Leadership from My Old Roommate

by Wiz

in Lessons,Podcasts

One of the serendipities of my military career was being able to associate – on a regular basis – with some truly phenomenal men and women.  One of my closest friends is a fellow helicopter pilot.  We began our military careers on the same day, received our commissions together, and received our “wings” together.  At our first duty station we were roommates.  We were so close in those days that, if you saw one of us, the other was there as well.  With apologies to Dan Fogelberg, we were the “twin sons of different mothers.”

All too soon, however, the Navy took us in different directions.  Our paths crossed several times, and we always kept tabs on each other.  But we allowed “life” to get in the way, and our contact slowly became less and less frequent.

Several months ago he emailed to say that a job change was bringing him and his wife to a city only 3 hours away.  And a couple of weeks ago my wife and I drove down and spent several days with them.  We had a ball!  And as is sometimes the case, we found ourselves asking each other, “Why did we wait so long to do this?”

One evening the two of us were sitting up late at night with a bottle of wine.  My friend filled me in on all the twists and turns of his career in the last 20-odd years, and I just sat there, amazed.  Because as I listened to him talk, it became quite obvious why he has been so successful.  And one of his key strengths is critical – nay, VITAL – to becoming an effective leader.  Listen in as I review our conversation.  (4:01)

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Patricia Goggins June 11, 2008 at 6:56 am

This was a very interesting story. I teach Army JROTC and I used this blog about your roommate and his overwhelming ability to have confidence in himself and his abilities. During some of our leadership lessons we studied Leader Attributes. The book gives three important leader attributes: mental, physical, and emotional. Self-confidence is a big part of all of these attributes. I used your podcast as sort of a case study during there end of year final exam. They listened to it and then had to write an essay question/ “brief constructed response” (BCR). Eventhough it was an exam my students enjoyed listening to your story and it broke up the monotony of exam week. We plan on using your blogs next year during our leadership classes. Thanks and keep up the great work!


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