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Question of the Week: What is the one thing you would like to change about Leadership?

East German Border Guards Riding By The Wall In Teltow, East Germany photo by David G. Guerra (circa 1987)This week’s walking leader weekly leadership poll question is ” what is the one thing you would like to change about leadership?”

That’s a loaded question and the answer is, as well. And what I mean by a loaded answer is that the answers will vary from the simple to the complicated. Because the question reaches deep inside an individual and every individual has been impacted by good leadership, mediocre leadership, and awesome leadership as well as bad management. Thus, most people’s answer will come from past experiences.

Using myself as an example, I can reach back far into my life, even my early childhood and can say that my grandfather impacted my fledgling concept of leadership. Then as I grew older my father to some extreme of well not so good management. Whom I kidding, he was a terrible manager. He is my father but he was not a leader. Of course, he did the best he could with what he had when it came to raising a family but for some strange reason, he could not help himself.

Obviously, there were other individuals, that impacted my sense of leadership. Them and what leadership meant to them or how they showed it started to chip away at the rawness of I understood leadership was and was not. All that took place while I was growing up. It was not until after I graduated high school that the reality of what leadership is, what it is not, and what makes bad managers started to influence me. I found out because I volunteered for it.

I joined the U.S. Army as an Infantryman. An Infantryman like my Grandfathers before me. The Army in its infinite wisdom and by luck I found myself in a place where PROFESSIONALISM was not just a word but it was a day-to-day expectation. It was the STANDARD.

PROFESSIONALISM was not a word on a poster on a wall in someone’s office. We lived and breathed PROFESSIONALISM 24-7-365-52. When I joined the military, we did not know then that we were in the ending days of the Cold War.

My first duty station was 110 miles behind the Iron Curtain. I was based in West Berlin. My barracks room was a couple hundred feet from East Germany in the Soviet Zone of Occupation. It was said that Soviet mortars were zeroed in on our barracks buildings. We were told that if war were actually to happen, we would be the first to go while we slept in our bunks. Not a pretty thought, but we lived with that concept every single day. We believed that because not a day went by that we didn’t see a Soviet tour car or Soviet Mi-8 Helicopter fly around. That was a lot for kid fresh out of high school, but what made all of that bearable were our leaders.

Oh yeah, there were few knuckleheads here and there, but for the most part we all knew that we were all we had should something go wrong. Being 110 miles behind enemy lines limits your options of relief or rescue. Thus, that is why I say I was lucky to be assigned to that unit, at that place and time, and it shaped me into the person I would become after I left Berlin.

The examples of leadership that I experience first-hand in West Berlin, were never ever to be duplicated again. The Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers as well as the Enlisted soldiers of the Berlin Brigade each brought their “A-game” every single day, come rain or shine. We had no choice not only was it a standard it was the standard our nation called on us to deliver because of where we were and because on a daily basis, we stood toe-to-toe with our adversaries. Because of where we were and our mission in Berlin centered on PROFESSIONALISM. That is because PROFESSIONALISM was the mission, it was the vision, it was where everything began and everything ended when it came to being assigned to the legendary divided city of West Berlin. If we failed being PROFESSIONAL then we would have failed in our mission. We did not fail.

Thus, I ask myself this week’s question; What is the one thing I would like to change about leadership?

The one thing is for leaders to remember and never forget that their actions will be emulated by those that follow them. What they do will mean so much more than what they say. For leaders to believe in themselves as PROFESSIONALS. For leaders to believe that those who follow them are as PROFESSIONAL as they are.

The moment a leader forgets to be PROFESSIONAL is the moment that leader should be stripped of the title of Leader and that is Non-negotiable!
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David G. Guerra, MBA
email: dave@daveguerra.com
twitter: @daveguerra
instagram: dave_guerra
facebook: thedavidguerra

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NEW PODCAST EPISODE OUT NOW! #129 HONE YOUR CRAFT

In episode #129, your host, David Guerra, talks about Honing Your Craft.
When it comes to being your best and doing your best you must know that you cannot rest on your laurel. You must always be honing your craft. When you want to be the best you have to beat the best. To be the best, you cannot for one second slack off when it comes to your craft. Remember, the moment you slack off is the moment is going to beat you. Why? Because they have continuously been honing their craft. Now get to work!

Click here to visit the podcast episode #129 page: https://daveguerra.com/wlpodcast/walking-leader-podcast-120-129/walking-leader-podcast-129/

This episode is 15 minutes and ready for your podcast listening enjoyment.

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My 5 Predictions for 2018 by David Guerra

As with every new year come the inevitable predictions for what people believe will happen in that new year. So why not me? I have a voice, a platform, and a soap box. I have as much right as the next guy to be wrong.  I also have the same right as the next guy to correct in making my predictions for 2018.

Here are my top 5 Predictions for 2018.


