Welcome to The Leadership Student. Lets get right after it! What motivates you to lead? What part of your psyche enjoys the challenge of getting other people all pointed in the same direction to achieve a goal? Leadership is not an easy undertaking. At some point during your journey you come to realize that you will likely never “know it all.” How could you? Each engagement deals with different people and with different people comes different motivations, different experiences and backgrounds; ultimately, just too many changing variables to ensure an outcome. What you are left with is a toolbox of sorts. In this virtual box are those tools you have gathered on your leadership journey. It is not a stretch to say that the more leadership experiences you encounter, the better chance you will have more tools from which to draw during any given circumstance. It doesn’t mean you will draw on the right skills every time. The challenges of leadership can be daunting. If it were easy, everyone would be a leader. What motivated you to step into the ring? Continue reading → Why Do You Want to Lead?
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I have recently re-ignited my interest in running. For many years running, swimming and other exercises served as reliable therapy for me. I have solved many problems while crossing the three-mile marker or picking up speed in the midst of finishing a 25-lap swim. But enough about that. This morning, while running, I began thinking about the loss of a friend and colleague. In doing so I arrived at a conclusion. I was struck by the resounding belief that we are in absolute control of our lives. Let me say this again, you can’t control other people; you can’t control the reactions others have to you; you can’t control about a million things outside the realm of your immediate surroundings. But, you have absolute (one of my favorite words of the English language) control over YOU. Continue reading → Your View – A Quick Hit Post!
Mistakes can be brutal. Some consistently float just below the surface and provide a constant reminder of wrong moves or decisions. While other mistakes can sting just enough to plant the seed for future growth. The truth of it is, if not placed in their proper context, our mistakes can plant deeper roots than our successes. What we learn becomes the basis of our experience and how we respond to those mistakes develops the content of our character. The trick, in your leadership journey, is to move forward while learning and capturing valuable lessons, sometimes through colossal ascent and others times through stumbling failure. One of the ways you can better navigate your career and life choices is by seeking the guidance of mentors. Continue reading → Why We All Need Mentors – A Quick Hit Post!
What is your brand of leadership? When you are tapped for a new position, what qualities are present in your tool set which make you an attractive option to the boss? Over the course of your leadership journey, you have acquired skills necessary to engage in the processes of leading teams and managing resources in pursuit of a focused objective. Or so you hope. Continue reading → Identify and Embrace Your Brand of Leadership
Developing skills as a leader is a process of growth. One typically begins his or her journey building on a “tool-kit” of what they believe to be absolute beliefs and a system for getting things done. As an eager, wide-eyed teenager, I was exposed to and experienced positional leadership. As a young man of college age, I was exposed to peer leadership (still the most difficult in my estimation). While serving in the USMC, I was exposed to a combination of authoritarian and positional leadership; it was simply part of the culture. You could argue otherwise, but at the end of the day many things get done in the DoD based on the rank on peoples shoulders. It’s a necessity of the environment, but it does not preclude military leaders from evolving into truly inspirational people (hoping to calm down my fellow veterans who may take issue with the earlier statement). Continue reading → Personal Growth and Leadership Development
Here in the U.S., as we get into the depths of 2016, we will begin to evaluate job applicants for the biggest leadership role in the free world. The job requirements represent a laundry list of traits, experiences and abilities. There will almost never be a candidate who personifies all of the characteristics, but the choice becomes a decision between the candidates who get closest to the mark and the ones who are not even in the zone. So, what am I looking for from this individual? Continue reading → Strategic Vision is Part of The Job Description
Accountability is defined as the willingness to accept responsibility. The definition is clear and without ambiguity. It can be further described as the point in leadership where absolute responsibility resides. President Truman is famously quoted as saying, “The buck stops here.” In the naval service it is not uncommon for a ships captain to be relieved of his or her duties if something untoward happens to the vessel while under their command. The Captain can be asleep in their quarters when the ship runs aground (while under the watchful eye of a subordinate) and damages the hull, requiring the ship to be dry-docked for several months. Guess what? The Captain will likely be removed and assigned shore duties as a matter of practice. The theory of accountability has scuttled more than a few careers in the naval service and rightfully so. It continues to serve as the foundation in military leadership and ensures that each man and woman feels it an imperative to do their job to the best of their ability. Continue reading → Accountability – The Missing Link – A Quick Hit Post!