8 leadership lessons from a former POW

May 20, 2014 2 COMMENTS

Leadership2by Dan Oswald

On November 7, 1967, 1st Lieutenant Lee Ellis was shot down over North Vietnam. He would spend the next five-plus years as a POW. Not only did he survive the North Vietnamese prison camps, but he also remained in the military after his release, finally retiring as a colonel. And his combat decorations include two Silver Stars, the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, and the Prisoner of War Medal.

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14 qualities and attributes of great leaders

March 31, 2014 2 COMMENTS

Great Leadersby Dan Oswald

Marvin Bower joined McKinsey & Company in 1933 and served as the management consulting firm’s managing partner from 1950 to 1967. In 1997, he published a book titled The Will to Lead: Running a Business with a Network of Leaders, in which he shares his perspectives on leadership. One of Bower’s beliefs is that a command-and-control management structure “with each superior exercising authority over subordinates who do exactly what their boss wants” is flawed and presents numerous problems for companies. And in the book, he makes a case that this type of structure has to be replaced: “Authority should be replaced by leadership.”

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Master the 5 levels of leadership

March 24, 2014 2 COMMENTS

Leadershipby Dan Oswald

My youngest son came home from school the other day with a packet of information from one of his coaches. Included in the packet was a sheet of paper titled “The Leadership Continuum.” It outlines five levels of leadership and what is necessary to demonstrate each. I hadn’t seen this before, but in reading it, I thought it was certainly applicable not just to team sports but also to the team environment in the workplace.

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With commitment, the only way out is forward

February 24, 2014 4 COMMENTS

Commitmentby Dan Oswald

A man is in a restroom standing in front of a urinal when he finds himself with a dilemma. He has somehow dropped a $5 bill into the urinal. As he is contemplating what he should do about his five bucks, another man enters the restroom. The second man quickly sees the problem and asks, “What are you going to do?”

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Mind over matter: lessons on mental toughness from the Olympics

February 17, 2014 2 COMMENTS

Perseveranceby Dan Oswald

When I flipped on the television yesterday to check out the Olympics, I found myself watching the men’s Super-G Alpine skiing. By the time I had tuned in, the celebrated American skier Bode Miller was safely at the bottom of the slope and sitting in first place. This is believed to be the final Olympics for Miller, who has won six medals in this and previous Olympic competitions.

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Christie bridge scandal raises questions for managers

January 13, 2014 6 COMMENTS

Bridgeby Dan Oswald

If you haven’t been living under a rock, you’ve undoubtedly heard about what is now being called “Bridgegate.” (I, for one, am tired of “gate” getting added to every controversy and scandal, but I’ll leave that rant for another day.) It seems that one of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s top aides, Bridget Anne Kelly, sent an e-mail to a Christie appointee at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

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Coach’s decision to disband team scores points in character building

October 14, 2013 2 COMMENTS

by Dan Oswald

A football coach in Utah recently went to great lengths to make sure his players understand the importance of high-school athletics—that is, he suspended almost the entire team because they were skipping class, had poor grades, and were even participating in bullying a fellow student.

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The smartest person in the room

September 09, 2013 0 COMMENTS

by Dan Oswald

I recently was reading on the subject of leadership, and one topic that came up was intelligence. So I set out to do some research on the importance of IQ in leadership. I must admit, it’s not easy to find a lot written about the intelligence of leaders. Type “leadership and intelligence” into Google, and you will get page after page of links to articles about the value of emotional intelligence for leaders but little about raw intelligence or IQ. Could there be a reason leadership and IQ are discussed so infrequently? Maybe “intelligent leader” is considered an oxymoron.

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Rules need not apply

August 05, 2013 3 COMMENTS

by Dan Oswald

Last month, Ryan Braun, the Milwaukee Brewers star who was the 2011 National League MVP, was hit with a 65-game suspension that ended his season for his use of banned substances provided by a Miami clinic accused of distributing banned performance-enhancing drugs to Major League Baseball players. This was after he had appealed a 50-game suspension last year that was overturned by an arbitrator because of a technicality related to the way his test samples were handled.

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49ers forgo short-term gains to make long-term investment in character

May 13, 2013 2 COMMENTS

by Dan Oswald

A few weeks ago, the San Francisco 49ers, with the 131st pick in the NFL draft, chose Marcus Lattimore, a running back out of the University of South Carolina. Considered by many to be the most talented running back in the 2013 draft, Lattimore wasn’t chosen until the fourth round because he had suffered not one but two knee injuries while in college. So while he possessed the talent, there was some question about whether he would ever be able to demonstrate it on Sunday afternoons in the NFL.

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