Leadership is more than just a word to Col. Joseph William DeMarco. It is a way of life. Over a 24 year career in the United States Air Force, Col. DeMarco has pushed to understand effective leadership, develop leaders, and (continually) learn from others. Recently, I emailed him this request, “How can I introduce you to the community at the Frances Hesselbein Leadership Institute?”
He responded simply and quickly:
“Colonel ‘Bill’ DeMarco, USAF, Commander and leader in permanent beta.”
I met Col. DeMarco while attending the 2011 bi-annual reunion of the 100th Bomb Group [WWII Bomber Group]. Representing the 100th Air Refueling Wing, based in England, Col. DeMarco presented the veterans and their families with a beautifully prepared speech on the impact of duty, honor, and excellence demonstrated by “our Airmen Fathers.” His oratory on the importance of legacy made a lasting impact on me.
Over the phone - between detachment visits to the airmen he leads and hospital visits for his young son battling cancer - Col. DeMarco shared his vision of leadership. Here is what it looks like to him.
- Jason Womack
Q&A with Col. Joseph William Demarco:
Jason Womack: Do you have a simple way to think about how leaders get better?
Bill DeMarco: Leonardo daVinci once said "simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." There are two things I know I need to do as a leader; both are simple to understand, yet complex or quite sophisticated in implementation.
Understand that we need to improve. In the Air Force it’s possible to believe leadership is dependent upon a position. Someone who has positional authority does not automatically make them a strong leader. I make a point to let people know that I’m continuing to grow, to study, to learn, to talk to people like you. Another leadership guy, Andy Christiansen of High Capacity Leaders in Atlanta GA, once asked me to help him look at some military leadership issues, and in answering some of his questions, I think I’ve actually learned more from him!
We need to learn more about our own leadership style. There’s a lot of debate out there on what to work on, our strengths or our weaknesses. I interact with a lot of younger people, and I encourage them to really understand themselves, to understand both their strengths AND their weaknesses. When people understand themselves - their motivations and goals - more, it gives them thrust AND vector; it gives them the energy they need AND something to focus on.
JW: What Was Your Defining Moment As a Leader?
BD: I have a very strong memory of how 9/11 attacks changed everything for me, my family and my larger community. That morning I was out for a run, I came home and when I got out of the shower my sister-in-law called to tell me to “turn on the news.” When the second plane hit the World Trade Center I turned to my wife and said, “We’re at war.” She asked, “With who?” I replied, “I have no idea.”
Over the next 100 days I was deployed halfway across the world, and flew one of the first sorties in combat [he flew a KC-10 tanker, re-fueling fighter jets in the air] over the desert.
During that time I reflected back on something I learned as a cadet at The Citadel. When I was a freshman, one of the seniors told me, “The most important people in your LIFE are your classmates.” I had now idea how right he was. So, now I tell people: the most important people are your peers. The second most important, your direct reports, you need to take care of those guys. The third...Your boss.”
I learned who I could count on to get the job done.
READ FULL INTERVIEW
By Chris Fralic, First Round Partner and Chairman, Hesselbein Institute
I’ve attended hundreds of conferences and spoken at dozens of them over the years. While most people complain that they don’t get always the value they’d like from conferences, I usually do. The job I have now as a Partner at First Round Capital and many of my business relationships can be directly attributed to conferences where I’ve met the right people and connected in the right way. So here it is, from the basics to more advanced tips, my best advice on How To Work A Conference (with a particular Business Development focus on those that involve speakers and an audience, and less about massive trade shows like CES.)
1) The goal of a conference is to LEARN and to CONNECT with people. To start, that means actively listening and learning from your seat in the audience. When connecting with people, the goal is not to tell your life story, or present your 50 page business plan at the first handshake, or to immediately hand over your business card. The goal is to make a good impression, to learn something about and/or show you know something about the other person, and get permission to follow up. The goal of a conference is to learn and connect.
2) Read up on all the speakers – You should have an idea what you'd say ask to each if you get the chance to say hello. For me, right about now I’m pouring over the TED 2013 program guide.
3) Read up on all the attendees- this list is often a harder list to get, but well worth it if you can. For this is one you might have to “socially engineer” it from the conference organizers, or a good alternative angle is to ask someone you know who is a sponsor, otherwise try to get a list at the event from the registration desk. The basic idea is to circle/mark the people you want to talk to, and have an idea of what you’ll say. Great conferences, including TED, are now sharing attendee lists in advance to help everyone better connect.
