Bryan Lindenberger

Résumé, portfolio, published articles and more at

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Are you more risk averse as an associate than as a leader?

There are people who drive their own car as though it’s made from million dollar eggshells. Built "Ford Tough" but gotta protect their rims: they cross the tracks like it's a minefield. But put them in a rental…the road terror comes out to see if they can clear the tracks at 120 mph.
I’m not one of those people. And if you are, there’s no reason to read further – you’re set.
The rest of us will take personal risks with the things we own. But we shy away from taking risks with the things others own.
That can be car, a website, or an advertising campaign. On our own, we’ll try anything because we own it and are willing to test it. But when a chance needs taken on another’s behalf, we become overly-cautious, afraid of breaking someone else’s stuff.
In my case, it seems like yesterday where I led a sizeable staff, had dozens of students, volunteers, and others depending on me. I took chances, sometimes big ones. When something didn’t work, I knew it fell on me to fix…and fast! Lots of midnight oil burned there, and our outcomes were often amazing.
With career change, I’ve been in a non-leadership role for a while now. It’s a pattern for three years counting, and there is no one to blame but myself. Familiar? It goes like this:
Here is something that needs done, can you do it?
I don’t know…here are the obstacles, so I might not—
An associate pipes up: Let me try!
The associate gets the gig.
Nine times out of ten, they screw it up for a while. You might even be the one who fixes it, but guess what? Everything works out and the sun still rises the next day. The person who took the risk on someone else’s behalf got it done. You’re the person who didn’t try.
Remember, it’s the role of the director to be risk-averse, not yours. So get over yourself. If you are considered to take a challenge, it’s because that leader trusts you enough to take the heat for themselves when things don’t go smoothly at first.
Better yet, you are working for someone who is not in the least risk averse and admires a can do spirit. Either way, you will be remembered for the chances you took, the challenges you met head on and not what you broke along the way.
We’ve all seen the ADVANCED tab in software.
We’ve all felt that moment of hesitation before the click, before diving in. But dive in you must. If you couldn’t be trusted with it, it wouldn’t be there. With the right attitude, you might find yourself in a position to take your own chances again, and not someone else’s. You’ll be much more comfortable there.

From Bryan Lindenberger at LinkedIn

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Seeking the Land of Enchantment

Sundays are a good day for weekly rumination and prayer, even when not particularly religious.
So I was 24 and up at Fenton Lake, NM in February. My girlfriend - very smart and quite ambitious - lived in El Paso, TX. This was my day off from that sort of long distance relationship, and I went hiking alone.
Recorded some bird calls, listened to snow fall from the pines, and quickly filled my boots with slush trying to walk across the frozen lake. My feet were cold, I laughed that I might lose a toe.
I got back to my little sports car just as snow began to fall at dusk. Rock back and forth as I might, that car wasn't going to move anywhere - digging in deeper.
Purely, inarguably, stuck.
With the smell of burning oil and rubber around me, I decided to stay the night. And the night got cold. Fast. Cold and fast as a slap across the face.
Remember thinking that there were worse places to freeze. I'd heard - sweaty as I was from shoveling - that hypothermia wasn't the worst way to go. In fact, the last thing you'd feel was sort of warmth. I liked that. I'd either see morning or experience that warmth. Foolish or not, that seemed the choice.
While I still had some battery left, I put a song on the casette tape deck. I slept for a bit, and the night fell black as pitch outside.
I woke, and simply pulled out of the space.
It must have been a Sunday.
"Someone or something watched out for me today," I thought.
Too giddy, I got lost along the drive home and didn't care. A 90 minute drive turned into hours taking weird turns around Los Alamos. There, the hum in the air puts Taos to shame.
Made it to Jemez. Chatted with an Indian at a convenience store around midnight while devouring the Lays chips he sold me. So hungry, I couldn't shovel them into my face fast enough.
Drove home to Albuquerque, got there after two, and didn't call that gal I knew in El Paso even though I'd promised, didn't listen to the messages she'd left for me. The bed was too warm, and I floated into it surprised at how hard it was to sleep.
Next thing I knew, it was late morning.
So why could I suddenly pull away from a place where I was stuck? Why had I settled into just staying in the comfort of a bad situation when exit was so simple? What was the purpose? There probably was none.
Probably just easily quantifiable and basic bullshit at work here, slush freezing to ice on the tires to take hold for that one lucky moment. Why blame God on a Sunday for physics?
But if there ever was a purpose to not freezing there, to not finding that warmth of never having to wake again, suffering fools and asking permission to turn sideways at a mundane job for which you are not suited just to keep public stock options safe most likely isn't it.
Why safe?
Who does it benefit?
What is a better way to spend your night?
Here is an image of Fenton Lake in summer.

