January 21, 2016

Brad Israel discussed “Values-Based Leadership” today by reflecting on his experience in Afghanistan and the Middle East conflict. He stated that Leaders must “walk-the-walk” because people follow leaders well before they follow the plan. As a Special Forces Detachment Commander, he was active during Operation Winter Stand in Afghanistan. His mentor was LTG Samuel V. Wilson who said, “Take Care of the Men, and the Men Will Take Care of You!”
Brad was also influenced by such people as John Maxwell, quoting him, “True leadership cannot be awarded or assigned. It must be tirelessly earned through respect and influence.”
Mr. Israel said, “Leaders must have shared values with their followers, whether in military or civilian life. Leaders must listen all the way to the lowest level of followers to be truly effective.”
According to a Deloitte study, culture and engagement are the most important issues facing companies throughout the world. He brought up the problems faced by Best Buy just a few years ago. Micro-management by its leaders brought about huge turnover within that company. Eventually, two key employees helped reverse the situation by recognizing that each employee should be treated as a leader individually.
Mr. Israel then discussed the key point from Umair Hague’s book, Betterness: Economics for Humans, which is that profit has its place in business, but more importantly for long-term success, your impact is ultimately more important.
Finally, he ended by quoting Winston Churchill, “To each there comes in their lifetime a special moment when they are figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do a very special thing, unique to them and fitted to their talents. What a tragedy if that moment finds them unprepared or unqualified for that which could have been their finest hour.”