Friday, January 23, 2015

Worth examining


"I am convinced that you and your organization, your unit, your group will never be EXTRAORDINARY in the long run without genuine concern for your people."

Leadership - What's Love Got To Do With It?
Colonel Art Athens
USMC - retired


5 comments:

Mario Vulcano said...

Although I have never met Col Athens, I know his message well about leading while going through a personal crisis. Recommend watching it if you’re not familiar with it. Here’s the first of the four parts.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-0ILz9yqXQ

Sincerely,
Mario Vulcano

Anonymous said...

How is leadership parsed? William Lederer in, ALL THE SHIPS AT SEA, wrote about a leader who turned a command around but once he was gone, the leadership went too. I went through the bad and the good. Leadership is a most transient thing. Good leadership sticks but it doesn't stick to commands. The JOs and the crew pick up what it was but they note when it leaves the building. They apply it down stream if they apply it at all.

Mario Vulcano said...

Agreed leadership can be transient.
However, I believe that a mark of a good leader is when that leader leaves an organization it continues to function and thrive as if that leader was still there leading. I like the idea of the leader-leader concept as described in David Marquet’s book, “Turn the Ship Around,” where the leader inspires subordinates to think and act on their own - to take true ownership of their piece of the organization. Not only is that leader placing trust and confidence in the subordinate-leader, but is allowing the subordinate-leader to fail in a safe and controlled environment. The subordinate-leader is literally practicing leadership concepts and techniques that will be applied as their responsibility and authority grows. Hopefully, this subordinate-leader, when given the opportunity, will mentor those subordinates in the same way that was given to him or her.

This takes real dedication – pouring time and energy into a person and a monthly wardroom training meeting falls way short. Leaders must be willing to invest in tomorrow’s leaders! This means making it a priority - setting aside real time, scheduled and unscheduled - Commitment. It means having honest and sometime uncomfortable conversations - properly documenting performance and even removing those who are not performing – Courage! I would go as far to say that a leader needs to love those who they are mentoring – Honor.

This is not easy and I will freely admit that I have failed in some of these areas and opportunities.
Sincerely,
Mario Vulcano

Jim said...

Mario, you make great points. Colonel Athens' argument is a valid but often overlooked aspect of truly great leadership. I touched on this in my article last October using Heisman Trophy winner Charlie Ward as inspiration:

"Truly great leaders know the secret to earning the trust and respect of followers, traits that enable all other objectives that leaders seek to accomplish. As Ward said, 'If you win the inside of a person, then the outside will take care of itself.'"

Anonymous said...

The US Army had something like this. Great leaders made great units. The USN kind of didn't. Replicable good leaders selected by the good leader board in DC got it wrong many many times. Good leaders were followed by some really crappy people who didn't know anything at all about leadership. The institutions they ran had collapsing bubble memory and the entire command went bad. Overnight.

I think that might have happened at PACFLT spy unit 1 where all but his daughter agreed he destroyed the command via leadership he didn't have.