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Leadership Lessons

It's hard to say when my leadership journey really began, as far as I can remember it's always been a part of me. Something I have constantly sought to learn and get better at, and something that I will probably never do as well as I would like, but I'll never stop trying. Much of what I have learned came from my military service--30 years as an officer in the US Air Force. That journey began in 1978 when I entered the US Air Force Academy, graduating in 1982 with a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant, and ending in 2012 when I retired as a full colonel (O-6). 

I learned a lot in the military. But there's a lot I didn't learn...and needed to by the time I was leading District 29.  I also earned from working in the private sector, in government service, and in church ministries, and especially in Toastmasters. And a lot of continuing learning and study--trying to learn how the great leaders - lead.

I've taken some of that experience to create a list of lessons learned, below, but I've also  developed a workshop that helps aspiring leaders understand the importance of leadership theory and a personal leadership philosophy. It also covers how leadership theory, philosophy, style and characteristics are related and some pointers on analyzing leadership development resources so how well the serve your personal leadership development journey.


You can find them here: 

The list below isn't all inclusive, but it captures a lot of what I have learned from a lot of people in a lot of different situations through the years:

  • Build the team before you need it. Teams are built on personal relationships—take the time to build them--connect!

  • It is not about me, it is about the team. Take the responsibility for the team's failures but give them the credit for the successes.

  • Listen to your team members and seek multiple perspectives—every story has more than one side, get all of them before making a decision. But in a crisis if the decision must be made right now—make it, then own it.

  • Build people up, believe in them, be there for them.

  • It’s not a sign of weakness to admit it when you are wrong or change your mind when new facts and changes in the situation warrant it.

  • You never lose anything by apologizing—even if it is not your fault.

  • Be humble—genuinely humble (false humility is the worst kind of pride).

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

  • Allow people to fail, then help them learn from it.

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