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The Advantages Of Empowerment January 10, 2010

Posted by DPL in Business Management, deckplate leadership, leadership, management, military leadership, Professional Development.
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“It is unspeakable how advantageous it is, that a man should think he has something which he may call his own…”

~Politics, Aristotle

To have a true impact as a leader you must have ownership of your role, your mission, or your work center. You must realize that you have all the authority and power to direct all that goes on in your bubble, or your “sphere of influence”. In order to have ownership, and therefore leadership, you must have both responsibility AND accountability. Without both of these elements together you will find complacency,¬†apathy, and inefficiency.

If you are a leader of leaders, empower them to take ownership of their roles and the development of their subordinates by giving them both responsibility and accountability. Once leaders take on ownership they become empowered to make a difference. They develop their subordinates beyond their subordinates’ own expectations, and they execute the direction of their superiors beyond even their superiors’ expectations.

That’s when the magic happens.


We’ve All Been There… November 27, 2009

Posted by DPL in Advancement Exam, Business, Business Management, deckplate leadership, Humor, Life, military leadership, Professional Development, Values.
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…Well, most of us have. You take in every bit of advice, you work your butt off, and then the selection results for that promotion comes out without your name on the list. It hurts to not be picked for the team. But this is the moment that really shows one’s true colors. This is the moment where you choose to respond through one of two actions:

1) Throw your hands up in the air and say, “Screw this. If I’m not going to be advanced then why work so hard?”


2) Take a deep breath, sleep it off, and come back in the next day with a stronger will to work even harder. And say to yourself, “Everything happens for a reason and in good time. The cream will always rise to the top.”

The trick, you see, is to not ask yourself (or others) what did everyone else do to get that promotion, but to ask yourself “what is it that I’m *not* doing?” There’s always something more that you can do to make yourself more competitive. And if there isn’t, maybe all you needed was another solid year for the board to feel comfortable in selecting you for advancement.

So don’t give up. If you want it, go out there and get it. And if they say “no”, well, keep trying. At the end of the day, all you can do is your best. And we should all be happy knowing we gave it all we had and contributed the best we could.

Hope you all enjoy the video. Happy Thanksgiving!


There Are No Visionaries November 27, 2008

Posted by DPL in leadership.
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…At least they are rare. I say this because one of the things that a Deckplate Leader must learn and accept as they grow is that everything is cyclical. Every once in a while someone will come up with this great plan or idea. But the old timers will be able to see that this idea is not grand, or new, or earth shattering. They will tell you that it’s been done before. It doesn’t mean that it is bad to bring back those systems, processes, traditions, and customs that worked in the past but for one reason or another went away. But realize that if you’ve thought if something, then it’s been thought of before and/or is being thought about by a lot of other people. It is extremely rare to find someone that is a true visionary.

When we realize that we are more than likely not visionary we tend to think we are, we can then begin to focus on true process improvement and create sustainable changes and not change for the sake of change.¬† We will not discount those ideas or systems that we inheret as we climb up the ladder and therfore didn’t create ourselves, and instead we will seek to understand why things are the way they are and continue where our predessesors left off.

Change For The Sake of Change

I have come to call these things that people do “pet projects”. These are programs or changes that are made by somebody who believes themselves to be a visionary. They are sometimes good ideas, but will ultimately fail because they either don’t fall in line with the organizations mission, function, or task, or they fail because they are pushed by one person who contains the knowledge required to make the pet project work. When said person leaves, the pet project dies. This is change for the sake of change. Pet projects.

Sustainable Change

This is the kind of change that we should all be striving for as Deckplate Leaders. This is the kind of change that will endure long after the Deckplate Leader has gone. This involves cultural change, teaching, developing work ethic and pride in service. I connect this with being like pushing a boat down the river. You do the leg work. You develop the foundation and get the boat in motion. And you may even initiate the current that takes the boat downstream. But you never get to see it through to the end. When you make those changes in your workplace or organization, by establishing good foundations, instituting the appropriate policies in manageable chunks and then training your replacements, you establish change that cannot be derailed. Your replacement will have no choice but to continue where you left off because it will be in line with your organization’s mission, vision and goals and it will be sustainable by the overall knoweledge of the workforce.

So, I am not a visionary. You are probably not one either. But, we do have the experience and maturity that will guide us to make good decisions, keep those processes that work and improve on them, and eliminate those pet projects that are created by single points of failure.

A Site To Chew On October 8, 2008

Posted by DPL in leadership.
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Ok, so until I get another post up here I figured I’d throw out a site to take a gander through. The author isn’t a member of the site anymore, so there won’t be any new content there, but all of his old articles are still up. He’s in the process of looking for a good blog spot to keep writing about leadership items.

Take a look…and let me know what you think:


Long Time, No Write October 8, 2008

Posted by DPL in Commitment, leadership.

Hello all! I am back from a bit of a hiatus. I’ve just been busy with life, getting settled into our new home in Georgia and my new jobs….I say jobs-plural because I had been placed in charge of a program that was ultimately disolved and am now getting settled into my new position, which is actually a bit of a promotion as a result of the way I handled my job in my old position as a program manager.

Needless to say, I have a slew of topics to write about with regards to leadership. In my new jobs here I’ve dealt with a LOT of conflict management situations, indecent exposure, deaths in the family, contract difficulties…I feel like I’ve run through the entire spectrum in one way or another. While I’ve been able to handle most situations extremely well, I admit that I have made some leadership mistakes along the way. But that’s okay because I’ve definitely learned from them, and more often than not I have been able to redeem myself and apply those lessons that I learned from those mistakes.

I plan to write a lot more often again as things really have begun to slow down a bit. So please keep coming back and checking in. I’d love to hear everyone’s thoughts on things-leadership as well.

Thanks to Crossderry and some of my other friends for encouraging me to write on here again!

Yak at you all soon!