In the Northern Hemisphere, tomorrow (July 6) marks the beginning of the “dog days of summer,” lasting until early September. Some historical references to this period of hot and sultry weather marked it as an evil time. According to a description written in 1813 by J. Brady in Clavis Calendarium, this is “when the seas boiled, wine turned sour, Quinto raged in anger, dogs grew mad, and all creatures became languid, causing to man burning fevers, hysterics, and phrensies.”

Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry

A bit extreme, wouldn’t you say?! This was written well before air conditioning — as was the original concept of the dog days of summer going back to Greek and Roman times. Brady must have written this heated passage while broiling in the middle of a heat wave!

I had to look up “phrensies.” It means “violent and irrational excitement; delirium.” Perhaps that’s your state of mind if you haven’t been reading all of my June blog posts and you’re anticipating July’s issue of The Leader Letter, which will be published tomorrow consolidating all of them! Well… maybe not.

We now have the luxury of air conditioning, beaches, pools, and cottages to enjoy the hazy, lazy days of summer. Hopefully, you’re taking some time off to recharge and find material here for your R & R (reflection and renewal.)

Pakistan and Afghanistan have hot spots of violent and irrational excitement mixed with some delirium. The first story in July’s issue is my post on Aga Khan University highlighting their inspiring examples of providing leadership and learning in turbulent times.

This issue features the latest work of Martin Seligman on helping ourselves and others to flourish. This is a great time of year to assess our personal growth against his PERMA framework. We’ll also review the key leadership issues of building commitment, deepening spirit and meaning, building service/quality from the outside in, and defining, measuring, living, and teaching leadership. And I hope you have learned — or will learn — from the error of my ways –and folk singer Pete Seeger.

During the dog days of summer, may you find or rediscover something in tomorrow’s issue to make you say “cool!”