Since Barbara and I returned to shore after our two-year sailing adventure aboard La Vie Dansante, I’ve been looking for opportunities to continue in servant leadership. It’s a noble calling, and one I’ve loved answering for over four decades. While considering senior executive opportunities with organizations across the country, I had an epiphany – the most value I could bring to serving others is to leverage my 40 years of leadership experience to positively influence the next generation of transformational leaders. Raising up leaders at all levels has always given me joy – the most joy of anything I did as a senior executive.

Brand new Ensign

I was fortunate to have “grown up” as a leader in the US Navy. Navy leadership is structured on a continuum. As a fledgling officer, I received formal training in the basics of leadership, then was assigned to an entry-level leadership role to practice those basics. Through successes and failures I learned at that level, then received formal training for the next level as well as a new role with increased responsibility. This stair-step approach continued all the way through my command of a large joint military air base. This is the kind of structured development I wanted to bring to the organizations I was subsequently chosen to lead. I just needed to find the right training program to get us moving in the right direction.

Retiring after 31 years

What passes for leadership training today, however, is all-too-often event based and short lived. As a decision maker in government and the social sector I had purchased plenty sessions of disappointing management and leadership training. My teams sat through a lot of slick presentations and compelling speeches.

Yep “sat through”.

Available training was episodic and non-participatory, occupying the team’s time for a couple of ours and amping everyone up with high expectations that were quickly pushed to the rear burner as the day-to-day tasks of the organization took priority.

There was one exception, however.

At United Way of Tarrant County, I hired John Wright to train our corps of eager managers to create leaders at all levels. I participated in the training myself and was immediately impressed with the Simple Leadership Strategies (SLS) construct. These weren’t sessions I “sat through”; they were sticky sessions – grounded in a solid, common-sense approach; structured on a smart continuum of habits and held together with the most practical approach to accountability I’d seen.

THIS was what I was looking for! SLS wasn’t a cost I had to eat every month, it was an investment that added enduring value to our team, our mission and our bottom line.

The program delivered for me, and it continues to deliver for numerous business leaders across our region. In fact, SLS has delivered measurable results in tough industries like retail and offshore oil & gas on a global scale.

My passion for developing leaders and admiration of the SLS program were met with opportunity when John approached me about joining SLS. It didn’t take long for me to realize what a great opportunity this was.

Today, I’m excited to join Simple Leadership Strategies as Chief Executive Officer, partnering with Founder and President John Wright to bring the SLS difference to businesses like yours. I’ll be taking a very hands-on role, reaching out to companies like yours, customizing an SLS curriculum to fit your needs and facilitating sessions – now available both on-site and virtually.

If turning managers into leaders, workgroups into teams and customers into advocates is something you’ve put off for too long, now is the time to get it done. Zap me a message or give me a call and let’s put SLS to work for you!

6 thoughts on “A New Teammate”

  1. TD – I am very grateful and excited that you will be leading the SLS team. It will be fun working together to help organizations achieve operational excellence, improve financial performance, and change
    lives – making families, communities, organizations, and the world better.

  2. TD,
    No doubt you are the right person for this job and this company. They are lucky to have a leader like you and you are extremely fortunate to be associated with a very talented group like SLS. Your leadership roles in the Navy, coupled with your “lead from the front” attitude during your time at the United Way, are the stepping stones that will enable you to take your game to the next level. Remember, it’s all about the people! Best of luck…..
    Keith

    1. Thanks for the vote of confidence and gracious comments Keith! I’ve really enjoyed getting to know the team, and I’m sold on the training John has dedicated his professional life to.

  3. Servant Leadership creates the foundation for positive change and evolution. Making a difference as a leader begins with the one-to-one connections that Servant Leadership embodies. TD will do wonderful there. Take the plunge and make the transformation personal and professional.

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