READ FULL ARTICLE
During this time of great economic and societal change, leaders seeking to change behavior need equal parts information and inspiration to excel. To expand the Institute's leadership resources, we have created Leaders in Action Q&A. Each month, Institute partner Jason Womack will interview a leader who inspires great ethical leadership. To kick off this series, Frances Hesselbein interviews the interviewer - Jason Womack
Q&A with Jason Womack:
Jason Womack is an executive coach, author and expert speaker focusing on the psychology, sociology and technology of productivity. He has worked with leaders for almost two decades in both business and education sectors. Clients are leaders who make significant differences in life and at work. His extensive background is in leadership education, curriculum design, program implementation, policy research and development of partnerships.
Frances Hesselbein: Jason says leadership is about more than just getting other people to follow; anyone with a loud voice could do that. In my time with Jason, he revealed his belief that values-based leadership means you make and keep promises, building a strong foundation of belief and trust for emerging leaders around you. I'd like to share our full interview here.
FH: Jason, I believe you are one of the great thought leaders of our time. During many meetings with Peter Drucker, I heard him say, "I just look out the window and see what's visible, but not yet seen." When you look out the window, what do you see?
Jason Womack: Frances, as you've mentored me, I've heard you say, "In today's world and in our own country, we have the lowest level of trust, and the highest level of cynicism and we seem to have forgotten civil discourse in a civil society." What do I see? I see many people wondering who is going to make things better while simultaneously I see that a few leaders are stepping into the spotlight and that is making "all the difference in our world."
FH: Do you have a simple way to think about how leaders get better? How they seek continual improvement? Tell us what you do, to be a better leader.
JW: For any project I participate in, I ask, "Why?" I want to understand - on the deepest of levels - the "So that..." at the foundation of the endeavor.
FH: What Was Your Defining Moment As a Leader?
JW: As a high school teacher, I worked tirelessly to connect with my students and their parents. I regularly planned parent, teacher, student conferences before and after school. During one conference long ago, I learned a critical lesson. I was meeting with a father and his son who was struggling in class. At one point during our conversation, the father turned to his son and said, "Why are you always getting into trouble?"
The boy hung his head, avoided eye contact and answered, "The only time anyone notices me is when I do something wrong." That moment in time changed me. I understood just how fundamental the human need for belonging is; even if it expressed itself as attention getting behavior.
I reflect back on that conversation often when I'm working with people today. I know that they will grow and prosper when they feel acknowledged and know that they belong.
READ FULL INTERVIEW
7th Annual Award Dinner | Excellence in the public, private and social sectors
October 2012 marked the inauguration of formally honoring the work of leaders age 30 and under—NEXT Leaders—at the Institute’s annual Award Dinner, which honors extraordinary leaders from every sector who have distinguished themselves as ethical leaders of integrity and character while serving the common good.
“I spend one third of my time with new generation leaders, who give me renewed hope and energy. Their story is one that provides other young leaders inspiration and encouragement and we are grateful for the privilege of telling it,” said President and CEO Frances Hesselbein.
NEXT Award recipients included:
Jessica O. Matthews and Julia C. Silverman, co-founders of Uncharted Play, whose sustainable, evolving contributions aid children around the world;
Akosua Tyus, who fights for social justice and equality as President of the Washington, DC Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); and
Shaila Ittycheria and Kane Sarhan, [E]nstitute co-founders, whose passions have turned what seemed to be a great challenge for Millennials into a great opportunity.
In addition to complimentary travel, lodging, and two seats at the Award Dinner, NEXT Award recipients received Institute membership, including a professional development seminar and access to leadership mentoring with selected Institute Ambassadors. Support for the NEXT Award was made possible by the generous contribution of Ginger and Will Conway.
The NEXT awardees joined four distinctive Leader of the Future Award recipients:
General Peter W. Chiarelli (U.S. Army, Ret.),CEO of One Mind for Research, an independent, non-profit organization bringing together health care providers, researchers, academics and the health care industry—on a global scale—to cure all brain disorders. General Chiarelli served as the 32nd Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army (August 2008 – January 2012). He is a tireless advocate for eliminating the stigma associated with Service Members and Veterans, and creating treatment opportunities for the invisible wounds of war.
Michael and Kass Lazerow,co-founders of Buddy Media, Inc., who are self-proclaimed “serial entrepreneurs” who have co-founded four successful internet-based media companies. At the heart of each company is a passion for creating, managing and growing organizations from the ground up, who dedicate time and energy to social causes.
Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey,Philadelphia police Department,
a man of honor, service and integrity, who brings over forty years of knowledge and experience in advancing the law enforcement profession of three major city police departments: Chicago, Washington, DC, and Philadelphia.
Our inspiring leaders gave us much on which to reflect the evening of October 16:
- General Chirelli shared the reality of times: 67% of soldiers in 2012 return home afflicted with post traumatic stress and traumatic brain injuries.
