suffering2

On Hardship and Suffering

Though our natural inclination is to avoid hardship and suffering, we know that most things of enduring value demand at least some hardship and suffering to achieve them. We know we must learn to struggle, suffer, and overcome hardship, if we are to forge the character necessary to succeed when faced with important challenges in life.…

being different

Leading from Behind

Leading from behind? Isn’t that an oxymoron, like organized chaos, or a genuine fake? “Leading from behind” normally connotes a leader reacting to and being led by events rather than getting out in front of problems, setting objectives, and inspiring his/her organization to achieve great things. I will make the case however, that the best…

The American Idea

I was recently asked to sit on a panel discussing the Future of the American Idea, hosted by the Jack Kemp Foundation.  I shared the panel with three very distinguished speakers in American political discourse: Peggy Noonan, Bill Kristol, and Gary Kasparov.   Thanks to my good friend Michelle Van Cleave for nominating me to be part…

A Bias for Bold Action

I was recently invited to provide a Navy SEAL’s perspective to a conference on risk management.    As I was preparing my remarks, I realized that throughout my career in the Navy, “risk management” had been inherent in my duties as an officer and leader of audacious men in high risk operations, but I had never…

The Fifth Factor

Ok, what’s the “Fifth Factor?” That is the question I frequently get when I tell people I named my company “Fifth Factor Leadership.” This simple question seems to deserve a simple answer, but I don’t have a simple answer, except my standard wise-guy response: It comes right after the fourth factor. Which of course leads…