“We are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to,” President Obama said. “That is the story of our history.

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Dear Leaders,

Sunday, May 1st , 2011 is a day many rejoice in. Regardless of your political views, President Obama’s speech regarding the death of Osama bin Laden was inspiring and direct, and the actions and professionalism of members of SEAL Team 6 accomplished what they set out to do.

In the case of President Obama, the following leadership traits were exhibited:

He gave credit where credit was due (U.S. intelligence and military forces). Providing timely feedback and recognizing accomplishments is a leadership trait we frequently talk about.

He talked about the need to take action. Again, having clearly defined goals and tasks and completing them to perfection is what we strive for (for us and for our organization).

Tough decisions were made. We all know being a leader is not a popularity contest and what we do is not always pleasant and requires courage.

John Baldoni summarizes what all leaders can learn from when delivering a message:

  1. Deliver the headline first. This is the hook that captures our attention.
  2. Put the news in context. Explain the issues, the impacts, the consequences.
  3. Tell a story. Make it personal, paint a picture.
  4. Get to the point; brevity rules. This speaks for itself.

Additional leadership skills were displayed by the SEALs (Sea, Air, Land), specifically members of “Team 6”. This group of elite military professionals is considered to be the “best of best”. They had a vision, a mission, with critical deliverables defined, and they had very clear roles, responsibilities and timeframes in which to execute.

Not only are they well trained but they are also cross trained so everyone and every task has a back-up plan; they are motivated, dedicated, and understand what their priorities are.

These lessons in leadership can serve us well and will support us in achieving the motto that “We can do whatever we set our minds to . . .”