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Thought Leadership

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court rejected affirmative action in college admissions, leading business leaders to ask whether their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) efforts could be interpreted as unlawful. Following the ruling, at least one US senator sent threatening letters to hundreds of private employers warning them that certain diversity practices could subject them costly litigation. And other companies are already being sued over policies they have enacted on social issues such as race and gender. For example, this week a conservative legal organization sued Target on behalf of an investor over LGBTQ-themed merchandise.

Steve Cadigan, LinkedIn's first Chief Human Resources Officer and author of Workquake, wrote in the Foreword of my book Humony Leadership, "Most legacy leadership models strive to achieve control, consistency, and reliable outcomes. As we all have come to realize in recent years, in a world where so much is unknown, and the pace of change is relentless, what we really need is a model to help us expect change and instability."

The breakneck rate of innovations and the tsunami of technological advancements driven by artificial intelligence, esp., ChatGPT, signals that a futurist view of leadership is more important than ever. Twenty-plus years ago, Joel Barker presented a perspective on leadership from his paradigm as a futurist. Barker defined a leader as “Someone you choose to follow to a place you would not go by yourself.” That place is the future. He further recognized that a leader is someone who will “Find, Recognize, and Secure the Future.”

I look at leadership through the lens of my 50-year career as a project manager (PM)/coach. A number of years ago, I was teaching project management strategies to a group of senior IT and sales managers as part of my consultancy. During the course of our conversations, it became clear to me that ‘project management’ was more properly defined as, ‘Project Leadership.’

Effective communication is the cornerstone of successful leadership. It is the conduit through which leaders convey their vision, build relationships, and inspire their teams. The ability to articulate ideas clearly, listen attentively, and foster an open and inclusive environment is essential for any leader looking to drive positive change and achieve organizational goals.

As I sat across from my client, I couldn't help but give her a stern look. I wanted my words to sink in. Her face filled with disbelief as she responded, "Did I really just spend the entire coaching session complaining?" "You did. Look, it's okay to vent sometimes. But remember, you hired me to be your coach, and you just wasted our time together by focusing on things that are out of your control and that you don't even like. So, before our next session, I want you to reflect on a few questions."

Most of the jobs in transportation have been dominated by men. From pilot to train engineer to truck driver, these are typically careers that attract more men than women. While there are many reasons for the discrepancy, one of them concerns strength and body size.For example, in the trucking industry, early drivers were expected to load and unload their freight. Whether it’s cattle or milk, boxes or pallets, the driver’s job including “fingerprinting” the product. Additionally, the trucks themselves were designed for men who are typically taller and have longer arms and legs.

As CIO and VP of Operations for Iron Bow Technologies in Herndon, Virginia it is my responsibility to effectively lead company-wide efforts that result in unique, creative ways of doing business that separate us from our competitors and serve as the basis for winning and delivering on new opportunities and Innovation.


Leadership is more than a position; it's a responsibility, a calling, a journey. How do great leaders transcend ordinary management to inspire, innovate, and impact their organizations profoundly?

Leaders today face a unique challenge: how to stay ahead in an ever-changing world. How do the best leaders survive and thrive in a landscape where disruption is the norm and stability is the exception?

Leadership is the lifeblood of any thriving organization. But what makes a true leader tick? Is it an unerring vision, the ability to inspire a team or an unrelenting drive for results?



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