Tag Archives: Vietnam war veteran

Remembering Warrior, Leader, and Fellow POW, Maj. Wes Schierman – Read About His Life

Wesley Schierman Tribute

Would you join Lee and his team in a special tribute in the passing of friend and fellow Vietnam POW, Maj Wes Schierman USAF (Ret) who passed away on January 4, 2014.

Per Lee, “Wes was a fellow POW for almost 8 years and one of the toughest and most courageous of our group. He was also a great man whom we all loved and respected, and I have been close friends with him and his wife, Faye, since our return from captivity. We mourn with Faye and will always remember this great warrior and friend.”

You can read about him in Lee’s book, Leading with Honor: Leadership Lessons from the Hanoi Hilton, on pages 71, 76, and 109. Here are some additional links about his life and accomplishments –

Link – Wes’ Veterans Tribute Page

Link – Local article in the about his life in the Everett Herald


Posted by on January 8, 2014 in Military, Personal


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Leadership Snapshot – Vietnam POW 40th Reunion News Coverage – Watch Here

Step back in time for a few minutes and join us in reviewing this fantastic video from The Nixon Foundation chronicling this year’s 40th Anniversary of the Vietnam POWs return home. You’ll love some of the archive footage that they’ve compiled, and you’ll likely learn something new about life and leadership, too. Please watch and share!

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Leadership and Overcoming Bitterness – Listen to This Conversation

In Memory – Brig. Gen. Robbie Risner – A True Hero, Leader, and Great American


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Two Proven Themes for Positive Accountability in 2014

Accountability - Leadership Development

By Lee Ellis

Take a moment to reflect back on 2013 and recall the parade of high profile leaders who have not taken responsibility for broken pledges (simply scan “leadership broken promises” in a web search). Can you see how natural and frequent it is to justify, redefine, or shift blame to others rather than take responsibility when promises are broken? Regardless of how much this violation of trust is played down, it’s a serious matter when leaders put their own needs above their commitments.

Looking Back on 2013

As we began the new year, I challenged all of us to focus on accountability beginning with ourselves as individuals. My main point was holding ourselves personally accountable for keeping our promises and commitments.

Two questions for you –

  • – How did it go this year? Have you raised yourself to a consistently higher standard in owning your responsibilities, keeping your word, and meeting your commitments?
  • – If you think you are above any problems in this area, are you willing to ask others for their direct and honest feedback about you?

Keeping our personal and professional commitments is crucial. If we don’t –

  • – it diminishes our influence as a leader.
  • – it also undermines our credibility to confront others who need to be held accountable.

These are all good reasons to continue growing in personal accountability and focus on holding others accountable.

Changing the Negative Image of Accountability

I know some people don’t like the word accountability because it seems hard and difficult to do for the leader.

“Accountability is not about using fear or threat of punishment as a motivator; it’s about proactively helping people and teams get better results and achieve success.”

But it’s not about using fear or threat of punishment as a motivator; it’s about proactively helping people and teams get better results and achieve success. Reframing the positive image of accountability is so needed in today’s culture that I’m writing a concise “how to” book to help you deal with the subject.

The book will cover several major themes (the working title is Courageous Accountability and Leading with Honor), but here’s an overview of two of those themes with insights that can guide you in 2014.

1. Courage

Let’s be honest—confronting people about their behaviors or performance can feel uncomfortable because we fear it will bring conflict. That’s normal for most all of us, but underneath that fear is a lie that it’s going to turn out bad. The truth is that when confrontation is done appropriately, it’s the most caring thing to do. In his latest book, The Advantage, Pat Lencioni addresses this, saying “…failing to hold someone accountable is ultimately an act of selfishness.”

How can a person improve if you don’t tell them? Actually, in not confronting, you’re mainly protecting yourself at the other person’s expense and your relationship with them.  My definition of courage is doing the right thing even when it doesn’t feel natural or safe, and leaders who display accountability in a strong, positive way have to be courageous!

