“A Sense of Humor is part of the Art Of Leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done.” - Dwight D. Eisenhower.                    A leader’s use of humor is a serious matter.  One of America’s greatest leaders in peace, crisis and combat, President Eisenhower, strongly believed this and spoke to with deep credibility.  American business executives believe it too.  According to a 2017 Robert Half survey, 79% of polled C-Suite officers believe a sense of humor is important for fitting in with corporate culture and career advancement.   I’ve always admired a...

A statue of the inspirational Medal of Honor recipient Vice Admiral James Stockdale (1923-2005) belongs in “The Garden of American Heroes,” a new national monument to be built per Executive Order.  Admiral Stockdale’s motivational example of indomitable patriotism and intrepid leadership occurred when he was America’s senior Prisoner of War (POW) in North Vietnam from 1965-73, all the while braving life-threatening hardships.  The Admiral’s refusal to cooperate with his captors under conditions of torture and solitary confinement was the impetus for a culture of POW resistance that included ways to communicate and govern behavior which strengthened morale, bolstered faith in...

June 11th is Jacques Cousteau’s birthday (1910). The Frenchman inspired generations as a world-famous maritime explorer, conservationist and  filmmaker.  His aquatic accomplishments are legendary, but so are his leadership skills which internationally influenced others to become involved with maritime ecology.  What made Cousteau’s style so special? It was his impassioned application of “T3.” TEAMWORK:  A Naval Officer and Frogman who first came to international prominence by revolutionizing underwater diving, Cousteau co-developed the Aqua-Lung (forerunner of today’s SCUBA).  He used his  military team-building skills to inclusively partner with scientists adventurers, ecologists, authors and even musicians (“Calypso” - named for Cousteau’s Research...

June 4th marks the beginning of the 78th anniversary of the Battle of Midway, the greatest naval battle in American history and the turning point of World War II in the Pacific. At Midway, a larger Japanese fleet was surprised and defeated by smaller, less combat-experienced U.S. naval forces. Victory was enabled by:  Intelligence TEAMWORK,  Admiral Nimitz’s motivational TONE which empowered subordinates’ bold decision-making, and  The TENACITY, courage, and inspirational sacrifice of our Sailors and Marines and Army Airmen  The application of “Teamwork, Tone, Tenacity™” (T3) enabled the success of American war planning, fighting and winning at Midway and they are...

May is National Nurse’s Month, largely because May 12th is the birthday (1820) of the inspirational founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightengale. It’s an apt time to reflect on her compassion, innovation and determination during our national Covid19 crisis when nurses are demonstrating lifesaving heroism and resolve.  Her name was an aptronym, suited to its owner who’s powerful song for improved patient care came to prominence while serving as a leader and trainer of battlefield British nurses during the Crimean War 1854-1856.  Following her motivational, selfless service in Turkey where she earned iconic status becoming known as "The Lady with the...

In times of crisis, especially during multiple simultaneous crises, organizations thrive with leaders who:  Reassure by reinforcing trust  Show empathy  Demonstrate stability through competence and character Exude hope. The scope and scale of the Covid-19 pandemic presents an extraordinary leadership challenge.  It’s created multiple, simultaneous crises for healthcare, the economy, social stability, education and international relations with no clear end in sight.  In addressing this challenge, social media and professional journals have been flooded by lengthy, exquisite leadership recommendations to help navigate the complexity of leading under such difficult circumstances.  I won’t join others by piling on with long, elaborate formulae. ...

Our beloved 15-year old dog Hula passed this weekend. Naming this Hawaiian-born puppy came naturally. She not only gave as much love and comfort as she received, but her examples of fidelity, selflessness and enthusiasm inspired everyone and epitomized the leadership traits of “Teamwork, Tone, Tenacity” (T3).    TEAMWORK: One of the greatest attributes of a leader is understanding how to first be a good follower and part of a team. Coming from a litter of eight, Hula knew this from the start. She also demonstrated exceptional team leadership qualities such as: LISTENING:  She made us feel heard by an intense stare or head twist even though she...

In December 1903 aviation pioneers Orville and Wilbur Wright invented, built and flew the first successful powered airplane in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.  In doing so these leaders inspired the world and set the stage for modern developments in aerospace. The achievement was no fluke. It was years in the making for these self-taught engineers (neither had a high school diploma) and came while numerous competitors were racing to be the first. What set the Wright Brothers apart?  Three characteristics: “Teamwork, Tone, Tenacity®.”   TEAMWORK: These two brothers (each flew their airplane twice on their historic day of accomplishment) blended their...

October 21st marked the anniversary of one of the greatest - if not the greatest - naval victories in history: The Battle of Trafalgar.  Off Spain’s Atlantic Coast in 1805, British Admiral Lord Nelson and his 27 ships decisively defeated a combined French-Spanish fleet of 33 ships.  The amazing victory ensured Napoleon would remain ashore in Continental Europe and give up on any plans to invade England.  Nelson’s brilliance as a maritime warfighter and leader were second to none.  The factors that led to this historic victory are still taught at military war colleges today.  The three most significant:  TEAMWORK: Nelson...

I was honored to deliver the Keynote Address last week at the Deer Park (Long Island) Class of 2019’s High School Commencement Ceremony, my alma mater.  It was great to be home and offer advice to this generation 40 years after my Class of 1979 received our diplomas.       To put ’79's High School years in perspective, I informed the soon-to-be graduates that during our time in school:   “The Yankees were 2x reigning World Series Champs,  There was only one “Star Wars” film,  There were no “Avengers” movies  (their comics sold for 25 cents), We saw “Queen” perform...