- Commissioner Ramsey noted the most important contribution any of us can make: identifying new leaders and focusing on training and developing them.
- Kass and Mike Lazerow showed us, by example, that a husband and wife startup team can work well together, and that a great technology company can be built in New York, on the foundation of humility, imperfection and honesty.
We'd like to invite you to VIEW PHOTOS
from the Award Dinner.
To all of our sponsors, again THANK YOU!
Creating a Virtual Commons
Just as public radio was created to be a commons, a place—according to broadcast journalist Jay Allison—“where citizens convene to speak and listen in the common interest,” virtual conversation through web-based (and mobile) technologies have allowed users to express their personal experience and learn from and relate to others a million miles away, while suspending judgment or prejudice of age, race, lifestyle or political affiliation.
As a nonprofit organization committed to strengthening the leadership of the social sector, and their partners in business and government, the Hesselbein Institute looks for ways— utilizing technology, which honors a dedication to sustainability and resource efficiency—to share wisdom and resources with a diverse, multicultural community.
“We have learned we cannot simply say, ‘Here are resources that will enhance your leadership.’ We have found that only by focusing on the realities and concerns of the customer can we create the platform that enables the opportunity for our customers to address and discuss their own critical management issues,” says President and CEO Frances Hesselbein.
Since 2010, the Hesselbein Institute has partnered with the Global Dialogue Center—the brain child of author and thought leader Debbe Kennedy—to deliver free, online, interactive webinars
; creating a commons where diverse groups convene, speak and listen.
According to Kennedy, “Collaborating with Frances Hesselbein created a diverse leadership happening within a virtual meeting place that provided common ground.”
Global in scope, these online gatherings have resulted in conversations prompted by participants across cultures, sectors and industries, who, prior to each gathering, are invited to share ideas and questions—valuable input that is then used as dialogue themes addressed during the event.
“Peter Drucker taught us that the most important way to develop people is to use them as teachers,” says Hesselbein, who has traveled to more than 65 countries sharing her values-based leadership philosophy. “No more do I have to struggle with my calendar and 15-hour flights to Asia and elsewhere. Malaysia calls, ‘We want you to come to Kuala Lumpur to speak to 900 businessmen and women.’ My immediate response: ‘Thank you. I will be there.’ And then I describe the exciting live virtual dialogue.”
Since 1990, the Global Dialogue Center
has been known for its award-winning ability to develop and deliver innovative, personalized products and services. The team includes published writers, a resident artist, pianist, and more than twenty years of extensive experience working with senior leaders across sectors.
“Our goal for the 2012 Being a Leader
series was to think beyond the walls of what we’ve previously done to creatively weave a combination of opportunities that support and foster the passion to serve, the discipline to listen, the courage to question, and facilitate knowledge sharing and learning across diverse borders,” says Kennedy.
From the participation of corporate organizations including Walmart, IMB, HP, and Boeing to public and social sector organizations including The Department of Education, The American Red Cross, Girl Scouts of the USA, to social entrepreneurs, small business owners, and students representing New York University, Johns Hopkins, Indiana University, Penn State University, Michigan State, University of South Carolina, Rollins College, Notre Dame, and The University of Manchester...to name a few…the BEING a Leader LIVE online conversations have revealed powerful common threads—secrets to turning communication into interactive dialogue, listeners into participants.
Focus on THEM not US. The contribution and consideration the customer brings to a virtual space is essential. By developing pre-session questions that instantly engage participants, the customer as an individual is recognized and diversity in content input is received.
Keep your PROMISES
. According to Seth Godin
, “Authenticity, for me, is doing what you promise.” Maintaining a ‘no gimmick’ philosophy allows customers to feel comfortable and allows you to keep your promises.
Small DETAILS matter. Over time, webinars have developed a reputation marked by mixed reviews and results. Debbe Kennedy explains that producing memorable online global leadership gatherings requires planning and many small details. “At the Global Dialogue Center, we continue to learn it’s not about having a webinar. It is about creating a memorable experience. Five success factors seem to play a key role: Choice of partners, an involved keynote, session design, collaborative promotion, and engaging participants in the process.”
Our intentions, values, and heart BUILD TRUST. Kennedy believes intentions, the values you live by, and your heart speak loudly to others in the silence on the virtual plane. “More and more leaders and innovators are developing this kind of “sixth sense” as they learn to effectively develop a rich communication, working together with others in new ways through technology.”
A Personal Invitation for You...
