Sunday, February 9, 2014

Lessons Learned at Naval Academy Leadership Conference

Recently MSBA Program Director Stewart McHie, MSBA student Jack McCann and CUA Accounting Major Michael McLean attended the 30th annual leadership conference at Annapolis, MD.  The Conference theme was Followership: The Evolution of a Leader.

The 4 days consisted of keynote speakers like former VP Dick Cheney, General John R. Allen, Commander and Astronaut Chris Cassidy and panel discussions and breakout sessions where key topics were discussed among the participants.

Cheney addressing the entire Academy

The importance of learning to follow as a key ingredient of leadership was stressed along with the challenges and obligations of followership.  If I had to summarize the 3 or 4 key points from the speakers and panelists, it would be:

1)  Humility:  all of these people demonstrated great humility in spite of their many accomplishments and leadership successes.
2)  Character and Integrity:  do the right thing even when no one is looking.
3)  Moral Courage: physical courage is easy, moral courage is hardest
4)  Caring: Read "Leaders Eat Last" by Simon Sinek

General Allen closed the conference by saying Leaders owe their followers clear and immediate direction.  

- It must be ethical
- It defines how we treat each other
- It has to be based on moral courage

With our Academy Escort
 Lt. JG James Neigle

As inspiring as the speakers and panelists were, I was equally inspired by the over 200 young people from the Academies, ROTC programs and civilian programs that attended the conference.  It was an incredible four days.

Stewart McHie
Director, Master of Science in Business Analysis

Some background on the Leadership Conference

Since 1984, the Naval Academy has hosted an annual leadership conference for senior cadets and midshipmen from each of the service academies. In 2002, the conference expanded to include students from civilian universities and broadened its scope to include leadership topics relevant to government, business, and academia, as well as the military. The USNA Leadership Conference now includes more than 200 participants from over 60 military and civilian colleges.

The United States Naval Academy, the Department of Leadership, Ethics and Law, along with the Hart Foundation and the USNA Class of ’38, were proud sponsors of the 2014 Leadership Conference at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland January 26 - January 29, 2014.   The Conference theme was Followership: The Evolution of a Leader.

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