Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was born January, 15 1929.  He was more than America’s greatest civil rights leader.  He was one of America’s greatest leaders, period. A Nobel Peace Prize winner, he is the only non-President to have a national holiday named in their honor.  Inspirational leaders have a vision of what needs to be done and the energetic drive that influences others to help them achieve common goals.  MLK did that and more.  He built coalitions, always chose the inspirational, non-violent high road and persevered with purpose in pursuit of racial equality.  Examples of his “T3” leadership style include:  TEAMWORK:  MLK...

Elvis Presley, “The King of Rock ’n Roll” was born January 8, 1935.   He was a daring, charismatic pioneer of a new style music (and dance moves).  His fusion of white country and black rhythm & blues changed American pop culture forever.   As a leader, Elvis was the full package of “Teamwork, Tone, Tenacity®” (T3). TEAMWORK:   Extraordinarily generous with charitable organizations and inpiduals throughout his career.  Beloved by his backup performers and business colleagues: "The Jordanaires,” "The Taking Care of Business Band" and “The Memphis Mafia.”  Elvis was especially public service minded: In 1956 his polio vaccine was...

Joan of Arc, Patron Saint of France, was born January 6, 1412.  The  legendary heroine is known for her devout religious belief, intrepid devotion to duty and distinctive ability to motivate others.  She was a “T3” exemplar, demonstrating historic “Teamwork, Tone, Tenacity®”.  Here’s some specifics: TEAMWORK:  Successfully planned and led a French Army's audacious assault to break the English Siege at Orleans at age 17.  This was a turning point of The Hundred Years War and fulfilled a prophecy she delivered to King Charles VII.  Wounded twice, Joan returned to the front each time to motivate her troops.  She subsequently planned...

The clock in Navy Rear Admiral Grace Hopper’s office ran counterclockwise!  “Amazing Grace” - as she was known by admirers - saw things differently and urged others to think unconventionally when tackling tough tasks.  This pioneering computer scientist and programmer was the driving force behind the invention of COBOL plus other modern programming languages and was the first to use the word “bug” for an IT problem when she discovered a moth inside a malfunctioning mainframe! Admiral Hopper’s role model leadership broke gender barriers in previously male dominated STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) fields.  Her soft spoken subject matter expertise built...

“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. ...