Those of us who cut our teeth in a profession during the last century often lament the loss of focus. A typical reaction when we feel our organization has strayed too far from its original purpose is to talk about getting back to the basics. In today’s ever-changing environment, however, it’s important to ask which basics are still relevant, or whether the game and the players have fundamentally changed. Otherwise, we as leaders can come across as out-of-touch, or even patronizing, when stressing a back to basics approach to a job or mission.… Read the rest
I failed. There, I said it. In the military, that phrase is unacceptable. Failure in an operation often equates to damage or death to the wrong side –ours. That goal of zero-failure permeates beyond operations to every aspect of the military. Accepting zero failure is perfect for an F-15 dogfight to the death; however, in matters not related to life or death, failure is critical to success. As the famous actor Mickey Rooney opined, “You always pass failure on your way to success.” Stated another way, to succeed you must fail.… Read the rest
Study leadership theory wherever you find it. Take pride in all we do…and do it well. Recognize those who do mundane tasks for your team. And yes, sometimes just dance like no one is watching…. And in fact, no one is really watching because they are all texting or tweeting on their smart phones.
As an old timer, gray beard, the study of leadership is more an avocation than a vocation.… Read the rest
This article was co-authored with Col Stricklin by Tanveer Naseer
The house is perfect. Yard meticulously manicured, walls freshly painted, window treatments perfectly hung…it is as you dreamed…just as you move out. For those who move often, it is a commonly understood idiom the house is always the way we want it just before we move out.
As a leader, the same goes for developing a team. You develop those who follow to be intrinsically motivated toward the success of your mission and you meticulously handpick the different levels of leaders below you to execute your vision.
When it is finally running like a well-oiled machine, corporate promotes you to the next level of challenge.… Read the rest
“Passion is one of the most powerful engines of success. When you do a thing, do it with all your might. Put your whole soul into it. Stamp it with your own personality. Be active, be energetic and faithful, and you will accomplish your object. Nothing great was ever achieved without passion.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Passion is the single most important asset we have as individuals, SMB’s and corporate leaders. It differentiates us consistently over time, and needs to be nurtured, evolved, & invigorated by the people entrusted to keep it true and alive. Two years ago I was given the distinguished honor of giving the keynote address in a conference full of Middle and High School Principals.… Read the rest
Are you one of the Too Many
or one of the Too Few?
What are you doing to
become a more Dynamic Leader
who learns good lessons from bad leaders?
Too many leaders are concerned with where they are going,
Too few are deliberate about where they are taking their followers.
Too many leaders worry about what their boss thinks,
Too few are aware of what their followers think.
Too many leaders fixate on their individual futures,
Too few center on the future of their followers.
Too many leaders zero in on their professional tomorrow,
Too few target their organizational today.… Read the rest
Colonel Chris P. Levy shares that a good leader is like the fireman on a steam locomotive. If the team needs to work harder due to an impending challenge, the leader can pour on the coal to increase output. Once the challenge is overcome, the leader can reduce the fire to give the team a much-needed break. The key is finding that balance between the two extremes. Determining the appropriate balance to obtain the maximum performance from your team while keeping them motivated, energized and ready for the next challenge is the key to excellent leadership.… Read the rest
Balanced leadership requires continuous, delicate adjustments to maintain homeostasis in your organization. Balance is stressed in every aspect of our lives — from learning to ride a bike to eating a balanced diet. It should be no different in leading an organization. We’ve all worked for a person who had no life outside of his job. At the office by 6 am, never home before 10 pm. Working those hours is a personal choice, but a leader must be cognizant that his choices affect the lives of everyone in the organization.… Read the rest
I would like to follow up on John Michel’s outstanding blog from last month on “Heroes in Our Midst,” but take a different angle in doing so. Some of the key items he mentioned in the blog were: Leroy Peltry’s exploits in earning the Medal of Honor, serving as role models, and to leave your mark on scores of people. I would like to take the vantage point where we don’t realize how many of us are heroes and do not know it.… Read the rest
One day, a farmer who loved nature was walking in the woods near his farm and came across an injured baby eagle that had fallen far from her nest. Knowing it would very likely die unless something was done to help her, he gathered her carefully in his hands and took her home.
The farmer’s attentive nurturing and care quickly restored the baby eagle to health. Soon it began spending time in the barnyard with some of the farmer’s other animals, particularly the chickens and turkeys. These feathered friends ate together every day, and the eagle quickly grew to full size—complete with a fifteen-foot wingspan.… Read the rest
The recent political wrangling’s over our countries numerous fiscal challenges certainly seems to bear this out. Instead of rolling up their sleeves to fight the right fight, it seems scores of those we elect to represent our best interests prefer to protect their own ideologies or promote their own agendas. Perhaps this sad truth is why so many of us find ourselves hungry for a different kind of leadership. Specifically, leadership willing to risk doing the right thing, no matter the potential cost to self, in order to promote positive change in their surroundings.… Read the rest