Archive for the Inaugural Posts Category

A Leadership Blog Reborn

Posted in Command Performance, Inaugural Posts with tags , , , , , on December 28, 2014 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

It has been far too long since I last posted to this blog.  Shame on me!  First, let me extend my sincerest apologies to those who have found this blog to be informative and inspiring.  I realize that my abrupt departure from writing has disappointed many loyal readers who have come to enjoy Command Performance Leadership.  I realize that one of the worst things a blogger can do is abandon their blog for long lengths of time, running the risk of losing readership, as well as the credibility of what the writer and the blog represents to its audience.  Although I have been mini-blogging on Twitter (@5StarLeadership), there is nothing like writing a blog that presents ideas and perspectives on topics that are compelling; themes and subjects that provoke thought and inspire discussion.

But, I’ve been a little busy, lately.  Let me offer a brief explanation, and bring you up to date on what’s been going on in my World.

In February of 2010, I found myself unexpectedly facing an abrupt transition in my career.  Laid-off from the company I had been working for, and on the brink of exiting the industry that I had spent the first twenty-years of my career, I was thrown into quite a discouraging and frightening set of circumstances for someone who had, up to that point, been settled into a comfort zone of stability virtually their entire career.  For the two years that followed, I struggled to gain footing onto a new career path.  But, In April of 2012, I entered into a hiring process for a business operations management position with an industrial butterfly valve company, serving the petro-chemical and power-generation markets.  After countless interviews, which occurred through the remainder of that year, I was hired to become the Business Manager of Quadax Valves, Inc.; a newly established start-up here in the United States.  I began my job in January of 2013 with the task of organizing the business administration and operations of this new business unit in a highly competitive and seasoned marketplace.  I have been hard at work and deeply engaged in those endeavors, building the North America operation for our parent company, which is headquartered in Forchtenberg, Germany.

In my absence from writing, the military leadership genre in the blogosphere has continued to grow, with online discussions about the synergies between military and private-sector leadership continuing to add new voices.  In a recent Tweet, The Military Leader shared a post from his blog, “7 Military Blogs You Need to Check Out,” which highlighted his ‘go to’ list of blogs that focus on the discussion of military leadership.  That blog post, and the Tweets in reply that followed, revealed that there are many in social media (blogs, Twitter, etc.) talking about military leadership and life in the military; far more than when I first started my blog a few years ago.  The Military Leader has since expanded his Blogs Page, and I am proud that my blog now appears on that list among other blogs I aspire this blog to be like.

So, I better get back to it, if I want to be considered a legitimate and credible resource in this genre.  There’s a lot of work to do to get my blog back to where it used to be, and to enter back into the forum of discussion with those who find that there is great importance in highlighting the traits and skills that our military offers, and to tell the many stories about how military leadership has its place in today’s corporate environment.  Command Performance Leadership will take its place among its peers in the blogosphere.

Of course, this is an ideal time to bring this blog back to life.  With a new year upon us, we should all be looking to kick aside old and bad habits, and to resolve to develop new behaviors and lifestyle changes that will bring greater success and victory.

For those of you that are new to my blog, WELCOME!  I am grateful that you have found it.  Please take some time to browse around this blog, paging back through recent and older posts, and using the search tool to look for topics that interest you.  For a quick-start to the blog, please read About the Blog and The Birth of a Leadership Blog to learn more about the premise and purpose of this blog.  And, I encourage you to look through the Archives of Past Posts.  I sincerely hope that what is within the pages of this blog now, and posts that I write in the future, will interest you enough for you to become a loyal reader.

Your turn to join the discussion 

What would be your “Mount Rushmore” of blogs?

Who are you following on Twitter that brings you valuable information and news?

What are you planning to change in the coming year that will translate to more victories in your life?

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What topics should this blog focus on and discuss in future posts?

