Almost my entire life I’ve been the “guy in charge.” Most of my childhood, I didn’t realize it was happening. I would see something that I wanted to do, and others would follow me. This trend continued through elementary, middle school, high school, even college. No matter what activity I was in, I tended to find myself in a position of authority or leadership. Boy Scouts, Class Projects, Varsity Sports, Fraternity life, after school activities… no matter what it was, I somehow found myself in charge. I didn’t even realize it was happening until college. Like so many “A” Type personalities, I realized that I was always in charge, and said “forget it, I don’t want to be the workhorse anymore!”
That moment happened in college during a class project, I sat at a library table with 5 other college students at the first meeting for our class project; and I KEPT MY MOUTH SHUT (yes, for those of you that know me, marvel at my willpower!). Well… kept it shut for at least the first 30 minutes. Unfortunately (or fortunately, since we all got an A, and stunned the teacher, a story for another day) after the first 30 minutes I couldn’t take anymore. 2 of the team members had only discussed the latest frat party they went to, another member was reading a magazine, a fourth was texting a friend, and the last one had headphones on and wasn’t paying any attention. At that point I “took command” for lack of a better term; and realized that leaders are necessary, because without them, nothing gets accomplished.
After that meeting, I started researching leadership. I developed ideas on what would work, and what wouldn’t. I started paying attention to how people respond to different events and requests, and how to manage my responses to get the most out of the team. I started actively reading leadership books, and instead of just setting directions that I wanted to go in and waiting for others to follow, I started to analyze how the teams came together, and what I should be doing to help the team the most.
The next ten years were very busy. In that time I became a commissioned officer in the United States Army, deploying twice into combat (once as a front line leader, the second as division level staff). I’ve worked as a Project Manager for a fortune 200 company on multi-million dollar projects, and I’ve helped build 3 Toastmasters Clubs in the Houston Area. I’ve experienced a lot of fantastic leaders, and many many more not so fantastic. I’ve learned a lot over the last 10 years, and although I can’t claim to “get” everything, I think I have something to share. That is the purpose of the this blog. To share my lessons learned on leadership and hopefully help others learn from my lessons.