Bite sized leadership lessons, featuring reader-submitted stories of no more than 100 words
I remember once being told by my old corporal “Myola, you need to be able to say, ‘I messed up’ and to own it”. My personal experiences recently highlighted to me the value in demonstrating accountability. I understand that may be daunting, but I know there is never weakness in admitting fault and taking the necessary action to overcome shortfalls. Being able to take your experiences as an opportunity to build resilience and grow is what also builds confidence and trust within your peers, leaders, and subordinates.
– Myola Lynch
Crucible: “place or situation where concentrated forces interact to cause or change.” In a crucible I learnt that big steps aren’t gentle. The big steps are where the world, your boss, or your mission demand that switches are flipped. In another world – my boss demanded a lot – quickly – no wasn’t a word. I could resist – tell myself that it wasn’t reasonable – try to reason. Or I could lead positively. Responding to pressure made my team better, being positive and optimistic made me a better leader. Don’t resist – respond.
– James Davis
Sometimes in leadership, less is more. I took over an organisation that had issues in the previous year. These issues contributed to a high level of scrutiny from staff in higher headquarters and anxiety in my team.
Early in my tenure the (two level up) commander visited at short notice. At the end of our brief to him, the commander said seven words that were at once empowering, relieving, and inspiring. He said: “Good brief. I trust you. Carry on.” These words were more powerful than pages of command philosophy, lengthy commander’s intent statements, or bureaucratic checking measures.
– Mark Armstrong
Until recently, I hadn’t paid attention to the idea of mentors. Now I see it differently. 2018: working late, he randomly calls- “are you free now?” First impressions weren’t much- he seemed like he didn’t know if I was worth his time. But at some point I realised I liked him; he could change my world. 2020: COVID destroys my humble but successful company overnight. As I set about mindfully dismantling what we had created, I learned more about leadership by his commitment, and by him carrying me, than I had in my military experience or time as a founder/CEO.
– Wade Tink
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Cover Image Credit: CAPT Carla Armenti, Defence Images