One of the things that I want to do on this blog is to talk about leadership.
I’ve had a lot of experience with leadership. I was an officer in the US Navy for twelve years, and as such I had many opportunities to both lead and be led. I’ve also been both an observer and an actual leader and manager in the software business. In both worlds, I’ve seen how critical good leadership is, and how easy it is to be terrible at it.
I’ve been led by some great leaders and by some really bad leaders. Since I knew that I would some day be leading people, I spent a lot of time thinking on and contemplating leadership – you can hardly be an officer in the Navy without doing so. Paradoxically, it is the bad leaders that taught me the most about leadership and what it means to be an effective leader. By seeing (and suffering under) the actions of a poor leader – these things generally fell into the category of caring more about themselves than their people – gave me a strong sense of “I’m never going to do that!”, which then, in turn, helped me to figure out what the right thing to do is. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve served under some fine leaders and emulating them is something I try to do, but it is the leaders that weren’t good at leading that really taught me the most.
Now I’m not claiming to be a great leader – I don’t think that’s the case. But I do think that I’ve had a modicum of success as one, and I think that I have a few nuggets of wisdom to pass on to you fine people. I’ll be drawing on a lot of my military experiences as well as those in the software industry to share my thoughts.
So pursuant to that, I’ve created a “Leadership” category here in the blog, and you can follow that tag here if you want. I won’t be blogging exclusively about Leadership – you might be surprised to find out that I have a lot to say about a lot of things (shocking, I know) -- but I do have a lot of thoughts on the matter that I feel compelled to share.