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Never Fly Solo ~ Top Gun Success

Posted in Books, Inaugural Posts, Video of the Week with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 16, 2011 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

Lt. Col. Rob “Waldo” Waldman (USAF Reserve)

This week, I have chosen a few videos featuring Lieutenant Colonel Rob “Waldo” Waldman; also known as “The Wingman.”  Colonel Waldman is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, and became a highly decorated fighter pilot with over 65 combat missions over Iraq and Serbia.  He holds an MBA with a focus on organizational behavior.  Now serving in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, Waldo has become a professional business motivational speaker and consultant, and is the author of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal best seller “Never Fly Solo.”  He teaches organizations and individuals how to build trusting, revenue producing relationships with their employees, partners, and customers, while sharing his experiences as a combat decorated fighter pilot and businessman.[i]

Col. Waldman’s philosophy: No fighter pilot flies solo, and neither should you.  You need Wingmen – trusted partners – to win when the missiles of life and business are launched.  Whether achieving victory as a fighter pilot or in business, the same qualities that ensure success apply: relentless commitment, disciplined training, dedicated teamwork, impassioned leadership, and most of all…trust.[ii]

When I came across the Never Fly Solo video that promotes his book, and other videos featuring his inspirational message, I was absolutely motivated and lifted.  I wanted to share his message with you.  I have posted five videos below that define Colonel Waldman’s Never Fly Solo message.  It will take you just under 20 minutes to view them all.  Each video has a common theme, but a different message and focus.  I encourage you to view each of them, and take what you learn from them and immediately apply the Never Fly Solo principles.

Never Fly Solo

The Wingman

Teamwork and Communication in Business

Team Building and Leadership

Motivational Wingman Video

I hope you enjoyed this week’s installment of “Video of the Week.”  Remember, never fly solo, and protect your team from hidden dangers.  And, most importantly, become a wingman in everything you do; every person, every team, every day.  PUSH IT UP!!!

For more information on Lt. Col. Rob “Waldo” Waldman, Check out www.YourWingman.com.  If you would like to order the book Never Fly Solo, please visit http://www.neverflysolo.com.  And, if you would like Col. Waldman to attend your next conference or convention, please visit http://bureau.espeakers.com/simp/viewspeaker6542.

Copyright © Dale R. Wilson


[i] “Meet Waldo.” Motivational Keynote Speaker : Business Speaker : Professional Speaker : Waldo Waldman: YourWingman.com.  Accessed 9 December 2011. http://www.yourwingman/about/

[ii] “Rob “Waldo” Waskman’s LinkedIn Profile.” http://www.linkedin.com/.  Accessed 9 December 2011

The Development of a Reading Program

Posted in Books, Inaugural Posts, Reading Lists, Reading Room with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 14, 2011 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

Reading about Leadership, and the Introduction of my Reading List

In my last post, I introduced you to The Pentagon’s library of current reading lists.  This, along with many other valuable resources, exists to provide military and civilian personnel in the Department of Defense the best choices of literature to expand their knowledge of military heritage, leadership and the principles of war, among other topics.  A Professional Reading Program, and the development of a regular reading regimen, provides an opportunity to continue life-long learning, to expand one’s sphere of knowledge and exposure to great minds of the past, and to practice critical thinking.[i]  Regular and routine reading is an integral and fundamental part of one’s continued education, and to expand awareness of tools and information meant to improve their skills and wisdom.

Also in my last post, I encouraged you to put together your own reading list; a list of books, articles, ebooks, etc. that you have read, or have the desire to read.  I am eager to see your responses, as I am always interested in expanding my awareness of good reads that could help advance my education.  I have put my own list together, and would like to share it with you.  I have divided it into three categories; military leadership, memoirs & biographies, and general management.  Today, I will reveal my military leadership portion of the reading list.  The books in the following list are only some of my many books related to military leadership.  Over time, I will reveal to you my entire library of books that relate to the premise of this blog, as well as share with you my “wish list” of books I want to add to my collection and read.

Presented as a bibliography, the following list are books in my military leadership category that I intend to read in 2012:

Abrashoff, D. Michael. It’s Your Ship: Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy. New York: Warner Books, 2002.

