Note: Michael Epperson died on September 30, 2013. His presence is greatly missed. His example of service is timeless and can be of use to many people—including those who did not have the privilege of knowing him in life.
Where are the leaders now?
Amid the latest government shutdown in Washington, D.C., many of us are shaking our heads in amazement at the still-unfolding leadership failures of the American president and Congress.
Something else happened in Washington last week that is a reminder that there are servant leaders and patriots in our midst.
As recounted in the Washington Post, the distinguished CIA officer G. Michael Epperson, who died suddenly and unexpectedly, left a legacy of service that reflects our best national traditions.
I am privileged to have called him a friend over the course of three decades, just entering the fourth.
Am I alone in sensing an uptick in focus on the anniversary of the dreadful terror attacks of 9-11-2001?
I lived and died a proud American. We are citizens of the world’s greatest republic. A nation of ideals, not blood and soil. We are blessed and a blessing to humanity when we uphold and advance those ideals at home and in the world. We have helped liberate more people from tyranny and poverty than ever before in history. We have acquired great wealth and power in the progress. We weaken our greatness when we confuse our patriotism with rivalries that have sown resentment and hatred and violence in all the corners of the globe. We weaken it when we hide behind walls rather than tear them down, when we doubt the power of our ideals rather than trust them to be the great force for change they have always been. We are 325 million opinionated, vociferous individuals. We argue and compete and sometimes even vilify each other in our raucous public debates. —John McCain, farewell message, August 2018
John McCain was a devotee of Theodore Roosevelt. Like TR, he strove to serve his nation throughout his life and work.
Serve to Lead is a practical manual–a Baedeker guide–for navigating the new world of 21st century leadership.
There’s much that’s new and different about leadership, management, and communication in the digital age.
There’s also significant continuity with earlier times.
One might say: the principles endure, the applications change.
What’s old and what’s new are both seen in the following list of 21st century leadership skills (one might as well have said 21st century leadership traits, but the term skills better conveys that leadership comprises capacities that can be learned, refined, cultivated, improved… and constantly updated to serve more effectively).
The list that follows attempts to capture enduring leadership lessons within the unique, fast-moving circumstances of the early 21st century.
Please share your views and share with others. Like everything today, it’s a work in progress, made better by collaborative input.