Leadership tenets

April 3, 2014

As many of you know, I have been a facilitator for NASA’s Mid-Level Leader Program (MLLP) for the last three years.  On April 2, the fourth cohort graduated from the program.  David Radzanowski, Chief of Staff at NASA gave the Graduation Address to the graduating class.  I asked Dave if I could share the “leadership tenets” he offered in his speech.  Here they are.  I find them to be incredibly profound and practical.

  1.  Always assume positive intent – most people are trying to do what they think is right.  While we may not always agree on methods or outcomes, most people are trying to add value.
  2. Always strive to be uncomfortable – to grow, you need to challenge yourself.  Find the stretch assignment and volunteer for it.
  3. Delegate to the point of negligence – you need to work your way out of your job.  So, trust your team and challenge them whenever possible.
  4. Failure is an option – be innovative and intuitive.  When mistakes happen, learn from them.
  5. Take care of your team – give them the credit for successes and take the blame for mistakes.  Walk around and talk with them on their turf.  Your office is boring.
  6. Take care of yourself – schedule time for yourself and don’t let work interfere.  Time with your family and friends is as important if not more than your career.  No one wishes on their death bed that they had  attended that meeting they missed.

 Sincere thanks to Mr. Radzanowski for allowing me to use his tenets.  I hope you find them as helpful as I do.  Dave concluded with a quote from President John Quincy Adams.

 “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more – you are a leader.”

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