Carrison, Dan, and Rod Walsh. Semper Fi: Business Leadership The Marine Corps Way. New York: American Management Association, 1999.

Cohen, William A. The New Art of the Leader: Leading With Integrity and Honor. Paramus, NJ: Prentice Hall P, 2000.

Donnithorne, Larry. The West Point Way of Leadership: From Learning Principled Leadership to Practicing It. New York: Currency Doubleday, 1993.

Freedman, David H. Corps Business: The 30 Management Principles of the U.S. Marines. New York: HarperBusiness, 2001.

Heller, Joseph. Catch-22: A Novel. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1955.

Johnson, W. Brad., and Gregory P. Harper. Becoming a Leader the Annapolis Way: 12 Combat Lessons from the Navy’s Leadership Laboratory. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2005.

Kinni, Theodore B., and Donna Kinni. No Substitute for Victory: Lessons in Strategy and Leadership from General Douglas MacArthur. Upper Saddle River, NJ: FT/Prentice Hall, 2005.

Laver, Harry S., and Jeffrey J. Matthews. The Art of Command: Military Leadership from George Washington to Colin Powell. Lexington, KY: University P of Kentucky, 2010.

Montor, Karel, Anthony J. Ciotti, and Malcolm E. Wolfe. Fundamentals of Naval Leadership. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute P, 1984.

Montor, Karel. Naval Leadership: Voices of Experience. Annapolis, MD: Naval Inst. P, 1998.

Newman, Aubrey S. Follow Me I: The Human Element in Leadership. Novato, CA: Presidio, 1997.

Newman, Aubrey S. Follow Me II: More on the Human Element in Leadership. Navato, CA: Presidio, 1997.

Newman, Aubrey S. Follow Me III: Lessons on the Art and Science of High Command. Novato, CA: Presidio, 1997.

Pagonis, William G., and Jeffrey L. Cruikshank. Moving Mountains: Lessons in Leadership and Logistics from the Gulf War. Boston: Harvard Business School P, 1992.

Puryear, Edgar F. American Generalship: Character is Everything : The Art of Command. Novato, CA: Presidio, 2002.

Ruggero, Ed. Duty First: A Year in the Life of West Point and The Making of American Leaders. New York: Perennial, 2002.

Sullivan, Gordon R., and Michael V. Harper. Hope is Not a Method: What Business Leaders Can Learn from America’s Army. New York: Broadway Books, 1997.

Wheeler, Tom. Take Command!: Leadership Lessons from the Civil War. New York: Currency Doubleday, 2001.

Copyright © Dale R. Wilson


 
FOOTNOTES –

[i] “Memorandum for the Air War College Class of 2012 – Professional Reading Program – Instructional Period 6209.”  Maxwell Air Force Base, USAF Air University Public Portal.  Accessed 13 December 2011.  http://www.au.af.mil/au/aul/school/awc/core/6200_AY2012_JSL_IP6209.pdf

Professional Reading is Essential – An Introduction

Posted in Inaugural Posts, Reading Lists, Reading Room with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 12, 2011 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

Reading Lists and the Development of a Reading Program

Leadership reading programs exist across all branches of the military, and among many commands.  They are developed to encourage a life-long habit of reading and learning among all military and civilian personnel.  The books included in these collections provide readers with a deeper understanding and appreciation for military heritage, the profession of arms, and the complex modern world in which we operate.  The many books on these reading lists are thought-provoking, and provide a useful course of independent study in the origin of the profession of arms, valuable leadership techniques, the use of our critical thinking abilities, and our Armed Forces and their history.

The Pentagon’s library of current reading lists is a compilation of links to reading lists from each of the branches of the military, as well as a few Department of Defense sectors.  Each list is quite comprehensive.  Members of the military, the civilians who work in the Department of Defense, and anyone with the aspiration to expand their knowledge, with a thirst for learning, should consider using these lists as a springboard for additional reading and study.  Doing so will sharpen their intellects while preparing for their next level of responsibility.  Ultimately, professional reading lists of any kind, for any organization, in any walk of life, are a pillar for leadership development efforts.  Translating written words into sound decision-making, and relating what is read to what is actually done, becomes essential.

