New Directions Leader As Beginner: Part Twelve 

 “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”

Divorce – it’s a word that makes me cringe every time I hear it. Mine was thirty-two years ago (not of my choosing) and was one of the most painful periods of my life. Two people brought together in love take a sacred vow to love, honor, and cherish one another for eternity. No one ever says, “Till I get tired of you” or “Until you become too much work” or “Unless I find someone better.” If that were the case, I dare to say few couples would choose to tie the knot. Divorce impacts the entire family: parents, grandparents,

Who was it that said “The Main Thing is to Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing?” Boy, were they right. But what is the Main Thing? The Main Thing is that thing that will allow you to live the most meaningful, purposeful life of contribution possible. So, how do you actualize your Main Thing? The answer: habitually, and at a high level, play to your strengths; and engage in the one to three activities or responsibilities that most contribute to the actualization of your Main Thing. This, as as opposed to engaging in those activities you find most pleasant

Imagine yourself just out of training and eager to apply what you learned. You enter your new organization and observe the atmosphere, the culture, trying to determine how you will fit in; what are the corporate values and which ones appear to be lived. Great leaders know that their position is a privilege and an opportunity to coach and develop others. They recognize that by serving and setting the example, they will attract followers and gain their support along the way. Now, imagine a boss who exhibits the traits of a servant leader, focused on health, welfare, and development of every individual

Do Your Barriers to Change Have an Expiration Date?

Last week I read a news article about expiration dates on food and disposing of food when it passes the expiration date. What if we could assign “expiration dates” to barriers to change and intentionally remove them from an organization by that date? What would stop happening? What would people start doing differently? What choices would management have to make to intentionally remove these barriers?

Rather than offer answers to these questions here, I want to focus on this concept because it empowers management

I know all of us have heard, “Be careful who you hang around,” since we were kids. How true! We truly are known by the company we keep. You may not think that’s fair, but who ever said life was fair! Also many may not care what others think, that’s ok too. My point with all this is that life is about growth and contribution. By choosing to associate with those who add value to you and who benefit from you, you will live a very powerful life. Also another benefit from your associations is the ability to build your

A large part of leadership is rooted in building relationships.  A leader can have great knowledge and vision but if he or she has not taken the time and energy to build strong, healthy relationships with those in the organization, not much true-hearted following will take place.  There is no substitute for being personally involved with those you lead.  Personal interaction allows a leader to strengthen his or her role and increase the value of leadership.  The following three suggestions will go far in helping you strengthen your role as a leader. Learn from your people.  Though you are the

In 1970, Robert Greenleaf wrote an essay, “The Servant as Leader” to give a name to this concept that so many others, like Gandhi and Mother Teresa lived so effectively.  One important concept he addressed was regarding influence. In many industries, there are tradesmen, technical experts, and those who serve in formal leadership positions; Army Aviation was no different.  We had aircraft mechanics (enlisted members), pilots (warrant officers), and commissioned officers who served in formal leadership positions, as well as serving as pilots. Unlike many industries that reward the best tradesmen or technical experts and promote them to management, in

Do you enjoy a good fight? I don’t but I know some people who do. Regardless of who we are interacting with, differences of opinion, issues , and conflict will arise periodically. Some approach arguments with zest, others with great trepidation, and some avoid them at all costs. There are times when it is wise to circumvent the issue; other times they must be addressed head on. But is it possible to prevent a discussion from escalating into a full-blown fight? And how do you know when to proceed and when to simply walk away? Let’s begin by identifying the

I abhor rumors and gossip. They’re petty, destructive, and hateful. Yet, truth-be-told, I have engaged in gossip  from time-to-time. I’m not proud of it, just honest. I could try to justify it by saying that I’ve only done so out of concern for others. Sometimes the sharing of information about another person can genuinely be an act of concern. One may do so to gain insight into their behaviors in order to offer them assistance with a personal issue or to alert others who may need to know so they may intervene. In all honesty, I’ve never spoken unkindly about