On Friday, May 18, members of the Class of 2012 and their families and friends gathered for a reception and lecture with 2011-12 Senior Service Fellow COL Mike Eastman, who shared his thoughts on leadership.
COL Eastman noted that leadership, a skill needed in all fields, is probably one of the most overused and misunderstood concepts. He explained that true leadership involves guiding and directing others and enabling them to perform well, and not imposing your will on others.
He shared thoughts on the universal qualities of all leaders, including having a clear vision of what needs to be done. Good leaders know where their organization is headed and have a framework that allows their team to make good decisions. They have a set of moral principles on which they do not waiver, so that their actions are not random. They are competent at their jobs, and are not afraid to get their hands dirty. True leaders genuinely care about their people. Finally, true leaders are willing to take risks, and not just do things the way they have always been done, thereby ignoring problems that may exist.
COL Eastman noted that members of the IWP Class of 2012 are well on their way to being leaders. “These graduates decided to be at IWP for two years, and they have demonstrated competence in their field. They are at the cusp of making significant contributions… What we do is not about profit and loss; it’s about securing the liberties we enjoy in this country. Bad decisions in this field can cost lives.”
COL Eastman closed by congratulating the Class of 2012 on what they are about to achieve.