The Westchester Business Council’s Rising Stars Leadership Council presented the first of their series “Lessons in Leadership” ft. Lt. Col. Christopher J. Bronzi two weeks ago. Col. Bronzi knows how to effectively lead under any circumstance. Below are 8 lessons on leadership that I pulled from Lt. Col. Bronzi’s presentation.
Authors Note: I know Lt. Col. Bronzi’s sister Maria and brother Phil and I am a huge fan of them both. Phil and Maria would glow as they talked about their brother well before this event. When the event invitation came out I rsvp’d immediately. I am fascinated by leadership and Lt. Col Bronzi did not disappoint.
Lt Col. Bronzi’s 8 Lessons of Leadership
- Leadership Enables Success in any Environment – Whether you are commanding marines, teaching students or CEO to a company, you have to enable the success of those you are leading. You do that by empowering them – Entertain Ideas – Lt. Col. Bronzi empowered his young marines enough to form trust. You gain a temporal advantage (vs your adversary) when your subordinates trust you. Trust enables a quicker response time. In war it means life and death, in business it means success or failure.
- Emphasize Victory – Winning (balanced with Morality) is critical to any mission as well as any business. Set goals and emphasize to your team that winning is the objective.
- Leadership Has to be Personal – No matter your role, you are going to be dealing with different groups of people. Lt. Col. Bronzi explained, “under adverse conditions it was fascinating to see how much of who they were deep down inside came out.” As a leader you must extract the most from your team. To accomplish this, you need to know how to speak in a manner that is digestible to each individual.
- Engage with those you are leading – Lt Col. Bronzi commanded 200 marines, and made it a point to get to know all of them. That doesn’t mean settling for a simple “how are you doing? Good”. By drilling down, showing interest, holding eye contact, you create real relationships with your team. He mentioned challenges with leading larger organizations (200+) but suggested “Lead through lifelines”.
- Stay above the emotion of the fight/issue – As a leader you need to be steady and keep your emotions in check. Those you are leading look to you for stability in unstable times. Giving in to emotion could set off a chain reaction within the organization.
- Character is the indispensable quality of a leader – Character can and should continuously be developed. When you find people who have character, leverage them to help guide the organization in the direction you believe it should go.
- Love What You Do – More importantly who/what you are doing it for. There is no way to create other leaders if you aren’t genuine about your work.
- Be a Person of Faith – Be part of something that is bigger than you, and a mission that is more important than you.
Lt. Col. Bronzi has earned the Purple Heart Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with a gold star, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with gold star, and the Combat Action Ribbon. He received the Silver Star for his actions in the Sunni Triangle during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM II. Lt. Col. Bronzi was awarded the Marine Corps’ prestigious Leftwich Trophy, given annually to one Captain who exemplifies outstanding leadership, in 2005. A 1996 graduate of the United State Naval Academy, Lt. Col. Bronzi served as the Commanding Officer of Golf Company and Weapons Company and was the Mobile Assault Company Commander for the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit. He was the Academic Operations Section Head and the Faculty Advisor at the Expeditionary Warfare School in Quantico, Virginia. LtCol Bronzi attended the United Kingdom’s Advanced Command and Staff Course (ACSC) in Shrivenham, England. He graduated in July 2010 with a Master of Arts in Defence Studies from King’s College London. Lt. Col Bronzi assumed command of 1st Battalion, 4th Marines in at Camp Pendleton in September 2012. He was deployed with Battalion Landing Team 1/4 with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit until April 2014. He reported to the National War College in July 2014.
Upon completing his studies at the National War College in Washington, D.C. Lt. Col Bronzi will assume the post of Deputy Executive Assistant to the new Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.