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Since this is my “hello world” blog, let me begin by saying thank you for “clicking-in!” I am hopeful that my blog will, as my friend John Maxwell says, “add value to you and your life.” So, where do I begin?

Hmm. There are certainly lots of ideas about how to start a blog on the web. But, I like how the sunrise photo of this blog lends itself to a good starting point. So, let’s start there. Daybreak – The Rest is Up to You.

With over thirty years of progressive, hands-on work experience in the PUBLIC and PRIVATE sectors, I know that the title of this blog is as relevant today as it was when it all began. This year I’m entering my 55th year of life and … WAIT, WHAT!?! It feels like I’m just getting started! Well, they say it’s never too late to start. I read where Col. Sanders didn’t get Kentucky Fried Chicken going till he was 65, so, I think I’m a little ahead of the game!

Over three decades ago, (still feels like yesterday) I was a young seventeen-year-old who, at the age of fifteen, DROPPED OUT high school and found his way (a mother’s prayers, really) to the U.S. Coast Guard. Even in the military, it still took me a while to “get it.” Which is to say, hey, it’s daybreak, Joe, the rest is up to you.

It was a few months into my military career that my first supervisor, Boatswain’s Mate Chief, Rick Darland, took this young lad under his wing. His INFLUENCE would result in some rather REMARKABLE RESULTS considering my teenage “zeal.” The Chief’s efforts resulted in my passing all of the non-commissioned officer (NCO) courses through E7 (Chief Petty Officer) in less than four years, my graduating second (prior enlisted) from Officer Candidate School, RETIRING honorably at age thirty-nine (39), and earning a Doctoral Degree. Can you believe it? I’m still a little surprised when I read what I just wrote.

“Yours is to maximize the potential in others,” Rick would say. He also ENCOURAGED me to ALWAYS consider new ideas for improving the way we do things and to let him know about the ideas. Today, I know this as being EMPOWERED. He’d also say things like, “if you rely on others to MANAGE YOUR CAREER, you’re going to be disappointed,” and “you’ve got it in you, Joe. Let’s bring it out.” Little did I know that he was planting and nurturing SEEDS of EXCELLENCE in this 17-year old. My chief was setting into place my interest in LEADERSHIP and my personal MISSION, VISION, and VALUES. Looking back, I can see how his efforts fueled my MOTIVATION to set GOALS and work DILIGENTLY to ACHIEVE them.

Like so many of you, I faced many PERSONAL and PROFESSIONAL CHALLENGES. Some I brought on myself and others were put upon me. But, as John Maxwell says, “sometimes you win and sometimes, you learn.” And, LEARN I DID.

It was surprising to me, however, when I would see others COMPLAINING about how things didn’t turn out the way they intended but didn’t seem to learn a thing. Some would never even ATTEMPT to CHANGE, much less, evaluate their METHODS, TOOLS, or TECHNIQUES or learn to IMPROVE. It was as if they enjoyed the MISERY of MARTYRDOM and they believed that work was their cross to bear. Work was indeed a four letter word to them and not to be enjoyed. It was hard to watch and I didn’t see it [work] that way. I certainly EXPERIENCED FAILURE but, thanks to some GOOD LEADING, and COACHING, I learned to grow from it.

In my blog, I’m going to share myriad (30 plus years) of WORKABLE methods, tools, and techniques gained by working my way up from the FRONT LINE to the BOARDROOM. The blog will include the KNOWLEDGE and SKILLS I garnered while leading teams in public and private enterprises, as well as my doctoral-level research in organizational performance. The blogs are intended to be friendly reminders to people who are ALREADY SUCCESSFUL, a WAY-AHEAD for those on the journey, as well as ACTIONABLE TAKEAWAYS for anyone who is just getting started.

I’m eager to begin so I’ll close for now and prepare to begin sharing summaries of the latest in the FierroLS & Co., Performance at Work™ series …

Middleship™ – Advancing the Achievements of Others when You’re Not at the Top … Yet.

Again, thanks a bunch for stopping by. I look forward to seeing you again!

Direct:    337-540-1169


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  1. Ryan Stewart Ryan Stewart

    Great post and I’m looking forward to it. You’ve got my interest peaked!


      Thanks, Ryan! I welcome your candid feedback, my friend.
      All my best to you,

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