An FAQ from Lee Ellis on Staying Mentally Focused and Positive During Hardship

Lee Ellis Leadership DevelopmentA Frequently Asked Question from Lee Ellis on staying mentally focused and positive during hardship:

“When you look at some of the stamina that developed in the POW camps from you and others who had to endure a lot of hardship, what was your mental outlook that kept you focused and hopeful?”


“I think some of that is my personality and a lot of it was the leadership around me. I tend to be a positive person and have never been a worrier, which has been a blessing. I did worry some in those early months in not knowing what was going to happen. My initial thought was, if I can make it six months, President Johnson will have to win this war to get re-elected. And he is a politician so he will end the war and we will be home by the summer of 1968 and I will make the Mexico Olympics. Well he tricked me and decided not to run. So we sat there and after six months, I said I could make it one more year. After that I said I could make it two more years and I did, but it was more like three and a half.

You have to keep setting goals where you can mentally and emotionally handle it. Then you set another goal and meet that goal and pretty soon you are walking yourself one day at a time into the future and toward a goal. We also had personal development goals. For instance, I learned differential calculus with a piece of broken red roof tile writing on a concrete floor in the corner of the room. A fellow who majored in math from the Naval Academy taught me differential calculus. Then I memorized Spanish words sitting and walking around the cell and started speaking Spanish every day and when I came home I was pretty fluent in Spanish.

We did those kinds of things to keep us busy. I learned to stay occupied and move toward some goals. We also had these great leaders who really made a difference and they were positive also. Leaders give people hope in difficult situations and they gave us hope and built a culture around the belief that we would someday go back home. We had to do our duty and we were going to have to suffer, but in the end we were going to be victorious and walk out of there and go home. They built the culture and set the example. We had no reason not to believe that we weren’t going to go home at some point.”

Please share your comments, wisdom, and experience in this forum.

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Posted by on August 1, 2015 in Uncategorized


Leading with Honor Wisdom for Today, July 31, 2015

Organizational Culture

“The culture of any organization is shaped by the worst behavior the leader is willing to tolerate.” – Gruenter and Whitaker

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Posted by on July 31, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Celebrating Women Leaders at the ‘Women in Military Service for America Memorial’

Last week, Lee and his family also visited the ‘Women in Military Service for America Memorial’ at the entrance to Arlington Cemetery. It’s a very extensive, in-depth memorial with many glass encased rooms behind the wall where Lee is standing. Lee’s grandsons are shown in front of this monument.

What a great tribute to some of our nation’s women leaders and volunteers. Have you ever visited this memorial? If so, please share your comments –

Womens Memorial

It’s a very extensive, in-depth memorial with many glass encased rooms behind the wall where Lee is standing.

women's memorial

Lee’s grandsons are shown in front of this monument.

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Posted by on July 29, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Leaders – Courageously Take Your Conversations to the Next Level

The word “courage” brings to mind heroic feats like scaling a mountain or driving a race car at 170mph. But for most of us, being courageous simply means doing the right thing even when it doesn’t feel natural or safe. Courageously take your conversations to the next level with the Courage Challenge Pocket Card.

Download your free copy, or Purchase a set for your entire team.

Leading with Honor Courage Challenge

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Posted by on July 28, 2015 in Uncategorized


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DAR Chairman, Phyllis King, Shares Her Comments about Leading with Honor

A special thank you to Phyllis King, Georgia State Chairman, Daughters of the American Revolution, for your kinds words about Lee Ellis and Leading with Honor –

“He is a superb speaker who captivates an audience, even 3800 women! Upon his recognition as the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution’s 2015 DAR Medal of Honor Winner, he was received with cheers and a standing ovation after his heartwarming and inspiring speech. Not only was he awarded this highest Medal given by the National DAR, Col Ellis was also recognized as the Georgia Society Daughters of American Revolution’s Distinguished Citizen Award as he truly exemplifies the qualities of honor, service to country, courage, and leadership. Col. Ellis is a Patriot by example, an example of leadership in service to his country and service to his community as well as all over the world.”

Please learn more about this fantastic, service-oriented national organization –

DAR Banner

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Posted by on July 27, 2015 in Uncategorized


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On This Day in Leadership History, July 26, 2015

Apollo 15

On this day in leadership history in 1971, Apollo 15 was launched from Cape Kennedy, FL. Apollo 15 was the ninth manned mission in the United States’ Apollo program, the fourth to land on the Moon, and the eighth successful manned mission. It was also the first mission on which the Lunar Roving Vehicle was used. At the time, NASA called it the most successful manned flight ever achieved.

If you’re working towards your leadership goals right now, remember the importance of steady progress—taking time to refine and improve each step along the way!

Apollo 15 – Wikipedia


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Posted by on July 26, 2015 in Uncategorized


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To Survive Tough Times, It Takes Going Deep and Going Long – Latest Smart Business Article from Lee Ellis

Lee Ellis Leadership Development

As leaders (or parents, or teens/college students, etc.), what does it take to weather tough times? In Lee’s latest article in Smart Business Magazine, he shares the 3 critical things to remember through the lens of his personal challenges as a Vietnam POW.

Please Read on the Smart Business website, and share your comments in this forum –

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Posted by on July 25, 2015 in Uncategorized


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