Three weeks ago I was asked to lead the Defense Intelligence Agency’s (DIA) Global Leadership Academy. I consider it an honor and validation for my efforts in the last three years to get this opportunity to shape the future leadership capability of DIA, the Defense Intelligence Enterprise and the Intelligence Community. But I also know that my new and exciting opportunity is because of the hard work of a team that I started to put together starting in May 2007. Today’s blog post is to honor and thank them for being that “Once-in-a-Career” team.
As an unknown person once stated “A leader without true followers, is simply going on a walk.” My current team, the Global Learning Solutions Group, exudes this statement. While I took “walks” from a mission and vision perspective over the last three years…this team took the walk with me and together we achieved amazing results. My team learned to depend on each other’s strengths and when we needed to come together for big projects…we did so with the utmost professionalism and energy to ensure success.
The week of 26-30 April, we came together for possibly the last time for our annual professional development week where we continued to expand our knowledge and skills and determine the best ways to meet our customer’s mission needs. That week we shared dinner and said our goodbyes…While we are a high performing team, we were also in many respects family. We looked out for each other and were always available to lend a hand when we needed to help each other whether at work or outside of it.
Scott Williams once said that “A great leader doesn’t care about being the leader, but instead cares about the mission, the vision, and the people they are leading.” While I make no pretenses of being a great leader…that is for my team to decide…I know that my interactions with each of them individually and collectively made me a better person and a better leader.
So I say thank you to a group of professionals that have not only enabled our customer’s individual and mission success, but gave me the privilege to lead them on this journey and provide me this new opportunity. You will all have a special place with me as that “Once-in-a-Career” team…and family.
For those of you reading this today…I say cherish the time you have with your teams today…it could be a “Once-in-a-Career” team.