November 2015: To My Sons: “Play to Win”

November 2015: To My Sons: “Play to Win”

“Upon the fields of friendly strife are sown the seeds, that on other days, on other fields, will bear the fruits of victory”
– General Douglas MacArthur

Like General MacArthur I believe sports play a critical role in preparing us not just for fun and games but for life overall.

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October 2015: Want Results? You Need a Single Person of Accountability

October 2015: Want Results? You Need a Single Person of Accountability

Back in the military when I was 17 years old, I was taught an early and important lesson about leadership. If there two Privates are assigned to scrub toilets – one of them was in charge of scrubbing toilets. No matter how simple or complex a task is – always ensure there is someone who understands that they will ultimately be responsible and accountable for success or failure. This person is your SPA, Single Person of Accountability.

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September 2015: What Does “Success” Look Like To You?

September 2015: What Does “Success” Look Like To You?

This month I ran across quite a few articles on things that successful people do and don’t do. I am going to share those. But, first, I wanted to mention what happened. When I ran across the first two articles, I got excited to write about success and the things people do. Especially persistence. But then – I realized these are about wealthy people habits – it caused me to reflect on exactly what is success. Like a lot of people I mistakenly tend to define success in terms of career achievements or monetary success vs. some of the things that are actually the most important in life.

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August 2015: Why You Should Have A Written Leadership Philosophy

In the summer of 1992 I was a junior officer assigned to the US Army’s prestigious Berlin Brigade, whose Cold War mission to counter Soviet strength in Germany’s historic capital had changed drastically with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the USSR. We would now be a rapid deployment force available for missions anywhere in Europe. Practically, this meant a unit designed to fight on foot in a large city now had to be ready to take on tank formations anywhere on the continent. The transition was a huge challenge; frankly, many of the leaders had no idea how we were going to get the job done.

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July 2015: Pareto Principle Applied to Productivity – What Is A Leadership HPA?

July 2015: Pareto Principle Applied to Productivity – What Is A Leadership HPA?

Many people have heard of the Pareto Principle. Also known as the 80/20 rule. In sales I was taught that 80% of your sales come from 20% of your clients. In quality control, I was taught it represents the most common sources of defects or the highest occurring type of defect. In client services, 80% of a company’s complaints come from 20% of its customers. In finance, 80% of profits come from 20% of products. The applications go on and on. So what does this have to do with leadership – or productivity?

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June 2015: Green Berets: Business and Leadership Advice from the Original Special Forces

When I was growing up, I hadn’t heard of “Special Ops”, Navy SEALS or even a Delta Force. I thought we had one group – THE SPECIAL FORCES who wore Green Berets and were the best of the best the U.S. military had to offer. Now we have US Special Operations Command USSOCOM and all the branches have an elite Special Operations unit or units.

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May 2015: Motivation For Vets Who Want To Start Or Own A Business

What do the founders of WalMart, Wendy’s, Motown Records, FedEx, AOL, GoDaddy, and Walgreens all have in common? That’s right. They are all veterans who started their own business after their service to the nation.

I am writing this month to a smaller, more niche audience. My apologies. But if just one Vet who was thinking of launching a business or buying into a franchise takes the leap it will be worth it. If you are not a Vet – I think you too will enjoy the personal stories and advice in the articles below, but also please forward this link to a Vet friend or two.

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April 2015: Leadership Skills For IT Professionals

I read an article in Harvard Business Review recently that really caught my attention. It discussed a recent CareerBuilder survey that found that only 34% of people want to become a manager. It was appropriately titled Most People Don’t Want to Be Managers.

While I was initially shocked at the low stat – I took a step back and understood that for many, they obviously prefer to be an individual contributor or subject matter expert. I come from the information technology industry and have seen many people over the years that would prefer to stay hands on and directly involved in the coding, architecture, or implementation. They don’t necessarily want a promotion and worry about being away from the action too long and missing the rapidly evolving technologies, platforms and hot trends. In many ways, they are right – the skills, priorities and tasks you spend time on are VERY different for a leader than a team member.

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March 2015: How Can A Business Leader Use the Army’s WARNOs, FRAGOs And OPORDs?

This past month I had the pleasure of picking up and reading a book from a friend of mine Tom Magness. It is called Leader Business: Battle-Tested Leadership Strategies For Any Organization. Great read for new and established leaders alike. It helped to refresh and remind me of the many simple and easy to use [...]

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February 2015: The Single Most Comprehensive Collection Of Military/Business Articles – Bar None.

Over the past couple of years I have been researching various topics associated with leadership. During this same time, I have been ask to keynote, coach, and mentor a number of Vets transitioning to business as well as various Vetrepreneurs. My message is always the same – “I know this is a difficult and uncertain time, but trust me the skills and lessons you learned in the military will translate quite well in the civilian world.” So I am sharing this set of articles I have been curating and boldly state the following – this is THE MOST comprehensive collection of articles on leadership and business based upon military service.

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