At a recent Leadership Excellence Course hosted at the United States Air Force Academy, one of the attendees both had and shared a significant realization and growth experience. With Roger’s permission, it’s worth sharing with you:
I was going to share the following with you tomorrow at our all hands. Unfortunately, that schedule did not hold up. Given that all of us have so many things going on right now, I could not find a time when I thought we could get together as a team before most of you deploy out to Montana, or South Dakota. While communicating with you in this regard is not ideal, and definitely is not what I had hoped to do, I felt it was necessary to at least get this too you with some brief explanation.
Recently, I had the privilege of participating in a truly extraordinary learning experience. During this time, I was provided an opportunity, and the tools to evaluate what my personal leadership philosophy was. It was a very tough, introspective journey that directed me in a very transformative way. This experience forced me to deal with quite a number of things, some of what I am not particularly proud of, and others for which I am.
This experience forced me to consider, and reconsider what my relationship is with each of you. It also gave me an opportunity to realize how much I appreciate each of you.
I have attached this leadership philosophy for your review. Please know that I mean every word of it, and will purpose to live up to it as best that I am able. This is in essence my contract with you.
If you have If you have any comments, questions, or concerns, please do not hesitate to stop by.
Always your advocate
Let’s listen to the first paragraph of Roger’s Personal Leadership Philosophy:
Being a leader is a privilege. Being a leader is an act of service. Leadership carries with it a responsibility to share a vision, to direct a course of action, and to inspire a desire to succeed. Leadership is passionate. Leadership is about creating a future that is inviting, that seeks to tease out the best in all members of the team and provides security in the knowledge of a job well done. Leadership is a partnership between the leader, and the led. If the partnership does not exist, then all you really have is second rate management.
What do you think about the last two sentences? Roger is essentially sharing that if a partnership doesn’t exist, all we have is management. It’s one of the best descriptions distinguishing between management and leadership, and Roger composed and shared this despite the fact he plans to retire within six months. After the course, I requested a meeting between myself, Roger and his supervisor. Something tells me inside that although Roger may formally retire from a full-time job, his desire to positively influence and serve others seems intact.
Let’ think about that.
Great leaders continuously grow.