Tag Archive - Courage

The First Step To Building My Character

What lies do you tell?

I am not going to candy coat this blog with euphemisms. Let’s just be honest with ourselves and call a spade a spade. A liar tells lies. A coward is too scared to do what is right. An egomaniac puts himself first.

When we use a euphemism to describe our behaviors, it is usually a tool to make us feel better about ourselves. I am not going to do that here. I will leave that to the politicians who say they “misremembered”.

My character is a work in progress. We all have work to do. But, what should I be working on and where should I start? Continue Reading…

The Difference Between Criticism & Input

Timing

“That’s enough Lieutenant Anderson!”

I sat down and stayed quiet for the rest of my battalion commander’s weekly meeting.  I saw the smirk on our operations officer’s face.  As I walked out of the room later, a friendly captain patted me on the back, shook his head and told me not to give up.

Continue Reading…

West Point – Plebe Boxing and Leadership

But First--Calculus

Every male freshman (plebe) entering West Point has a mandatory class that few other colleges offer much less require.  Boxing.

Each morning that boxing was on my schedule I woke up thinking about it.  I would sit in calculus, chemistry or computer programing class thinking about boxing.  It didn’t matter that I had tests or other graded exercises in those classes.  Boxing dominated my thoughts.

Continue Reading…

The Fear That Limits Your Ability to Lead

Man Watching through window blinds

Courage or Cowardice? It is the leader’s choice. There is no middle ground. Leaders are constantly confronted with choices that will expose us as a coward or a courageous Leader of Character.

  • What do we do when we are faced with uncertainty?
  • What do we do when we are faced with a situation that makes us uncomfortable?
  • What do we do when we are faced with saying what someone wants to hear versus something they need to hear?

Our choices when we face our fears define who we are as a leader. Continue Reading…

Leadership vs. Brown-Nosing

What are my motives?

When I was promoted, I arrived at my first managers meeting having only met one of my peers.  The group had a history together. I was an outsider.  Over time, they all became my good friends.  But, we had a rocky beginning.

After a number of months, I realized that a few people believed I was a “brown-noser”.  What I considered sharing others considered showboating.  When I thought I was leading, some thought I was grand standing.

I spent some time soul searching over this issue.  Were they right?  Should I keep quiet in meetings because of the effect it had on the other managers?  No.  Continue Reading…

Three Ways a Leader Shuts Down Communication

No Feedback is Bad Feedback

Some people are afraid to speak up and challenge the boss.  Some people don’t want to put forth the effort.  And some just don’t care anymore.

As a result, the leader never hears the truth about himself and his ideas.  The people either become silent bystanders or self-serving sycophants.

When a leader asks for feedback and does not get it, who’s fault is it? Continue Reading…

The First Step to Getting Better at Conflict

Step 1:  Do Conflict

“I just don’t do conflict very well. I never have. I would rather just avoid it all together.”  I have heard this or similar statements hundreds of times. My answer to them is usually the same.

“You are not good at conflict because you don’t do conflict!”

No one becomes good at any activity without engaging in that activity. Conflict is no different. Continue Reading…

Becoming a Leader of Character

Available for Pre-Order

“You have to DO what you want to BE.  If you want to BE a great leader, a Leader of Character, you have to DO what great leaders do. Just like good basketball players practice in order to become great basketball players, good leaders must practice in order to be great leaders.”

– Coach Mike Krzyzewski
Men’s Basketball Duke University
All Time Winningest Coach in NCAA History

Adapted from the Foreword for:

Becoming a Leader of Character
Six Habits that Make or Break a Leader at Work and at Home Continue Reading…

Conflict with Class – Scalia and Ginsburg

Scalia and Ginsburg

In this political cycle in the United States, Donald Trump has raised (or should I say lowered) the bar when it comes to conflict.  His sophomoric responses to reasonable debate are mirrored by a lot of people on both the right and the left on Facebook.

Classless conflict is not a new phenomena.  Our society has been on a steady slide towards this mentality over conflict for many decades.  Can we stop the politicians from acting like children?  No.  But we can stop our children and ourselves from acting like politicians.

Continue Reading…

The Risk-Averse Leader- Oxymoronic Leadership Yarn #6

The Risk-Averse Leader is an OxyMORONic Leader

ComfortZone Inc. was Ronnie’s new consulting firm.  His tagline:  “Avoid risk, stay put, and win with the status quo”, was not drawing in the clients he had imagined it would.

Out of desperation, Ronnie decided to call Nathan, a childhood friend.  Nathan was all over Linkedin.  His consulting firm, Can Do LLC seemed to be flourishing.  Nathan picked up the phone after one ring.  “Can Do!  How can I help you?” Continue Reading…

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