I encourage you to compile a list of your own recommended readings (books, articles, online e-books, etc.) that you have read, or have the ambition to read; I will do the same.  Then, once we have put our reading lists together, please post them as comments to this blog discussion, and share your reading list.  As contributors comment and share their recommended readings, We will discuss them together in the ‘Reading Room,’ set as a topic category of this blog.  In this category, and throughout the existence of this blog, we will go into much more detail about our recommended reading lists.  We will expand on what we are learning from what we are reading.  This will add a very interesting and beneficial dimension to this blog, as it will allow us to bring our various thoughts, ideas and knowledge to a unique forum within the Command Performance Leadership blog.

Copyright © Dale R. Wilson

Video of the Week – The Leadership Gift

Posted in Inaugural Posts, Video of the Week with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 9, 2011 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

Leadership Is a Gift Given by Those Who Follow

Some of you may recognize this video, as I posted it to a few LinkedIn groups about a month ago.  I wanted to re-post it here, as I now have an expanded audience to view it.  This video is quite inspirational, and it may very well be one of the finest lectures you will ever see.  I encourage you to watch the entire 50+ minute video; the message is strong, moving and stimulating.  This is a speach by General Mark Welsh, Commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe, to the Cadets of the United States Air Force Academy on November 1, 2011.  General Welsh is discussing with the Cadets where they will be, and what they will become as Air Force officers, when they graduate from the Academy.  Although it is a lecture at a military academy on the topic of leadership in the profession of arms, the premise of the lecture is universal to anyone who leads in any walk of life, and within any organization or institution.  Leadership as an act of service.  As the General says, “Leadership is a gift. It’s given by those who follow. You have to be worthy of it.”

In summary, General Welsh discusses the following:

1) Know your organization’s heritage; learn something about who your organization is, and who you are.

2) Ask yourself why your doing what you are doing, and why you are doing it for the company/organization you are doing it for; somebody has to be good at what you do – you better be good at it.

3) Things are going to change.  The economy is going to change; politics are going to change; technology is going to change; the competion/enemy will change.  We may have to change with it.  But, who we are will not change.  The faces and names may change within an organization, but the organization’s overall purpose/mission will not change.

4) Companies and organizations hire people to commit themselves to a certain mission and values.  The company expects those people to be successful.

5) Everyone in an organization is expected to make a difference.  The leader – manager – officer’s job is to lead them towards success.

The Expectations of a Leader –

1) Credibility – Be Credible.  If you say it, mean it.  You better do what you say you will do.

2) Pay attention to detail.  Little things can make the difference between success and failure.

3) Be ready to make decisions.

4) If you don’t know your people, you can’t lead them.  Every person has a story; get to know who your people are.

5) Don’t leave your people down.

6) Be committed to your profession.

****BE READY TO LEAD**** 

Copyright © Dale R. Wilson

What Does “Command Performance” Leadership Really Mean?

Posted in Command Performance, Inaugural Posts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 7, 2011 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

I came up with Command Performance quite a few years ago as the title for my series of at least two books to be written about the study of military leadership and the foundations of strategy and tactics.  As discussed in my inaugural post, the book is a comprehensive text covering the principled values, virtues and wisdom that guide military and business professionals to victory.

Book one in the series is “Military Leadership – Concepts of Command (The Comprehensive Study of the Leadership Competencies of the United States Military),” which will be on leadership and management.  And, book two, “The Foundations of Warfighting Strategy – Integrating Warfighting Concepts into Force Capabilities, which will be on strategy and tactics.  Although they seem to have a predominantly military theme, the intent is to tie together the synergies shared between the military and corporate environments.

