Our world faces challenges on almost every front -- terrorism, racism, pandemics, economic turmoil, polarized politics and communities, global warming, poverty, and the list goes on. Solutions are needed for all of them. Unfortunately, too many leaders seem to be more interested in serving their own interests than working to bring people together, building consensus, and developing solutions.
On a more personal level, many of us are struggling with our own jobs and families. The work environment is not always conducive to developing a highly motivated, engaged and diverse workforce, building teamwork, or maintaining clear lines of responsibility. A passion for serving the customer with excellent services or products can be overshadowed by personal or financial self-interest by us or by our leaders and managers. We have many questions, but seemingly few remedies. So how do we navigate the vagaries of the workplace? Can compassion and excellence coexist in an organization? How can we make a difference? Can one have a challenging and rewarding career and a happy family at the same time?
Finally, and perhaps even more disconcerting, character traits like courage, humility, and integrity do not seem to matter very much these days. So, what can we do? I know there are no quick fixes or easy answers, but I believe that “the future can be better than the present and that I have a personal and moral responsibility to make it so.” Applying what I have learned as a naval officer, parish pastor, an executive in the global nuclear power industry, and my work in leadership development with college students and young nuclear professionals from around the world, together with advice of the experienced leaders cited below – the seeds for the Severn Leadership Group were sown.
In the Fall of 2011 a small group of seasoned leaders from business, sports, academia, and the military met to develop the work of the SLG. We concluded that whatever we did had to have practical applicability, be personally challenging, academically sound, and intentionally inclusive.
Those early discussions, along with advice and feedback from advisors, mentors, fellows and others who share a common vision, have shaped what the Severn Leadership Group is today. Though there are many helpful leadership programs and seminars, we take a different approach to leadership development.
- Sig Berg, Founder of SLG
“Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.”