You're invited to join
Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient and author Debbe Kennedy ONLINE on October 18—along with more than 200 leaders and innovators from nearly 20 countries—at 1:00 pm EST. Imagine how a conversation on these three timely topics could help you take your leadership to a new level:
- Staying MOTIVATED as
- Working in the VIRTUAL WORLD
- "TO SERVE" as a core leadership principle
For the Hesselbein Institute and its diverse ambassadors, virtual engagement has represented a new avenue of global leadership development, provided an online inclusive platform for meaningful dialogue and idea exchange and promoted greater understanding and acceptance of cultural collaboration. How have you, or your organization participated and been affected by virtual dialogue?
Admired | 21 Ways to Double Your Value, by Mark and Bonita Thompson
Imagine how it would feel to be fully valued for what you do best. Executive coaches and venture capitalists Mark and Bonita Thompson have found that your levels of engagement and enjoyment are directly related to whether or not you feel your goals are meaningful—in other words, research reveals that people are happiest and most motivated when the admiration they seek is for something that matters.
Both Mark and Bonita discovered their mission in life—to help people and their organizations realize their greatest potential value—at a young age. To discover what makes people valuable, respected, and admired, they conducted surveys and engaged with hundreds of the world’s most successful people face-to-face from Nelson Mandela, Richard Branson and Steve Jobs to the Dalai Lama.
Admired profiles strategies and tools to increase the value you give and receive. Here are a few:
- The first rule of taking action: Don’t wait to be asked.
- Opportunities for your team to test their skills and shine don’t always come along conveniently pr planned. Routinely ask your team members to work on projects that develop skills they’ll need for larger projects.
- Keep faith in yourself and your passion: everyone who does interesting, creative work when through a period of years making work that they knew wasn’t their best. If you are at that phase, it is normal.
- You can’t be the boss of someone else’s likes
- When you appreciate what’s valuable to you first, then seek sincerely to understand and connect with what drives the people who matter to you with depth and clarity.
Your Best Just Got Better, Work Smarter, Think Bigger, Make More, by Jason Womack
Do you have a colleague who is a spreadsheet genius? Or a tech wizard? Sit down and watch them work.
What time do you normally show up for a scheduled meeting? Learn the most efficient and appropriate time to arrive.
Give yourself the gift of your own attention.
Productivity expert, executive coach, and author Jason Womack invests his time, energy and focus assisting others with their productivity and business performance. His new book, Your Best Just Got Better
: Work Smarter, Think Bigger, Make More allows readers to recognize their own habits and routines – a significant aspect which leads to personal productivity and goal achievement.
Throughout the book—which links the inner workings of the psyche to our physical actions throughout the day—Womack provides a blueprint for setting goals, being consistent and taking action. “If you are waiting until you have time to decide what you’re going to do when you have time, you’ll always be behind,” writes Womack, “there are 95 15-minute blocks in a day to be productive.”
Womack’s wisdom is dispensed in easy to remember acronyms including IDEA (Identify, Develop, Experiment, Assess) MIT (Most Important Things) and ABR (Always be Ready).
Your Best Just Got Better is like having Womack on call as your personal coach—24 hours a day. We are called to clarify our habits, build mindset-based strategies, and be proactive. According to Womack, “Effective and lasting leadership demands you balance your skills and interests with your time and your focus.”
Not one down moment. The most energetic, beautiful global participants, who helped one another every day. This is how I would summarize the 4th annual Leadership Summit at the University of Pittsburgh.
13 mentors—including CEO's, nonprofit founders, executive coaches and a wounded warrior—inspired our global student leaders as they, in return, inspired us.
Through mentoring relationships, social interaction and instructional and interactive presentations, 2012 Academy students:
- Used critical thinking skills to address challenges offered by civic engagement sites throughout Pittsburgh
- Developed personal action plans to improve their community and/or campus
- Developed a collaborative network of great thought leaders
Author Simon Sinek spoke to us. We learned from him that leadership is not a position or role, but a responsibility and a process. The relationships we built in four days will last a lifetime. Thank you to the mentors who volunteered their time. Thank you to the global student leaders who give me energy.
A few thoughts from the Class of 2012 on their biggest TAKE HOME:
Shiny Xuan Feng Leaders are door openers. It means to cultivate people and create spaces for mutual growths and future opportunities.
Jocelyn Smith Discover the root cause of an issue before trying to solve the problems cause by the action!!! *Light Bulb*
Demetrius Jones "Practice speaking last." Simon Sinek
Sayid Abdullaev “Real leaders come in all shapes and sizes and from all walks of life. But they all have a few things in common: They are never so big that they cannot bend down to help someone else, they are never so wise that they do not remember who taught them. They are never so gifted that won’t share their skills with others. They are never so fearless that they do not play by the rules and live by the law. And they are never such big winners that they forget what it feels like to lose.” James Stewart
Kawkab Balush Leadership isn't about being first, not about giving orders, not about control. Leadership is about doing—not saying, taking initiatives and influencing people. Leadership is about making a difference and finding solutions.
