Are You Waiting for Your Team to Accept You?

“Your people will decide if you are a leader.” Some version of this quote appears from time to time attributed to various people who would have us believe that leaders must please their team to be a real leader. They believe a leader is not really a true leader until their team accepts them as such. Here’s why that belief is wrong and can take a leader down the wrong…

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The Mission: That Others May Live

The air around us was orange. That was pretty common after a dust storm as a fine powder of sand hung in the air. Through the orange haze, I could see the mechanics going through their morning inspections of the rescue helicopters that sat on alert, ready to rapidly respond to whatever emergency might occur. As I walked toward one of the helicopters my radio broke the silence with the…

Moving up? Let go of the past!

A very good friend of mine was recently promoted to lead the division in which she has been working for a number of years. She confided in me that in addition to the usual worries about taking a new position was the worry that the person who assumes her old responsibilities will do a better job! This is an interesting concern and one that I’ve seen before. Addressing it we…

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Four Steps to Leader Awareness – Hard lessons learned from flight operations

We were on final for a practice bombing run 300 feet above the Arizona desert going about 540 knots (620 mph). The plane was an F-16D which is a two-seat trainer version of the F-16C Falcon.  My back-seater was a flight surgeon logging mandatory air time and who was blissfully unaware how close he would come to dying that day.  What followed was a lesson-learned that has stuck with me…

What’s the Best Leadership Style

Leaders often ask what sort of leadership style is appropriate. Authoritarian or relaxed? Different style for different people or always treat everyone the same? Years ago, Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard published their Situational Leadership model, suggesting a leader should adopt a style that is appropriate to a follower’s ability and willingness to do a task. Seems simple enough, but what does that mean for the leader. In order to…