Leadership Lessons from a Lifetime of Service

Leadership Lessons from a Lifetime of Service

“We all know we are better than our current politics” Jim Mattis

In a recent essay published in the Wall Street Journal, former Secretary of Defense, Jim Mattis, shares his thoughts on leadership, service, and overcoming political divides. The wisdom he shares is timeless and applicable in many areas, including business, and specifically to leading a construction company.

Here are twelve takeaways from the essay:

  1. Leaders have to get their act together first before they can help others
  2. Mattis’ willingness to serve as Secretary of Defense was driven by duty, not by a personal desire or ambition
  3. How his prior experience in the “field” and the “office” prepared him for his new role
  4. The necessity of learning how to adapt, improvise and overcome
  5. The value of blunt criticism
  6. How mistakes are necessary to learn how to do things right
  7. The need for organizations to nurture original thinkers and intellectual freedom
  8. The value of initiative and aggressiveness
  9. The wisdom of assigning an expanded reading list to newly promoted leaders
  10. The role of a leader as a coach not a dictator
  11. Why internal silos are more dangerous than external obstacles and competition
  12. The importance of adhering to “first principles” to survive in turbulent times

To read the entire essay (subscription required), click this link.

I hope you find it useful.