Ten years and 135 posts later, some thoughts and reflections…
“Welcome to my blog.” That was how I started my first post ten years ago. You are still welcome here. You will find much more to read than was available then. Browse around. You will note that early on, my posts were more frequent and shorter. As I developed as a writer, I learned two things. I wanted to write in greater depth on each topic than 500 words, my target for each post. I also wanted to post less often, devoting more time to each subject. When I started, I alternated between a post on leadership, and one on developing training for adults. About the time I started writing longer, I realized those who counseled focusing on one thing were right, so I focused on leadership. This allows me to do things like create a series of essays on a single topic. The introduction and conclusion each stand alone as a thesis. The material in between is available for those seeking to dive deeper.
When I started writing, I had over 30 years of leading police officers and Soldiers with some volunteer experience. I’ve since retired my police leadership roles, and will soon retire from the military with a lifetime of experience. I worked with great leaders all over the world in many nations. My work now is leading in the nonprofit sector now. I serve as an Executive Director for one nonprofit, and serve on the board of directors of two others. The principles of leadership apply equally whether leading Soldiers, negotiating with partner nation military leaders, working with legislators, mentoring young police officers, developing a vacant lot into a memorial park, or leading a multidisciplinary team that responds to cases of child abuse. The tactics for each situation change, but the principals are universal. The essays you find here are all based on those universal leadership principals.
If you have been reading my posts for a long time, or this is your first, thank you. Please enter your email in the subscribe field, and my newest monthly posts appear in your inbox. While I may return at some point to publishing more than monthly, I promise I will not sell your email address to others or spam you with frequent, unwanted sales pitches for products or services. My web host offers ways to unsubscribe if you change your mind and no longer want to receive quality leadership lessons from someone tested in combat. You have nothing to lose.
Doing series allows me the ability to plan my writing better, allows me to learn more about the topics, and present information on those topics better. This post interrupts my series on the Three Pitch Rule for communicating as a leader. While I will apologize for the interruption, this seems like a good point in life to stop and reflect on my writing over the last ten years. Reflection is an important leadership and personal growth habit.
The series on communication continues in June. There are three segments remaining, using text and social media in June, communicating with that app on your smartphone that allows you to make voice or video calls, and the wrap reviewing how to use more than one means to communicate with others improving your effectiveness.
I will start a series on strategic planning and execution. Successful organization do more than create strategic plans; they execute those plans and change to meet current needs. Creating an effective strategic plan is not easy. I think I am pretty good at it, but at the end of every cycle, I find how little I really know. Each plan is better than that last. As Eisenhower once said something like, “Plans are nothing, but the planning process is everything.” While there is lots of truth to that thought, plans and planning are useless without action. Strategic thinking, and action are the two things that cause change.
Change is a constant for all leaders. Without change, there really is no need for leaders. Strategic planning ensures your organization remains relevant when everything around it changes. Even if you want your organization to remain unchanged, you need a plan to maintain stability in the face of change.
Few people like change. I offer the following thought on change: would you rather be known in five years as a leader with five years of experience because you grew and changed, or someone with one year experience, five years in a row?
Please continue to read, learn, grow. I always look forward to your feedback in the comments and the contacts. Note that I try to read the real messages in between the tons of spam, but it might be a few days before I see your message. Thanks for your patience.
I enjoyed writing for you over the last ten years. Thanks for reading. I look forward to continuing to provide quality, personally written lessons on leadership, i.e. not ChatGPT. Most of all, I hope readers take something from each essay and implement one thing in their leadership practice. It’s been said that leadership is the most important thing on the battlefield. It is also the most important thing in every other walk of life. Be bold, try something from one of these lessons, learn what works as you lead from the front.
All photos by the author.
(c) 2023 Christopher St. Cyr