#1 PERSONAL GROWTH

 
All throughout my life I have heard people say, “Ad nauseam”, how they are doing things for themselves and for the better yet never actually work on it. When they see that others have caught them not delivering on those words they wait a while (usually until the heat (of being caught) dies down) and then come back swinging with the same old and very tired line.
 
I believe that 2018 will be the defining moment for many to step up to a new plane of thinking, believing, living and behaving. They will finally realize that by just saying the words nothing magical will happen. The only magic is the magic they make for themselves.
 
Making magic always has been and always will be through hard work. The kind of hard work that comes from thinking you are doing hard work only to realize you could do more. It is like believing you are giving 100% but come to find out you have another 10% to give. There is no such thing as giving 110%! There is the realization that you are shortchanging everyone by only giving 90% but claiming something more.
 
This is a long shot but I do believe that in 2018 people will start to measure their life on what they are DOING and not on their past.

#2 VIRTUAL REALITY / AUGMENTED REALITY

A new world awaits all of us. Imagine putting on a headset and instantly you are standing in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. You are looking up then you look to your left and next to you is an old long lost flame. Someone you had no seen in years. You say hello and that long lost love looks at you and smiles. You catch up on your respective lives since breaking up so long ago. You do so feeling safe the two of you are not in Paris, physically you are at home, and your old flame is at home a couple of thousand miles away.

Next you are instantly transported to the great pyramid of Cheops. Now you are standing next to your significant other who also happens to be in the very next room and virtually you go off exploring one of the seven wonders of the world.

While we are not there yet, in 2018 Virtual Reality and/or Augmented Reality technology will take significant leaps and bound to make the previous two paragraphs a near reality. In 2017, the price of VR headsets dropped to a level that now any kid that mows a couple of lawns can afford her own journey to the foot of the Eiffel Tower or a train ride from England to France in the “Chunnel” (look it up). By Christmas time, we will start to see software packages that promise to take us on the tour of the Gobi Desert or we will swim through the reefs of the South Pacific Ocean. While we might not be completely convinced we are there but you just wait and see.

Oh, yes rest assured we are living in the future. A future where the line between science fiction and science fact become blurred with each passing day.


3. PERSONAL EXPERIENCES

In 2018, people will focus more on making and participating in experiences. Fun, Travel, Adventure will rule the day in 2018. This will not be limited to millennials and the younger generations but everyone Gen X, Gen Y, Baby Boomers. These experiences will not be limited to traveling halfway across the planet but down the street, the next town over and so on.

Additionally, the experiences will not just be solo adventures but as a collective. Friends, Strangers and Family members. Shared experiences creates a common bond. Soon strangers are friends. Family bonds are strengthen and friends become family. Yes, it works that way.

The change from hearing about it to doing will take a huge surge in 2018 and I do expect it to carry over to 2019 and beyond.


4. TECHNOLOGY: PREDICTIVE AI (ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE)

We already have Siri, Alexa, Google Home. Soon Microsoft will join the voice based artificial intelligence battlefield. Battlefield? In 2018, you smart phone, tablet, and voice device will become more intuitive and predictive. Imagine your smart phone telling you thinks like, “I see you are the grocery store, it has been two weeks since you purchased red wine, it might be time for a new bottle of Lambrusco” or recommending it is time for an oil change and presenting you the top three deals in your geographic area. That sounds pretty simple but as AI technology continues to advance so will the predictive capabilities of the system.

What I see is AI technology not only reminding us of upcoming anniversaries and birthdays but working with us to tell us the conditions exist that our automobile is facing a unique stress as gas mileage is low and then telling us that our diet is seriously low in potassium and a leg cramp is coming. Then things will only get better. However, at what cost?

For true PREDICTIVE ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE to work we have to give something up. We have to give up a bit more of our unique privacy. We have to allow the “machines” to go deeper into our lives. Are we prepared to give up more than we already have to have the unique “customized” experience that the future promises to bring?


5. People Will Evolve: (Because Change Said So)

No matter how difficult it is for people to want to change, they will change. Whether they like it or not, people will change. They have to change and 2018 will be no exception. However, what will be different this year, I see people will want to actively and purposefully seek out change. Why the active need to change?

We are well into the 21st Century and times are changing. Whether for better or worse, these times they are changing and attitudes are changing. When it comes to changing attitudes, the only way to do so is to get up and do it. As the world changes, it is those that refuse to change that will get left behind. Being left behind is not a good thing especially when

As we move faster and further into the 21st Century the only thing that will remain the same is change. 2018 and beyond will be nothing but change, for everyone. Now is the time to get to work because if you do come along for the great ride that 2018 is already promising to give all of use. I cannot wait to see what happens at the end of the year and witness, firsthand, how far or how close we get to the future.

 

As always, if you questions please feel free to reach out and contact me.

by David G. Guerra, MBA
Author of “The Walking Leader” and “Great To Follow”
twitter: @DaveGuerra
instagram: dave_guerra