Tag Archive - Leaders of Character

Three Rules To Leading Peers

What do you attract?

“What can I do?  If I step up and try to lead my peers, I don’t think they will follow.  I’m not as direct as you are Dave. ”

The quote above is representative of a lot of conversations I have inside of companies who ask for my help.  There are many people who know they should be a leader among their peers.  They just aren’t sure how to accomplish it. Continue Reading…

West Point’s Leadership Legacy – 25 Years Later

A Legacy of Leadership

I just returned from my 25 year West Point reunion.  It was great to be with friends who went through the same trials and tribulations I did in order to graduate from America’s premier leadership development school.

A few quick impressions:

  • Those guys looked old!
  • We aren’t losing our hair.  We are gaining forehead.
  • West Point did an incredible job developing leaders in the Class of 1988!

The purpose of West Point is to produce leaders of character who are prepared to provide selfless service to our Army and the nation.

Continue Reading…

West Point: How Leaders Seize Responsibility

Where Excuses Go To Die

“No excuse, sir.”  Of the four approved responses a West Point plebe may use, this one was hardest for me to say.  But, everything we did at West Point had a purpose.

The purpose of teaching 18 year olds not to make excuses actually fulfills West Point’s purpose:  To provide our nation with leaders of character.

A leader of character takes responsibility no matter the circumstances.  A leader of character does not make excuses. 

As a result of recent discussions with clients, I am reposting this from October 2012.

Continue Reading…

Painful Tests Of A Leader’s Character

This Is Going To Hurt

Painful Tests = “Someone is going to get hurt.”

In a nutshell:  Inflicting pain on myself or someone else is a test of character and courage.

There are some decisions I make in leadership, I know are going to hurt.   They may hurt me, or they may hurt others.  In these situations, it may not be my integrity being tested. It is most likely my courage.

I am taking 30 days off to work on other projects.  This was a popular post from 2012. Continue Reading…

Private Tests Of A Leader’s Character

Private Tests Of Character

Private Tests = “No one is going to get hurt.”

In a nutshell:  “Your character is who you are when no one is watching.”

We can all justify are choices by saying others won’t get hurt.  But we all know there can be collateral damage to others when a leader makes a poor, private choice.  However, I want to focus on the character implications of these private battles we face.

The definition of character I use is:  Character is our habitual way of operating.  In other words, HOW I AM IS WHO I AM.

This blog was originally posted in August 2012.

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#Prouddad, #Service, #Simplicity

The Author:  Tall One In Red

This is a copy of the last blog written by a student from the Brook Hill School who went to Uganda over spring break.  It also happens to be my 16 year old son, Jake.

I may be biased, but this is better than anything I have ever written.

See what K.I.S.S.  means to a 16 year old.


Simplicity In Rwemikoma

PCM Ministries

Today’s student perspective comes from Jake:

Time slows down in Africa. Emmy D comes to pick us up at least 45 minutes later than the agreed upon time every day, if we are lucky. Some of the Type A’s around here are annoyed at least somewhat by this, however, when you take a step back, it is quite refreshing. Continue Reading…

Leaders of Character: Don’t Need The Spotlight

Who Deserves The Spotlight?

Leadership and sports analogies go together like peanut butter and jelly.  There are so many bad examples of leadership on display in politics and business, that sports is often the best place to go.

However, when you read the title of this entry, you may now be thinking of sports stars who seem to crave the spotlight.  They are the ones who enjoy speaking about themselves and their accomplishments.  This entry is not about one of those stars. Continue Reading…

Courage: Leaders of Character Are Not Quiet

Leaders of Character Are Not Quiet

“What leadership book have you ever read that states, ‘A leader does what is right unless it will cost him personally.’”  There was a long pause on the other end of the phone.  It was not the empathetic answer Stan was looking for.  The question: “What can I do?  She’s my boss.”

This blog was previously posted in March 2012.  I am reposting it as a result of multiple conversations I’ve had recently concerning courage in the workplace.

Continue Reading…

Cowardice and Courage for Front Line Leaders

Courage Rock

Cowardice and courage are obvious before and during battle.  In 1991, I witnessed another 1st Lieutenant back out of mission that I later volunteered for as a result of his cowardice.

In another part of the battlefield, I had a friend dismount from his tank and walk his platoon through a minefield while under enemy fire.  That act of courage earned him a Silver Star.  Those examples of cowardice and courage are easy to identify.

But, cowardice and courage in the business world are not always as obvious.  Sometimes they appear in the big moments when others are watching.  At other times they occur when no one is around to see them.

I define courage as acting without regard for perceived or actual personal risk. Continue Reading…

Character and Looking Out For #1

Who Comes First?

The grizzled veteran manager proudly declared, “My top priority is to take care of my team.”  It sounded like I found a kindred spirit.  I believe the leader’s job should be centered on his people.

But what I had discovered was a selfish, hard headed and insecure man.  Over time, I learned he was not taking care of his people.  He was looking out for #1.  Continue Reading…

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