Lead Strong—Stay Humble!

Hey GLC readers! I hope you and your family are doing well!

To say that I worked for some arrogant leaders during my 31+ years in the military and the special operations community would be an understatement. The truth is that I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count the number of super hubristic Type A bosses I encountered during my career, many of whom were often more concerned with their own self-importance as they ascended the ranks than the mission. 

When the boss thinks they are “too cool for school,” and doesn’t feel compelled to communicate their vision, the organization is destined to fail.

It was unbelievably painful to work for this type of leader, and despite my best efforts to keep them humble and grounded, their extreme arrogance blinded them to the fact of how bad and ineffective they really were.

Sound familiar?

The beauty is that I did get to work for a select few great bosses who made a lasting impact on me. These leaders were smart, articulate, appreciative of your efforts, and ultimately could make the decision that was best for the command

Here are the other traits that made them so effective.

Coach’s tip(s) of the month:

If you want to be a confident (not cocky) leader, try these:

Lead by example.

When you set the example for others to emulate by leading from the front and with integrity, your organization and co-workers will flourish. Who wants to work for a boss who is unethical and only concerned about themselves—absolutely no one!

Provide clear, concise guidance.

When the boss thinks they are “too cool for school,” and doesn’t feel compelled to communicate their vision, the organization is destined to fail. In the Navy, we were taught that a leader’s vision should clearly tell the command what is expected of them on a day to day basis and why. The “vision” should be realistic and achievable. Confusing (or no) guidance, especially from a cocky leader, results in disorganization, frustration, lost productivity, and ultimately failure.


Say “Thank You”…and mean it.

Anyone who is in a position of leadership no doubt achieved their status on the backs of countless co-workers over the years. Take the time to sincerely thank those who helped you along the way, and never forget your roots and where you came from as you ascend the ladder of success.

Never think you know it all.

You don’t. Strive to continue to learn and grow as a leader. Keep asking questions.

Lead strongstay humble.

I like to use this phrase when I sign my books. Makes total sense. Do not overthink was it means to be in charge.  

That’s it for this month! Have a safe summer, and I will talk with you all again in August! 

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