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Some Random Thoughts on Leadership

When I was a brand new Air Force maintenance officer, my unit’s superintendent informed me that it was time for our annual breakfast. Each year the unit’s senior leaders cooked breakfast for the troops and he invited me to join in the cooking. It was a fun morning and I think everyone appreciated the effort. It wasn’t that they wouldn’t eat that day if we hadn’t done this. It was…

Doctors

A Story of Two Doctors

The door opened and the doctor rushed into the exam room with my chart in his hand. Without looking at me he quickly said, “I’m going to tell you what’s wrong and what we need to do, then I’ll take a look at your records and examine you.” He hurriedly began to explain the surgery necessary to repair my injured knee, he might have saved himself the trouble because I…

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Are You Telling Your People to do Stupid Things?

It was a Saturday morning and no other customers were at the pharmacy. My wife and I were at a large military hospital’s pharmacy to get a prescription filled. The gentleman at the counter looked at the prescription form I presented and said he could not fill it until eligibility was verified. Since I had never been to this pharmacy, it was not an unusual request as military health care…

ServantCommand

Beauty and the Beast: Servant Leadership vs. Command and Control

Command and control (the beast) is not a popular form of leadership these days. Most of the time the method is unnecessary and a sign of a weak and insecure leader who knows no other way to be effective. The most effective leaders find some version of servant leadership (beauty) to be a better approach. But sometimes command and control is necessary. In emergencies or when time doesn’t permit discussion,…

Toxic Behavior Destroys Team Trust

A prerequisite for effective and high-performing teams is trust among its members. According to Patrick Lencioni, author of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, trust is foundational to team effectiveness. Improving an absence of trust due to unfamiliarity, personality and cultural differences, or ambiguous roles and responsibilities is “relatively” straight forward for a team leader. But what about when trust is a casualty of what can only be described as toxic…