How to be an Assertive Leader

In a recent interview on CNBC, Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo talked about a meeting with Steve Jobs where Jobs told her “If you really feel strongly about something — if you don’t like something people are doing — throw a temper tantrum. Throw things around, because people have got to know that you feel strongly about it.” For some reason that worked for Jobs, but such childish behavior is…

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Feed Your Troops First – Leadership 101

A sign in the office of a general I worked for in the Pentagon read “Feed Your Troops First.” The sign wasn’t behind the General’s desk or on a side wall where everyone could see it. Instead, he had placed it on a support pillar facing his desk where he could see it throughout the day as a constant reminder of what was obviously important to his leadership philosophy-taking care…

The Glass is Always Full

You’ve probably heard the question before; is the glass half empty or half full? It’s the wrong question. It’s better to ask, what the glass is full of. Unless it’s in a vacuum, the glass, or any container, is always full of something. Even the glass that is filled halfway with liquid is still full. The rest of the volume is taken up with air, dust, and other things you…

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Heat, Wind, Sand, and A Critical Mission

The sand suspended in the air was worse than usual. A recent sandstorm had made the air almost opaque and I could only see for a few feet. I could barely see the 26 airplanes parked in front of me, or the approximately 200 mechanics who were working to get them ready to fly. (The picture was taken in the daytime) As I walked towards where I knew the planes…

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Leaders, Check Your Ego at the Door, Please

“Lead, do you have the target in sight?” Those words coming over the radio from my deputy flight lead, the third aircraft in our four aircraft formation of F-16’s, caused immediate consternation in the lead aircraft, of which I happened to be the sole occupant. It took just a few seconds to realize I had made a navigation error; I had inadvertently selected a navigation point beyond our target. Correcting…