Unspoken Rules That Will Make or Break Your Career

Saying you are reliable and proving you are reliable are two very different things. The most interesting thing about reliability is that YOU do not get to decide whether or not you carry that trait. It will always be an objective determination; a trait bestowed upon you by other people. You will be required and expected to prove it every single time your environment and the people around you change.

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Foolhardy Leadership - A Series (3 of 4)

At this point, I had been an instructor for about two years. Like most young people that come into a position of power, I enjoyed it, and much of the time abused it. 

The students whom I thought were performing well rarely heard from me. 

For those that struggled or made mistakes, I was their worst nightmare.

I was loud, verbally/psychologically abusive, and devilishly creative when it came to increasing physical and emotional stress to the point of tears in those who failed to follow my instructions or perform well.

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Foolhardy Leadership - A Series (2 of 4)

When you’re driving a jet boat on the open ocean and you slam into a submerged sandbar at 60 mph, the last thing you’re thinking about is how cold it is. 

Gear and people were thrown in every direction.

The boat flopped over sideways on its V-Hull, and in less than 1 second, $1.5M worth of hull and gear created the most expensive yard sale North Carolina had ever seen. 

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Toxic Leadership: Military Edition

After spending 12 years in the military, six years assisting global organizations through the people side of change initiatives, and four years mentoring veterans as they transition into entrepreneurship and employment, I have stumbled across numerous issues facing veterans and companies that prevent the two from playing nice.

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5 Leadership Paradoxes to Embrace and Reject

Embracing dynamic equilibrium

A saying we have in Navy Special Operation units is “get comfortable being uncomfortable.” This, I would say is the corporate version of that saying. Embracing change as a normal routine can help avoid defensive postures and detrimental actions. This helps leaders and teams move from an “either/or” mindset to a “both/and” mindset.

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Five Things That Make Teamwork More Challenging

This is a great quick read. Maybe it's just a bit of confirmation bias, but it's interesting to see how so many people believe solutions for team issues comes down to developing shared purpose. I think one of the biggest problems with that as a solution, is that there aren't many organizations out there that know how to make that happen. Escape rooms, drunken team getaways, and ad-hoc group activities are not the answer.

Leaders should start taking a structured approach to enhance relationships with team members. Hint: It starts with listening...

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Three Ways To Lead More Effective Teams

Clarity - "Every team should take part in an orientation in which goals are stated explicitly, benchmarks are established, and responsibilities of each team member are made clear."

Hierarchical Agility - "The Navy SEALs exemplify hierarchical agility, following strict chain-of-command in the field and flipping to an egalitarian structure during debriefing, when their stripes are literally left at the door.”

Managing Problems - "...managers should pay attention to small details, like where they (and others) sit in meetings and how this effects conversation, or how their responses to ideas influence whether people speak up. In short, Greer says, practice empathy"

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Justin WalkerComment
Military Entrepreneurial Edge

Do military veterans have an edge in entrepreneurship?

I've spent nearly the last four years of my life supporting military veterans as they attempt to start and grow their businesses (while attempting to grow my own). Throughout that time I have seen thousands of veterans around the country make the attempt to become a successful entrepreneur and below are some thoughts I've gleaned that relate to this question.

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