I have been a leader all my life: Eagle Scout, state champion newspaper carrier, student body officer, club and social group officer, homeowner association president. Even when attending the 1960 Boy Scout International Jamboree at Colorado Springs, CO I was elected the Senior Patrol Leader of the Hawaii contingent.
Leadership was my fate as much as felt obligation when with a group or organization that lacked leadership. If no one stepped forward or the current leadership was ineffective, I would step into the breach. Although usually rewarding, leadership was a lot of work and frustration, principally from dealing with people, their idiosyncrasies’’, their diverse opinions and many times divergent desires.
I knew nothing of leadership, per se, simply watching others who were successful, seeking and accepting advice from others and intuitively leading. Overall, I have been a successful and respected leader.
Now, as a young senior, I have been conducting seminars on managing change and consultant skills, both forms of leadership. The seminars and I have been well-received and I feel good in that I am passing on knowledge and skills to others in order to make them successful as leaders. It is a good feeling and a corollary of “giving back,” although those that directly helped me are now few.
I decided to put it down on paper. I began to write.
The first of two leadership books, Art of Aggression: Leadership Skills from a Year of War begins to describe my early life journey as a leader, in particular my combat experience as an infantry lieutenant platoon leader and as a captain rifle company commander. One can’t get more “nitty gritty” than leading and caring for soldiers who, by choice or chance are facing an armed enemy. Poor leadership would, not could, get people killed and injured.
I found that in relating my combat experience that there were many lessons I learned in the process. These lessons not only held true during my Army career, but when I went in to corporate consulting those same leadership lessons had direct value to me in my work, but also to the managers and leaders with whom I worked.
The follow-on book to Art of Aggression will take in my corporate consulting experiences, my work with many leaders in not-for-profit, Fortune 1000, governments at state, local and federal levels and social action movements. I found that any organization, even those in benevolent pursuits, were in a “war” of sorts, competing for funding, recognition, good people and opportunities to “do their thing.”
My hope is that through books, articles that my efforts to help others, to better enable leaders to lead their organizations and causes to success and to “pay back” will be fruitful.