Leadership Panel at Fort Stewart

This past Thursday, I had the wonderful opportunity to sit on a leadership panel, sponsored by Webster University, at the Education Center at Fort Stewart, GA. The event, called the “World Class Leadership Lecture Series” was coordinated by Webster instructor, Bill Garlen – an experienced and very successful businessman who truly believes in giving back and doing the right thing. On the panel with me were two other exceptional leaders: Frank Slotin, CPA and managing director at Karp Ronning & Tindol in Savannah and Robert James, a Harvard educated attorney and developer out of Atlanta & Savannah.

I’ve had the good fortune to work with all three gentlemen in the past, so I was excited when I received the invitation. We were told to expect a number of MBA students from Webster’s program, but also administrators, senior military personnel and undergrads from the other schools offering classes at the Education Center. A very diverse crowd of over thirty people attended, including the Command Sargent Major (highest ranking non-commissioned officer at the fort.)

The questions were excellent, and it was evident that the students had prepared. They asked about attributes of leadership, how core values fit into a successful career and for advice on management. Topics such as how to use social media, the transition from military management to the soft skills necessary in business and even how to open a restaurant were discussed – and much more, as you can imagine in a 1 1/2 hour event. Nothing was off-limits.

I have been on several panels and given many talks over the past few years, and I have to say that this was the most rewarding and enjoyable. The attendees were engaged and were interested & interesting; the panel worked well together and gave some great advice. I feel like we made a real difference in the lives of these folks.

Bill Garlen, the coordinator of the event, sent out a wonderful email the next day and said “I believe everyone that attended agreed it was one of those rare times when everyone realized they were experiencing a once-in-a-lifetime moment of authentic leadership at its finest. You have truly impacted their lives forever.” Even the Command Sargent Major said that it was one of the best events he had ever attended. I am most grateful for the compliments!

I would like to challenge anyone who reads this to go out today and make your difference – big or small, it doesn’t matter, just so long as you do it.

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