I’m Just One

When I was twelve years old, my English teacher persuaded me to enter a speech contest.  There were three rules for the contest.  The speech had to be five to seven minutes long, it had to be memorized, and the subject had to be based...

Getting Back Up

I had the good fortune to spend time with the West Point Cycling team again this weekend.  The best part wasn't that Army won the men's and women's ECCC A-Division circuit race on their home turf.  The best part was watching the camaraderie of the...

The Wind and the Leader

I was mountain biking the other day along the Foothills of the Rocky Mountains when I was hit with a sustained wind gust.  It came from the side and almost pushed me off my bike.  At the same time the wind was testing the chinstrap...

What’s Your Number?

[caption id="attachment_1216" align="alignleft" width="133" caption="Bryan Bungee Jumping!"][/caption] No - I am not talking about dating or the money you need to retire.  The other day I heard a radio program celebrating their three-thousandth show.  The two deejays have been working together for fifteen years, and I...

Building the Foundation for a Self-Reliant Team

I recently led a discussion for a group of executives on "The Ethical Leader."  We discussed six dimensions of leadership decision making as strategic, financial, moral, ethical, cultural, and legal.  Four of the six are directly related to ethical stewardship, so a review of the...

Lead Others To Do Less and Achieve More

Michael Canic wrote a recent blog called "The Zen of Strategy" where he wrote, "Decide what you're not going to do. Which markets you're not going to serve. What you're not going to offer."  This got me thinking there's no single trait that's a more...

The Secret Ingredient for (Team) Happiness

"What is the nature of human happiness?"  That's the seminal question Daniel Gilbert is focused on answering in the latest issue of the Harvard Business Review.   I have heard managers say their co-workers are family, and creating a happy environment is part of the culture. ...

Purpose, Intention, Meaning, Significance

I usually think of things I want to write when I'm by myself.   I'm only truly alone when I'm hiking, running or cycling, and I decided I would capture a short video clip of when that "writing epiphany" occurred.  Today that epiphany occurred after a...

Solitude… the essence of leadership?

In a speech to West Point plebes in 2009, William Deresiewicz concluded his remarks stating that solitude is the very essence of leadership.  A common refrain in our country is there are too few true leaders today, which makes Sigmund Freud's observation prescient, "Only very...

The Opposite of Self-Reliant

Being dependent is the opposite of one who is self-reliant.  Self-reliant doesn't necessarily mean you go it alone.  On the contrary.  Self-reliant means knowing which questions to ask, and having the courage to answer them and act.  Mike Myatt wrote a great blog today about...

When Advice Really Matters…

Lately, I have heard a lot of people discuss the virtues of knowing what you know, knowing what you don't know, and being careful of not knowing what you don't know - the blind spots.  I think this wisdom actually comes from an Arabic Proverb: "He...

Listening + Enlightening = Teaching = Leadership

In my book, I wrote a chapter about hearing the unheard which underscored the subtitle of self-reliant leadership.  That is, self-reliant leadership is synonymous with knowing which questions to ask yourself and having the courage to answer them and act.  It's acknowledging that self-awareness, self-discovery,...

Self Reliance at Seventy!

David Brooks wrote a column in The New York Times yesterday entitled, "The Life Report."  Mr. Brooks is asking those over 70 years old to "write a brief report on your life so far, an evaluation of what you did well, of what you did...

Gold Star Dad

I spent an hour with Jeff Falkel last week, and walked away feeling like I'd know him my entire life - like a brother.  Jeff is a charismatic guy, and well informed on a number of topics.  He's highly educated with a PhD in exercise...

Seanathair

Seanathair is Gaelic for grandfather, and I became one less than 72 hours ago.  It sounds cliché, but seeing my grandson for the first time was quite surreal.  He's a lucky kid as he has a loving family with three uncles and four grandparents still...

9/11 – 9/11

On 9/11/01, I went for a run from my hotel to the Washington Monument.  Like I always did when I ran in D.C., I touched all four corners of the monument and smiled.  I was thinking that each time I touched that monument over the...