The term Command Performance has many universal meanings and interpretations related to leadership, and the execution of a task or action.  As you will see, these two words capture the entire leadership and strategy thesis of this blog, and my forthcoming books.  I will admit to you that I came up with the title before I ever realized the many significant meanings I am about to discuss.  In this discussion, in most instances, you must interchange the word command for the word lead, when it seems appropriate; command = lead.  You’ll know when this applies, in the proper context, within this discussion.

The common misconception is that command performance refers to the repeating of a great performance; a show that was so good that we need to see it again.  Although this isn’t the most accurate definition, I think it fits nicely into this discussion.  If a team or individual’s performance was a ‘good show’ and successful, we want to see it happen over and over again.  Think of an occasion where you saw a movie, concert, or play, where you enjoyed it so much that you absolutely planned on coming back again; once, twice, always.  The results of our work is no different.  Our leaders, supervisors, bosses want to see us succeed, and they want to succeed as well.  Performing poorly is not an option; especially in front of our audience, which includes our country, our customers, our peers, our company, etc.  whoever we serve, they expect great performances.  Our customers have paid for great performances; our companies pay us to provide great performances.  Figuratively, we are on stage when we do our jobs.  It is absolutely imperative that we do our jobs well, everyday and every time; to keep our customers coming back to us, or to keep our jobs.  When we have exceeded expectations, we deserve a command performance; and one should be anticipated.

But, the actual definition of command performance is ‘a theatrical or musical performance (a play, opera, ballet, etc.) presented at the direction or request of a reigning monarch or head of state (a king, queen, president, etc.).’  Otherwise known as The Royal Command Performance, since the earliest days of the monarchy, both in England and elsewhere, Kings and Queens have maintained minstrels and court jesters, and employed travelling troubadours to provide them with entertainment, and in its broadest sense any of these performances could be termed to be a ‘royal command performance’.[i]  From this context comes the play on words that comprises the many meanings of command performance.

A mistaken belief by many people is that military leaders, or military leadership in general, is an ‘in your face’ style of getting things done.  The vision most people have of the military is of a drill instructor barking out orders to recruits in boot camp; spouting profanity and displaying physical intimidation.  Those of us who served in the military certainly know that this is not true.  But, what is true is that, in the military, when we are given an order or directive to accomplish a task, it could mean the difference between life and death…winning or losing…success or failure.  When our boss demands performance, he/she does so with a determined conviction and authority that is unmistakable.  We know what is expected of us, and we deliver results.

To be commanding does not mean that you should be disrespectfully demanding.  When a boss, commissioned officer, CEO, commanding officer, etc., through his/her achievements and merit, have earned a certain level of respect and authority, and have gained the appropriate jurisdiction to command, he/she will demand performance; they will expect it.  When a leader insists that a job or task be completed, they mandate that there be the appropriate action required to accomplish the mission.  By their tone and determination, they direct with authority and control.  They give orders, exercising a dominating, authoritative influence over the individual, team or organization.  In addition to their authority, they possess knowledge, ability, skill, expertise and mastery.  There is a certain power and influence at the leader’s disposal, and they exercise and maintain the fitness to command.  In the act of commanding, the leader governs, instructs, directs, controls, oversees, inspires, and manages the process.  They take charge…they lead…they demand performance.

Another perspective of the term command performance is that the responsible leader will take ownership and accountability for performance.  Whatever the results of an organization, the leader owns the outcomes, and they are ultimately the individual who is accountable.  A good leader will never say things like, “it’s not my job…I forgot…it couldn’t be helped…”  There are no excuses; only results.  True leadership begins and ends with personal responsibility.  Success, or the failure, of any team or organization is reflected in the leader’s ability to take ownership of the outcomes.