“My definition of courage is doing the right thing even when it doesn’t feel natural or safe, and leaders who display accountability in a strong, positive way have to be courageous!”

2. Clarity

You must get clarity before you can give clarity. At the 100,000 foot level, this means you and your people must have a clear understanding of mission, vision, values and the culture of the organization. Then, at lower levels, clarity includes an understanding of professional standards, your personal style and operational guidelines, and clarity about expected outcomes. There also needs to be an ongoing dialogue to maintain alignment by clarifying how things are going and whether or not any coaching or help from you is needed. Clarity on the rewards and consequences for performance and behaviors is also critical.

Think about your stance on accountability for yourself and for others. What have been your accountability failures? What did you learn from them? What have been your accountability successes? Our followers would love to hear your thoughts, and your input would be helpful to me as I’m working on my new book*.

Best wishes for a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a Happy New Year from all of us at FreedomStar Media.


*Lee welcomes your questions and comments in this blog forum, or you may email him at

Previous Articles in This Series:

Part 1 – What is Accountability and Notes from the Cliff

Part 2 – Why Accountability is Crucial to Life and the Superbowl

Part 3 – Shocking Cheating Scandal at Harvard and Clarifying Expectations

Part 4 – How Mentoring and Coaching Builds Trust

Part 5 – Seven Tips to Celebrating the Big Payoff

Part 6 – How to Take Actions When Expectations Aren’t Met


Lee Ellis is founder and president of Leadership Freedom® LLC, a leadership and team development consulting company. He consults with Fortune 500 senior executives in the areas of hiring, teambuilding, leadership and human performance development, and succession planning. He is also a speaker and the author of the award-winning book, Leading With Honor: Leadership Lessons from the Hanoi Hilton, in which he shares his experiences as a Vietnam POW and highlights leadership lessons learned in the camps. For more information, please visit


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3 Characteristics of Great Leaders from GM CEO, Dan Akerson

DAI-GM-CEO-Daniel-AkersonThis interview article from Washington Business Journal blogger, Ingar Grev, confirms yet again that great leadership attributes are simple but not always easy.

One of his quotes in the article below says, “The overwhelming majority of leaders I’ve seen [early in my career] were mediocre at best. There are a number of reasons…but primarily it’s due to leaders thinking too highly of themselves, poor promotion and hiring criteria, and poor preparation.”

Please read this article, and let us know if you agree –



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“Checking Your Organizational Pulse: Four Healthy Ways to Improve Business Reputation and Results” – The Latest Article from Lee Ellis

Lee Ellis - Leadership

Does anyone not want a great reputation in their respective marketplace? What may be a secret for some leaders is that building reputation and results is directly tied to great leadership; and great leadership comes from men and women who are willing to be authentic, wise, courageous, character-focused, and humble.

This is one of the latest articles from author and human performance consultant, Lee Ellis, published in Smart Business Magazine. Click to read on their website.

Do you agree with his recommendations? Please share your comments –   


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Why Should a Leader Be Generous? What’s the Benefit? Read More…

Lee Ellis - Leadership Generosity True Leaders are called to do many things–including sacrificially giving time, talent, and money to others. You can’t do it all, and you can’t give to every person or cause.

But you can strategically choose to be generous to the people and organizations that have personal significance in your life. Giving keeps the focus off yourself, and it helps limit personal greediness and self-preservation.

During this season, Lee Ellis and FreedomStar Media are especially grateful for several organizations and their work, and he enthusiastically supports them by donating a portion of his time and sales proceeds. Click here to learn more about them.

What do you support, and why do you choose to be a generous leader? Thanks for sharing!


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How to Spot Authenticity in Other Leaders – 90-Second Video Clip from Bill George

How do spot authenticity in other people? This 90-second interview with author Bill George shares his thoughts on the attributes that he seeks when evaluating authenticity in others.

Do you agree with his comments? Please share your perspective.

Related Posts:

How to Train Yourself to Make Character-Based Decisions

How Do You Clearly Understand Your Personal Leadership Strengths and Struggles?


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