Over the last two months, I was privileged to create and deliver a seminar called “Survive – and THRIVE! – Through Change” to my organization’s front line leaders. It was well-received and confirmed to me that there’s something for me to build on as I start expanding from writing to speaking. Delivering my program – I was the actualized Todd.
In the program, I used lessons learned during my time as a Military Working Dog Handler in the Air Force to explore some factors that drive effectiveness in moving through change for people, teams, and organizations. I’m building on this concept to create a larger program focusing on the foundations of effective leadership. I’ve named it “Leadership From The End Of The Leash”. Today I want to share one concept from that program:
I started this blog a few years ago to explore the creativity that I’d been afraid to exercise. I’m happy with the results. I didn’t realize how important it was to my psyche to flex these creative muscles. Writing makes me happy in a profound way. Unfortunately, I’ve also realized that NOT writing for a period of time makes me very unhappy. (The Queen has got it figured out. I know that I’m not fun to be around when she asks me if I need to leave the house for an hour and go write.)
Leaders are human. (Obvious, I know. Stick with me. We’ll get through this!) As such, they make mistakes. (Wait, where are you going? OK, let’s move this along…)
Let’s assume that leaders can make small-m-mistakes or big-M-Mistakes. If you’re new in a leadership role or aspiring to one, you’ll want to keep your inevitable missteps to the shallow end of the pool. Not, as one company has recently done, take a screaming Triple Lindy off the highest platform into the deep end. Operating within a clearly defined ethical system may help you stay on the right side of the floating pool line.
Which side of the line are you on?
Six months after I left active duty with the US Air Force, I was thrilled to be hired by Wal-Mart into a leadership role in their Logistics division. I had operated as a leader in smaller groups in the USAF and could not wait to apply my military experience into a civilian career. Everything looked good – except for that pesky Open Door policy that Wal-Mart was committed to…
I’ve just returned to work after a vacation with family and dear friends from my US Air Force days. One of those friends, James (quoted here) has recently retired from active duty. In one of our customary late night socializing sessions, C-Dog asked James, as James was discussing his post-military career plans, what he was good at. James’ response?
Ah ha! A favorite theme! Maybe time for a quick observation on another essential element of leadership: appreciation. Continue reading