A Leadership Lesson from a Cop Show?

bostonEvery so often a silly cop show can have a profound message. I watched one today. The message it communicated – that leaders have to look beyond the obvious in connecting with their employees – was really well done, if a little hokey.

Maura is the Medical Examiner for the Boston Police Department. She has a Fellow working for her, an Army doctor back from Afghanistan, transitioning from general medicine to pathology, studying under her tutelage. He is a jokester, with a subtle sense of humor that she rarely understands. She passes him in the hall, and casually asks if he has notified the parents of the cause of death of their daughter. He said he had not, and was obviously uncomfortable with either being confronted, or in failing to have completed what had been asked. (more…)

A Lesson in Trust and Leadership from my Cat

Endora 0715Endora is the newest edition to our family, joining her sister Elphaba. Both are shelter cats. We adopted Elphie at 7 weeks. She rules the house and is afraid of nothing. When our older cat passed 10 months later Elphie was visibly grieving, so we set out to find a friend for her.

Endora was a stray until she was rescued by the county and put up for adoption. She was about a year old when rescued, and had been in the shelter for several months when we arrived. I might have thought it odd that she had burrowed under the paper litter box in her cage, as far away from “the humans” as she could be. But I was distracted by her big, beautiful eyes that seemed to be begging me to “adopt me.” So we did. (more…)

My Plan Would Have Worked, if only….

arrow_strategy_400_clr_9440 2What a joy spending time with a young military officer over the holiday. An instructor who teaches the principles of warfighting to young, green lieutenants, he has some interesting stories about developing young leaders. Listening to his insight into “education and learning” it struck me that leadership development concepts are really no different for military or civilian leaders.

Basic officer training is the place that new officers try, fail and learn. Young kids right out of college don’t really like the “fail” part; it’s not a word that has been allowed in their vocabulary. They have spent 16 years of their lives striving to ace exams and earn good grades. Marines are selective, and they wouldn’t be military officers if they hadn’t learned how to be successful in school.

Mock battles are, in essence, simulated learning. The instructors create a realistic scenario, and provide roles, situations, and play the bad guys. The students use concepts learned in class to develop their operational plan, and the student leaders carry out the work of executing the plan. (more…)