The Letterman Institute

Recently I was asked by the staff of the Museum to lay out my thoughts on leadership.  What I wrote is really the foundation for our institute.  It seems fitting to place this comment here since it tells the world what we are about.

1)      We are a program based on a servant/steward leadership model that stresses social, environmental and civic responsibility as a foundation of leadership rather than a method or a style of leadership.  We use the history of compassionate leadership in the face of human tragedy as a model for long-lasting leadership results.  While many battlefield leadership programs focus on the tactical decisions made in light of the events of a single battle, we broaden the focus to decisions made in the light of foundational compassion that changed the world to this very day.

2)      Our program is not about the battle or the decisions as much on the methodology of the decisions and the reasons behind them.  We look to the very root of the choices made. We also  view the personalities and motivations of the decision makers so we can better understand their methods.  This allows us to turn the battlefield into a parable of leadership that is easy to follow and interesting even to those who may not enjoy history.  It is the story that sticks in the mind, not the facts of a historical event.

3)      Our program is meant to change lives not simply achieve results.  It is about people and communities not about sales goals and benchmarks.  By focusing on changing the world one person at a time we will achieve much more than simply trying to meet a quota.  Our participants achieve much more than can be measured by on a spreadsheet; they excel at life. 

4)      Our training is not for everyone.  It is only for those who are willing to be mission driven individuals for whom there is something greater than self.  It is for those who wish to change the world; not simply profit from it.  And, it is for those who realize that good leadership is based on timeless principles and not simply the latest fad

5) Leadership is not just for managers and CEOs.  If an organization wants to exemplify good leadership then everyone must participate in learning leadership skills.  Leadership must extend from the mailroom to the boardroom.

I think that these five principles clearly lay out my feelings on leadership and the purpose of this blog.


1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. John Miller  |  April 9, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    I completely agree with the above statements. Believe me I know from experience. I look forward in following this blog.


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