July 26, 2009

Where are you from?

Being relatively new to Atlantic Canada I'm asked where I'm from. I'm asked this since I'm hard to place, given my mix of Toronto and Montreal backgrounds.

I think you agree that our backgrounds impact our attitudes and responses in every day life. But what about at work? How does a past experience guide us?

The writing of this piece was prompted by reading an article in the Wall Street Journal called "A Class of Generals" The article is about West Point's Graduating Class of 1976. West Point is probably the foremost military academy in the world. The class of 1976 produced 33 generals now in senior leadership.

West Point is a leadership crucible where knowledge and experiences is solidified. We all can look back on our careers to find similar pivotal experiences that formed who we are and in a way where we're from.

Excluding my university years I can think of two "where I'm from" moments. Early in my career it was my first leadership role at ADP - more recently it was working at Microsoft. Both contributed greatly to how and why I get things done.

What are your leadership crucibles...where are you from???

here to read the Wall Street Journal article (subscription may be required after the end of July 2009)

here for other posts about leadership

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