August 2018

Three-Minute Leadership Foundation

We are all in a rush. If it takes longer than three minutes to place an order at a fast food restaurant and receive the order, we are beside ourselves. If a computer takes 10 seconds to boot-up, some have near-death experiences. Besides, practically no one wants to take the time to read. The ever-increasing popularity of Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube is evidence of that. We have safety cards on airplanes with budding actors and actresses cleverly disguised as flight attendants that even act out what is on the card.

Given a growing lack of attention span and willingness to read to get information, this is a three-minute article on three basic leadership foundations. Is this all one needs to know about being a successful leader—NO! There are more lessons in leadership than this article will address. This short article, however, is a good start. Most importantly, you only need to look at the pictures, and you will be done in three minutes.

So here they are:

  1. Courage—the picture on the left is Colonel Eddie Ray U.S. Marine Corps. If his picture seems like that of a man mountain, that is because he is. He is a modern day war hero and a dear friend. Ray was awarded the Navy Cross for valor, the nation's second highest military award, for his actions in Operation Desert Storm. In short, he led seven Light Armored Vehicles; this is less than a company-sized unit against an Iraqi armored brigade, 34 armored vehicles, and tanks. Under his leadership, his small band of Marines, with the violence of action Marines are noted for, destroyed the Iraqi brigade.

    The picture on the right is Mahatma Gandhi. He led a nation to freedom while advocating non-violence. In the face of overwhelming odds, armed with nothing but his walking stick, he faced the might of one of the greatest empires in history, Great Britain.
  2. Honor—the picture on the left, Colonel Ray maintained a reputation among Marines as a man of great humility. He is known for his ability to maintain perspective and act responsibly. His respect for human dignity, even in combat, is of the highest caliber.

    The picture on the right, Mahatma Gandhi was equally known for his character. His respect for human dignity led him to include the liberation of women and put an end to caste discrimination in the fight for self-rule for India.
  3. Commitment—Unrelenting determination to achieve a high standard of excellence in all endeavors was evident in both men's achievements. Col Ray's violence of action saved the lives of many Marines and significantly crippled the enemy. Some have argued that Ray's success was one of the major factors in leading to a short war. Gandhi's unwavering commitment to non-violence produced historic results. Some have argued that his achievement influenced the civil rights movement in the United States and South Africa.

The two men in a word are and were exemplars. They exhibited the behavior they expected from those they lead. There is much to learn about the subject. The fundamental lesson in leadership is one must be able to model the way in order to lead the way. All who led successfully know this. The three basics described above are core values. Core values are a personal guide that can sustain you when things are not going as well as you would like and a beacon for those that follow your lead.

My three minutes have expired. Colonel Eddie Ray retired from the Marine Corps in February 2008 at Parris Island South Carolina where his Marine Corps career started 30 years before.

© 2018 by John Boggs All Rights Reserved.

Report and Take Action

Recent surveys find that 81 percent of women have experienced sexual harassment for a full readout on the latest findings I suggest you take a few minutes and see the NPR Online article dated February 21, 2018.

The article reveals striking statistics that should cause all in leadership positions to take pause and take action!

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics indicates 1 in 5 women have been sexually harassed or assaulted at the workplace. The Bureau recognizes that is a low number because incidents of sexual harassment and assault are under-reported. Recent surveys indicate the number is closer to 40 percent.

In many companies the leadership recognizes the problem and budget for the inevitable lawsuits. Colleges know the problem and have a plethora of survivor programs. Most organizations have some sort of sexual harassment training.

Sexual Harassment training DOES NOT WORK! Studies indicate the exact opposite effect is the end result of the training. Making matters worse, much of the training happens after incidents have occurred.

Well-intentioned organizations from all industries know action has to be taken; they just don't know what to do.

Do this—get ahead of the incidents by taking action to change the culture in your workplace. I know, a piece of cake, right?

No, it is hard work, and you can't do it alone. Making a meaningful change to work culture is tough. It is also a must do. Sexual harassment and assault in the work place can be crushed. Sexual harassment and assault in the workplace is a leadership issue not a training issue.

Re-read the lead article it is time to exercise fundamental leadership. In the end, you will find it is far more profitable to do the right thing than to keep paying for doing nothing, and everyone pays, the victim and the organization.

Courage Is Needed

I am often asked for leadership advice based on my Marine Corps experience for use in business. This section is providing short leadership tips you can use to become an Exceptional Leader. Being good on any given day is easy. Being exceptional requires daily effort. Enjoy the read.

One of the greatest attributes of a leader is courage. That is the mental quality that recognizes fear of danger or criticism but enables a person to proceed in the face of it with calmness and firmness.

Sexual harassment and assault can be crushed from our society and definitely in the organization you lead. It requires courage. Do you look the other way when an unwanted touch occurs? Do you tolerate misogynistic comments or jokes?

When you look in the mirror is it clear what you stand for? Does your team follow your lead?

Ladies in leadership I am speaking to you too. You must have the courage to stand firm, regardless of the under the breath comments that imply you are a bitch for standing firm on issues that reflect your values. Men in leadership, should you hear those under the breath comments, what action are you taking that support your women leaders and women in general? Talk means little when action is required.

Sexual harassment and assault can be crushed from society. It takes leaders with courage. Of course, a leader without courage is not really a leader, that person would be called a placeholder.

Current Happenings


On August 28th John will be providing a Presentation/Workshop at the Arizona SHRM event. The event will be at the Renaissance Phoenix Glendale Hotel & Spa.

The topic—Executive Level Decision-Making


COL. Byron Freeman U.S. Army (Ret.) President of BAF Security and I will be returning to Delta College in Michigan to teach the popular course "21st Century Community Policing and Cultural Competency."

Enrollment is open now on the website.

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