David G. Guerra, MBA
As an Army brat, I was not destined to remain within the Lone Star State, my home, all my life. It was during my childhood and teenage years that my thirst for adventure and travel began as my father led my family and I to various US Army posts throughout the United States.
No one was surprised when I joined the U.S. Army as an Infantryman. My first duty assignment, in 1985, put me at the tip of the Cold War spear, 110 miles inside communist East German territory, in what was then known as West Berlin.
It was in West Berlin, my view of the world suddenly expanded – especially being part of the U.S. Armed Forces inside the Berlin Wall during the Cold War. No longer was I just along for the ride with my father’s assignments. Instead, I was in the thick of it, right where politics and ideologies met. East and West collided on a daily basis. It was while serving with the US Army I acquired and learned from great leaders and managers the skills, knowledge and wisdom that would be the foundation for my adult life, long after leaving Berlin and the US Army.
Working for the State of Texas as a network analyst and eventually becoming an IT department manager, I put what I learned about leadership into action. While working for the state, I earned my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Business Administration, having decided it was best to work and gain more real world experience before finishing school.
Those years of real-world work experience combined with my education made me ready for deployment in to the private sector. Now, I am in a position to influence, not only my staff, but also everyone I encounter, on the path to becoming great individuals and better leaders.
WHAT I BELIEVE AND KNOW
I firmly and truly believe greatness can be found inside each of us. No matter how damaged or broken life has left us, we are still very capable of being so much better than we were yesterday.
It is up to the individual to move beyond dwelling on the past to create a new future. A future rooted in the belief; the only way to move towards a better future is to lead every step of the way and to make others take the lead by your example.
Leadership, some people believe, is a something that is supposed to automatically or magically come with the job of manager, boss, teacher, parent, or whatever you want to call yourself. Well, if no one has told you, then let me be the first: Nothing could be further from the truth.
Real Leadership comes from trial and error. Genuine Leadership comes from getting back up after every time you fall down (literally and figuratively). Authentic Leadership is the result of recognizing that being a great follower is where leadership (at all levels) truly begins.
Leadership and Leading may appear to come naturally to some people. However, more times than not, Leadership is a skill that must be cultivated and allowed to grow over many, many years. Sometimes, being a leader may take an entire lifetime to master but it can be done and you must do it.
A word (or two) of advice: There is not and there will never be a short cut to becoming a Leader. If you are prepared to do the hard work and you are prepared to sweat, to bleed, and to cry then can you truly begin going down the long, arduous and lonely road of the Walking Leader to become a True Leader and attain Leadership Greatness. That road is known as the road less traveled. While not everyone is cut out to be a Leader or Leadership Greatness, the journey will be full of lessons to learn and at times the scenery may be dark, scary, bright, sunny, and it will so worth it.
No matter what position you hold in the company, organization, or in life, it is up to you to TAKE THE INITIATIVE and make it happen, now. BE A LEADER! BE THE LEADER YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO FOLLOW!
Time to get to work and this means everyone!