Some of our leaders seem to be bigger than life.  This can come from fame or rank, character or respect, or from the prominence of the organization they lead.  They ultimately have a commanding  stature or persona.  It may not only be people who make us feel this way.  A leading company may have a commanding presence in their industry or region.  Or, a football team, by their dominance in their physical effort or position, has been commanding when they have taken a significant lead in a game.  Their play on the gridiron has been overpowering, and has overwhelmed their opponent.  Another example is the United States Navy.  They have Command of the Seas.  A naval force has command of the seas when it is so strong that its rivals cannot attack it directly.  To be a commanding presence is to possess or exercise controlling authority.  From that position, a person or an organization will earn and deserve respect and admiration.

There are more practical and literal definitions of the word command that require discussion.  A command is a directive or an order issued by one in authority or control of an organization.  A command is a signal that initiates an operation defined by an instruction, and is an action or task performed in response.  When we are given a command or task, we are expected to carry it out without fail.  Our command performance is expected to be professional and complete.

In the military, a Command is an organization (team, department, platoon, company, unit, post, region, district, etc.).  It is a body of troops, a station, or a ship under a the leadership of a Commander.  It may be an organization with a specific function, such as the Strategic Air Command or the Military Sealift Command.  A command’s performance is vital to mission accomplishment, and could make the difference between winning or losing a battle or war; or making a profit, keeping a customer, becoming number one in an industry, etc.

When we talk about Command Performance, we are obviously talking about many things.  No matter if we are the leader, or the one being lead, we are always on stage, and we are always performing.  And, no matter what our work or role happens to be, we always have an audience that we are performing for; our company, our customers, our peers, our family, our country, etc.  The way in which we function (or perform) will either earn us a command performance, or will get us thrown out of the theater.  We need to command our performance to be successful.

Copyright © Dale R. Wilson


FOOTNOTES –

[i] A History of the Royal Command Performance, Don Gillan (Copyright), www.stagebeauty.net, accessed 7 December 2011

The Birth of a Leadership Blog

Posted in Inaugural Posts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 5, 2011 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

Welcome to the Command Performance Leadership blog; a blog dedicated to the discussion of military and corporate leadership competencies, as well as principled values, virtues and wisdom, to guide military and business professionals to victory.  The ideas, opinions and contributions to this blog’s discussions are intended to tie experiences and knowledge from military leadership to its application in a corporate environment.

This blog is a companion to an online LinkedIn group I started called Command Performance – Military and Corporate Leadership.  When I started that LinkedIn group, my goal was to discuss the synergies between military and corporate leadership and management, and to attract people who come from both the military and civilian worlds to offer their experience and knowledge about fundamental leadership skills.  This blog will serve the same purpose, and will hopefully produce the same results.

Additionally, I have been eager to write a book about military leadership.  I am (slowly) working on a book called “Military Leadership – Concepts of Command (The Comprehensive Study of the Leadership of the United States Military).”  Ultimately, the blog and the book will coexist here, and the pages of the book will evolve.

I have become quite fascinated with the multidimensional subject of leadership, and especially military leadership.  As a veteran of the United States Navy, I have a great deal of respect for those who serve our military, and those who lead them.  Throughout history, men like Julius Caesar, Napoleon, George Washington, Ulysses S. Grant, Dwight D. Eisenhower, George S. Patton Jr., William “Bull” Halsey, Chester Nimitz, Douglas MacArthur, and more recently H. “Stormin’ Norman” Schwarzkopf, Tommy Franks and David Petraeus, have excelled at the profession of arms because of their leading by example.

With all of this as the foundation, here we are today opening this blog.  I am excited to get all of this started.  I sincerely hope that you join me for this journey into the study of leadership, and that you follow and contribute to this wide-ranging discussion.

I am pleased that you have visited my blog.  This blog is meant to be informative and interactive.  I invite you to share your comments on any of the posts.  Additionally, I would like to hear from you.  Let me know what leadership topics we should discuss.  Under the Connect tab, on the right side of the blog’s main page, you will find links to my LinkedIn profile; feel free to connect.  Also, a link to my email is there.  I welcome your direct input via email.

I sincerely hope that you find this blog to be educational and inspiring.  Thank you for your support, and I look forward to blogging with you.

Dale R. Wilson

Copyright © Dale R. Wilson

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