Maricielo Solis "To serve is to live. " Frances Hesselbein
Mandognin Bamba Keep serving even when you think there is nothing more to give from yourself! The only great thing that accompanies individuals to their graves are their good memories spent by serving and helping others! My intention is to have hundred of thousands of those memories before my soul rest in peace.
Kazi Noman Ahmed Listen first and speak last....
"Harnessing the creativity, drive and energy of students can be a real asset to your company. And best of all, great interns can beget great employees." - George Weiner
We wanted to share with you an excerpt from an article by George Weiner, Brighten Your Intern Program from the last issue of ARRIVE, Amtrak's magazine.
Internships as an Education
Jim Collins writes in Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap ... and Others Don't that good is the enemy of great, and that principle holds true for internship programs. Good programs are easy to maintain and make it hard to see the need to invest in making it great.
Justice agrees and recommends three things formaking agood internship program great:
- personalizing the position
- increasing the experiences
- and providing regular feedback.
We have also formulated our own set of ACTIONABLE IDEAS to motivate interns:
PROVIDE MEANINGFUL WORK:
The workforce of the future was brought up in a fast-moving world. They multi-task and enjoy a challenge. They need projects that utilize their knowledge and skills, that can connect with their philosophical or deeper ... interests. They will leave when they think the job has become meaningless or that they are no longer learning and growing.
RECOGNIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF TEAMWORK AND INCLUSION: This generation is considered the most open generation of all. Millennials see themselves as part of a global community and believe that everyone belongs to this community. They want to be connected with teams at work and with customers. They are good at leveraging the efforts of others to achieve results and sharing rewards. It is important interns are involved in teams where their contribution will be recognized and valued.
PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES TO LEAD SOONER:
Look for projects and assignments where Interns have a chance to lead.
How are you making your internship program exciting?
Coaching for Leadership: Writings on Leadership from the World’s Greatest Coaches
by Marshall Goldsmith, Ph.D., Laurence S. Lyons, Ph.D., and Sarah McArthur
“Leadership really comes into its own the moment you discover that something significant isn’t as it should be and you’ve become inspired, having identified your special role in building a better future.”
Coaching, consulting, and acting as a change agent is hard work! The ability to reflect, define behaviors, identify behavior changes, and assist others sustain these changes means providing a candor and openness that many find hard to face.
Coaching for Leadership offers techniques, principles, and relevant case studies—from a traditional overview of the foundations of coaching, to distinct examples of influencing decision makers, coaching high-potential women and writing like a leader—showing how and why mentoring is a circular experience.
Contributors including John Baldoni, Sally Helgesen, Frances Hesselbein, Jessica K. Johnson, Linda D. Sharkey, Bonita S. Buell-Thompson, Mark C. Thompson, and David Ulrich offer distinct point of view about what it means to be an effective leader including:
• Focus on the future, not the past
• Recognize, discover, and build on the passion, meaning, and desires of the
• Find the right physical setting to coach
• Build sustainability into the coaching engagement by follow up and
In addition to Coaching for Leadership, we also recommend the Case Study Workbook, which is a practitioner’s resource, unique in that its lessons are told
in narrative form with illustrations, exercises, and highly entertaining stories that engrain in readers theories of management and leadership.
Kenneth E. Clark Student Research Award
Deadline for submission: June 15, 2012
The International Leadership Association (ILA) and the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) are pleased to partner to sponsor the annual Kenneth E. Clark Student Research Award to recognize outstanding unpublished papers by undergraduate and graduate students. The award is named in honor of the distinguished scholar and former Chief Executive Officer of the Center.
The winner of this year’s award will receive:
- $1,000 cash prize
- Travel and lodging and registration to the Denver 2012 ILA Conference
- Complimentary 1-year membership in the ILA
- Recognition at the ILA conference and multi-media ILA publications
Submissions may be either empirically or conceptually based. Multi-disciplinary approaches to research are welcomed. The paper should focus on some aspect of leadership or leadership development.
Submissions will be judged by the extent to which the paper addresses:
- Issues and trends that are significant to the study of leadership;
- Relevant theoretical and empirical literature;
- Conceptual or empirical contribution;
- Leadership identification and development.
Papers must be authored and submitted by graduate or undergraduate students only. All authors must currently be students or must have graduated within 1-year prior to the submission deadline of Friday June 15, 2012.
Be a Change Agent