Many moons ago I had the privilege of serving with the Australian Army.  I loved every minute of the experience and loved going to work every day.  I left because I knew that long term it would not challenge me and I wanted to go to University.  At the time I assumed I would get the same energy when I found my first job after University.

What I loved about the army was the sense of teamwork, comradery, intensity, commitment, honesty, learning/training and relationships.  All the things dearest to my heart.

When I started in my professional career I felt disconnected and lost.  I blamed the environment, that people were motivated by self-interest, that leaders were poor, or that it was a bad culture.  I became fascinated with culture wanting to re-create what I felt with my mates in the Army.  I kept searching and kept being frustrated.

I now realise the problem wasn’t the environment I was working in but rather the problem was me.  At the end of the day I was not committed enough nor did I have a strong enough sense of purpose to change the environment to what I knew would work.  I waited for permission or complained.  I judged others rather than taking responsibility myself.

Leadership is about being committed and having a sense of purpose.  It’s understanding the environment you want to create, and having a tough line on those who don’t want to go the journey with you.  It’s accepting that it’s my job to create the culture I want through commitment, persistence, consistency and courage. Playing victim or waiting for permission helps no one.