A few years ago I was giving a leadership seminar to a group of business professionals, and during the session I told a few stories about my career that normally causes people to laugh. A funny mistake I made or an action where poking fun at myself shows that leaders are not infallible.
At the end of the session a very senior member of the executive staff came up to me. At first I thought she was going to read me the riot act for a few choice words I used during the event. Instead, she introduced herself, told me what she did and said to me that she has spent countless of thousands of dollars on leadership seminars and motivational speakers throughout her life and business career. She rattled off a whose-who laundry list of keynote speakers, including former United States Presidents, CEO’s, as well as the most popular motivational speakers.
She then pointed at my chest and said, “Do you know what you have over those people?” I said politely, “no Ma’am” She replied, “You’re real; those other speakers tell us what we want to hear. You have a great message, don’t ever change!” I said, “thank you,” she shook my hand and walked off, and after getting a few feet away she turned around and said “Oh, and write a book, you have a lot to offer!”
So here I am, years later, but never forgetting the message she gave me. It took me a while to have the personal courage to write down my thoughts on leadership.
All leaders feel like they have something to offer, but was there actually something in MY story that could trigger something for another leader?
After years of evaluating, and some friendly reminders from those I trust, I finally put my thoughts out there. And while not at the "book" phase quite yet, this blog is a place to start.
I’m hoping these pieces are read by leaders at all levels. This blog is targeted for the “leader on the ground.” The the man or woman managing two people, or 200; someone who is out there every day getting it done and trying to do it right.
There are plenty of books, "how-to's", blogs, etc. about jumping to the top, this place is not one of them. Everything I write about comes back to three foundational concepts:
Thanking yourself last
This isn't a place for all the "right" answers, as seldom will you have all the right answers. It’s about how to get to the answers.
Conduct detailed plans of your missions, projects, tasks, or whatever word you have for it. Lead your people through rehearsals of the project; supervise, refine, and inspect. Execution is the key to success, and if you have the bulk of the plan completed get out there and get it done, on time!
“The 80% plan executed on time is better than the 100% plan executed late!” -CDR (Ret) Chris “Spanky” Frasse, USN, DEVGRU (Frasse, 2013)