The T3 Leadership Blog

Teamwork • Tone • Tenacity™

On this date in 1943, Lou Zamperini, U.S. Army Air Corps Captain and former US Olympic distance runner, survived his B-24’s crash into the Pacific during WWII. He then spent 2+ brutal yrs in Japanese POW camps.  His inspirational spirit to overcome extreme adversity was featured in the amazing book and movie: “UNBROKEN.”  Lou’s leadership style included: TEAMWORK:  Patriotic. Joined the Army Air Force prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor in order to serve his country.   Servant leader. Cared for others before self.   Survived 47 days at sea after his crash with practically no food or water. ...

On this date in 1862, Robert Smalls freed himself, his crew, and their families from slavery during the Civil War by commandeering a Confederate transport ship, CSS PLANTER in Charleston harbor, and piloting it from Confederate-controlled waters to the U.S. blockade that surrounded it. He then sailed the ship to the Union-controlled enclave in the Beaufort–Hilton Head area, where it became a U.S. Navy ship and he was given command - the first African-American to command a USN ship in our nation’s history. His example and persuasion helped convince President Lincoln to accept African-American soldiers into the Union Army.  Smalls’...

Virginia Hall was born on April 6, 1906.  She was the most highly decorated American woman in WWII; awarded the US Distinguished Service Cross for actions in Europe against the Nazis.  Hall was an American spy who worked with the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and its British equivalent in France during World War II.  She was an expert in espionage, sabotage and reconnaissance against Germany.  After the war, Hall worked for the CIA.  Her amazing story and inspirational leadership style included: TEAMWORK:  Hall was a former U.S. Consular Service employee in several European locations during the 1930’s.  After leaving...

David "Mickey" Marcus was born on this date in 1901. He was the youngest son of Romanian Jewish immigrants in New York City. A U.S. Army Colonel in WWII, he later became Israel's first General, fighting for the new Jewish State during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War.  Whenever I reference “Servant Leadership” during one of my keynote presentations, I highlight Mickey’s devotion to his colleagues and the American public.  Marcus was portrayed by Kirk Douglas in the highly acclaimed 1966 movie “Cast a Giant Shadow.”  His amazing story and inspirational leadership style included: TEAMWORK:  Mickey graduated West Point with the Class...

Susan B. Anthony, leader of America's women's suffrage movement, was born OTD 1820. She was a remarkable exemplar of someone who shared a vision for the future, provided total devotion to a cause and fight corrupt exercises of power.  Her speeches and keynote addresses touched women nationwide and brought tens of thousand to support the suffrage cause. She was the first woman depicted on U.S. currency with the 1979 one dollar coin. Slight of stature but with an incredibly powerful character, her inspirational leadership style emphasized: TEAMWORK:  Loyal and purpose driven. In 1851, she met Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who became her...

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) was born On This Date in 1882.  He was our 32nd President; and our longest serving one, elected to an historic four terms.  The charismatic FDR was also proud to declare he was an Assistant Secretary of the Navy for seven years and two time Governor of New York.  He led America through the Great Depression and WWII.  FDR promised a "New Deal" and delivered ...

Sir Ernest Shackleton, British Antarctic explorer, died 100 years ago today.  He famously led a 28-man expedition in 1914 to be the first to cross Antarctica. He did not achieve that objective, but made history by heroically saving his entire crew despite incredible hardships over the course of nearly two years.  It’s unusual to devote attention to a leader whose expedition failed.  Shackleton is an exception, and I highlight his achievement in almost every keynote presentation on leadership and overcoming extreme adversity, because what happened instead provides impactful lessons about what we now call “crisis management” with an emphasis on...

This week, the world lost exuberant American football legend John Madden. He was an incomparable Coach (Super Bowl Champ and Hall of Famer with the highest winning percentage of any peer), Broadcaster (20+ years with several networks as their #1 commentator), and Video Game entrepreneur (“Madden NFL” a top seller).  For more than 50 years he was the most recognizable name and voice of the National Football League (NFL).  A man of integrity and intensity, he improved and informed others about his profession like no other.  His most inspirational leadership traits: TEAMWORK:  Husband, Father, Friend, Coach, Broadcaster, Businessman.  In all...

NFL Football Player and Army Ranger Pat Tillman was born 11/6/1976.  Corporal Tillman served in Iraq 2003  and was tragically Killed In Action in Afghanistan 2004, the first NFL player to perish in combat since Vietnam.  His inspirational style: TEAMWORK:  At Arizona State, Pat was the team MVP and PAC-10 Defensive Player of the Year.  He was patriotic. While an Arizona Cardinal, enlisted in the Army at the end of his fourth season following 9/11, remembering his great grandfather who served at Pearl Harbor.  Pat said in an interview, “I play football, and it just seems so goddamn unimportant compared...

Beginning Native American Heritage month, we celebrate the life and legacy of Admiral Joseph James “Jocko” Clark.  A member of the Cherokee Nation and native Oklahoman (b. 1893 - d. 1971), he was the U.S. Naval Academy’s first indigenous person graduate (1917) and America’s first Native American four-star Officer from any service.  His inspirational style:  TEAMWORK: Heroic on the seas as a Destroyer sailor in WWI in the Atlantic.   An Aircraft Carrier Commanding Officer (SUWANNEE, YORKTOWN and HORNET) and Carrier Task Force commander during WWII in the Pacific, and Commander of the Seventh Fleet during the Korean War.   ...