The Value of Shared Leadership
Why Amazon And Charlotte Are A Great Fit
Last Friday, Tim Whitmire and I had the honor of being invited to the United States Military Academy at West Point by the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership. Our host, Captain Andrew Bond, had seen a report about F3 on NBC’s “Today” and noted how F3 had “stumbled upon” the military academy’s theory of Shared Leadership. I put that in quotes, because it is no accident that F3’s leadership model reflects the bottom-up model embraced by the Army.
Our day started at 0530, with Tim and I joining a group of academy instructors for interval training. Although we do a lot of running in F3, it was all we could handle to stay with this group of officers, whose ranks ranged from captain through colonel. Clearly the commitment to Fitness at the academy is every bit as strong as it is in F3.
Start 2018 with an Iron Project Ironclad Leadership Experience
The Iron Project works with organizations all over the nation, but our home is in the Carolinas, where the F3 and FiA workout movements originated earlier this decade in Charlotte, N.C. This week, TIP is partnering with the Carolina Fintech Hub and the University of North Carolina Charlotte’s Center City campus to host a community event aimed at generating input into the city’s bid for Amazon’s 2nd headquarters.
As part of the publicity for the event, Iron Project co-founder Tim Whitmire wrote an op-ed piece for The Charlotte Observer that explains his inspiration and how it ties into the origins of F3 and FiA. We share it here as an illustration of TIP’s commitment to putting the leadership principles developed in F3 and FiA -- in this case, “reverse-flow incubation,” the notion that the best ideas are found at the grass roots -- to work in creative ways throughout our communities. Please contact us if we can help your organization!
Hard Things Form Durable Bonds
As we have noted previously, TIP Ironclad Leadership Experiences are cast around enjoyable outings that provide leadership lessons drawn from important events in our history.
We would like to invite you start your new year with a half-day Ironclad outing on Tuesday, January 2, 2018. Just a short drive from uptown Charlotte, we will examine leadership lessons from the 1780 Battle of Kings Mountain.
By 1780, the War of American Independence had reached a stalemate in the north. Leaders on both sides of the conflict seemed to be in a never-ending struggle for the talent, resources, strategies and execution that would give them a decisive advantage (a challenge that probably seems familiar to any modern business leader).
It's Just That Simple
Five years ago, when F3 was still in its relative infancy, Tim and I began looking for events to challenge and strengthen the bonds among the men in our growing group. The daily workouts were good and getting better, but we were finding that they did not deliver the kind of impact and challenge that the Marine Corps Mud Run or a Spartan Race presented. It was in our search for even harder things than those, that we discovered GORUCK.
F3’s first GORUCK was in Charlotte in July of 2012, on what turned out to be a day of record heat in the city. At the time we had no idea what we were getting into, GORUCK being too new to have produced the level of Internet coverage it now enjoys. As a result, our training for the first one consisted mostly of ruck runs, which turned out to be about the one thing that provided no benefit at all in the real event. And yet, we somehow made it through that long, hard night, forming bonds that persist to this day.
A Counter-Cultural Commitment
Our nation’s college campuses, where youthful exuberance clashes with growing wisdom and prudence, are among the most energizing and challenging leadership environments imaginable. Like a linebacker meeting a quarterback on any given fall Saturday, college campuses are where youthful idealism and the encroaching reality of the “real world” meet head-on.
Students have been “heading off to college” since the first university opened nearly a thousand years ago. In today’s modern collegiate system it seems that the mission of achieving a diploma should be a simple process:
A couple weeks ago, at an F3 workout I attended in Chapel Hill, N.C., a guy hit a seam in the pavement the wrong way, rolled his ankle and hit the ground.
I heard the commotion behind me and turned around to see what was going on. As it happened, this workout was what we call a “convergence,” where several different groups combine for a special, super-sized event, and there were at least 20 guys clustered around the fallen man, helping him up, figuring out how to go get a car for him, whether he needed to go see a doctor.