Introverts: Never Make the Coffee

Never make the coffee. I’m gearing this short article toward the more introverted among us. Too often, we attempt to fit in by taking on tasks and “small favors” for which we were not hired or even suited. Such behavior is never good for your career.
Working at the Entrepreneurial Institute at New Mexico State University, our CEO and former state governor would, in fact, come in and make the coffee. But academia tends to have flatter hierarchies – at least among staff. They are less risk-averse and have more open communication structures than most institutions. Students and administrative assistants regularly attended high-level meetings and not to take notes. Their perspectives and experiences were valued equally as part of the conversation.
Associates know and remember you by your most immediate utility.
Most businesses, outside of more progressive industries such as high tech, are understandably more risk averse. Roles and the inherent value of those roles are starkly defined. Introverts will, in a misguided attempt to seem outgoing or even to ingratiate themselves, too often volunteer for mundane duties. If you are a young engineer or graphic designer who volunteers to take notes at a particular meeting, be prepared to find your role become that of Official Keeper of the Minutes.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Longleaf Flatwoods Reserve

Hiking Longleaf Flatwoods Reserve in Alchua County - Hawthorne, Florida.

With 3000 acres of pine forest to explore near Gainesville, this is one of those cases where maps point you to the forest without you knowing where to park, or even from which street. I added a parking lot to Google Maps to help you on your way! It is an off-street, earthen area that is fenced in and you'll have no problem with any type of vehicle.

More including map to get there, trail map, and info at: >> Live Florida Beauty >> Longleaf Flatwoods Reserve

Some pics! :-)

Longleaf Flatwoods Reserve - Alachua County

Morning Fog Hiking Longleaf Flatwoods Reserve

Sunlight Breaks through along the Hike

Hiking Adventure Begins at Longleaf Flatwoods Reserve

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Sweetwater Wetlands Park

Sweetwater Wetlands Park

Alachua County
Gainesville, Florida
Entry Fee: $5 per vehicle

You won't identify this many birds just anywhere!


Sweetwater Wetlands Park doesn't offer great hiking. What it does offer is a three and a half of wheelchair accessible strolling with some of the best wetlands birding opportunities you will find in central Florida. Those couple of miles can take you hours if you stop to absorb the sites and take each of the beautiful, absorbing boardwalks.

Great Blue Heron

Black Bellied Whistling Ducks


More at
Live Florida Beauty - Sweetwater Wetlands Park

Monday, January 2, 2017

Welaka State Forest

Longleaf pines and bird calls along Indian Pond Road, Welaka State Forest, from Johns Landing Trailhead.

For more hiking in north central Florida with pictures, maps, and information, visit Live Florida Beauty at

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Hiking Gores Landing WMA

Gores Landing Unit Wildlife Management Area

Marion County
Fort McCoy, Florida
Entry Fee: None

You might confuse Gores Landing Unit WMA with the park just a quarter mile up the road from it, Gores Landing. Gores Landing, the park, offers fishing, picnic area, and amenities for only $5 per car with an additional $5 for overnight camping.


The Wildlife Management Area discussed here is purely for fishing, hunting, and of course hiking. Parking and entry are free, and the map below will get you there.


Gores Landing Unit WMA is part of the Cross Florida Greenway (Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway if you really want to get fancy, but that is a mouthful!) and you can find various parts of that here. I strongly recommend using that site to find parts of the greenway, as Google Maps can lead you all over and to useless locations. This portion, the Gores Landing Unit, seems a portion only I have stumbled across to map and is not even listed on the Greenway site.


But it's wonderful. These trails through Ocala National Forest consists partially of old roads such as Coyner Road seen on the sign below, but they are now closed to motor traffic. I'm not sure the trails/old roads are maintained, but they are clearer and easier to follow than most you can find and quite wide.


Starting at the main trail head, veer right at the first break you reach in a small clearing, and it will lead you to a very nice spot along the Ocklawaha River. I saw plenty of fish in summer and spring, and the view is beautiful with bird sightings year around. There and back will take you just under 3 miles, and there are other trails to follow.

More images, video, and Google Map at >> Live Florida Beauty >> Gores Landing WMA