celebrating 20 years in Birmingham with #20For20 — a series of reflections, insights and homages to my journey. Follow me on Medium, LinkedIn and Twitter to be notified of new posts.

Yung Birmingham: The Ultimate Chronicle of Birmingham’s Young Professional Evolution

Part I: The Genesis
Part II: The Pivot (read below)
Part III:
The Avalanche
Part IV:
The Legacy

My first post in this series set the stage for what would eventually be my generation’s rise to become significant influencers in Birmingham.

A pioneering social collective called M-Set (mature set)…


The Ultimate Chronicle of Birmingham’s Young Professional Evolution

2017 Woodfin Campaign Leadership Week: Field organizers each took one day each to serve as team leader

I am celebrating 20 years in Birmingham with #20For20 — a series of reflections, insights and homages to my journey. Follow me on Medium, LinkedIn and Twitter to be notified of new posts.

Yung Birmingham: The Ultimate Chronicle of Birmingham’s Young Professional Evolution
Part I: The Genesis
Part II:
The Pivot
Part III:
The Avalanche
Part IV: The Legacy (read below)

My last post discussed the massive expansion of Birmingham’s young professional movement, who led it and the culimination of the Alabama Young Professionals Summit.

In hindsight, my work on the Alabama…

iChiefStrategy

Insights and revelry from a life well worn.

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