SLG Blog

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Living and Leaving a Legacy

By Ray Rottman I was 31 years old when my vibrant, non-smoking father was diagnosed with lung cancer a few days after his 75th birthday; we said our final goodbyes just three months later. Time passes quickly and now at 62 years old I reflect on the reality that my father has been gone for […]


In Memoriam Ted Parker

It is with a very heavy heart that we share the news that VADM Ted Parker passed away June 25th.  VADM Parker was one of the founding members of SLG.  His presence permeates all of our materials and he has been a mentor to many of us whether we served on the SLG Board, as […]


Leading Like a Father

By Chuck Hollingsworth Content Notice: This article contains a traumatic, but miraculous birth story. Discretion is advised to those who may be sensitive. It was my first time in a delivery room. It was a stark, off-white rectangle void of any décor or color that has become more common practice today. But this was the labor […]


Wearing Many Hats

By Ali and Mary Ghaffari As Leaders, we often talk of wearing many different hats. We speak of Leadership and Followership. We speak of influencing our co-workers, our teams, or our staff. How do the leadership skills we learn in our professional lives carry over into our personal lives and vice versa?   Being a spouse, […]

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The Renaissance of Character

by Elise Keitz We find ourselves in a unique moment for defining who we will be next, as individuals and as a society. When perhaps we were drowning in professional commitments, running errands, and social obligations, we were forcefully thrust from the streams of living on autopilot in March 2020. Our dry landscape was manifest […]

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Integrity of Faith and Cyberspace

–By Branden Lynam I wrapped up my Severn Leadership Group fellowship in April of 2019, shortly after the birth of my fifth child. I was about halfway through my present assignment in Defensive Cyberspace Operations at Fort Meade and waist-deep in a full-time Masters course at the University of Baltimore. I had also been in […]

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Why Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion?

By Ed Sheppard – While serving on active duty as a Coast Guard Officer, my family and I were fortunate to live, work and travel in many locations where we experienced new cultures, traditions, languages, climates, foods, and amazing people. While assigned to Hawaii, we learned that Aloha was more than just a greeting and […]


The Difference a Mentor Makes

By Darby Yeager – As a navy helicopter pilot, I have been blessed with a lot of great professional mentors throughout my career.  From department heads to skippers, I always had someone I could lean on for advice navigating my junior officer duties, preparing for qualification boards, or leading my division.  The long hours spent […]


On Leadership: Service to Others

By August Pasquale — The following is an excerpt from James Kouzes and Barry Posner’s A Leader’s Legacy, with additional comments and analysis below. “Everything leaders do is about providing service. Our late colleague John Gardner once observed, “A loyal constituency is won when the people, consciously or unconsciously, judge the leader to be capable […]


Now, More than Ever

By Sig Berg – The Walk to Freedom on June 23, 1963 in Detroit.  It was the largest civil rights march in the nation’s history up to that date.  It drew crowds estimated to be 125,000.   The march was led by Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.  He said this for the first time, I […]


SLG Impact in Nigeria

By Gretchen Moran — Shortly after I finished my fellowship at the Severn Leadership Group, I was invited to Nigeria to help a small NGO build and scale software systems for a network of modern, innovative primary health care clinics. I had not dreamed that I would be presented the perfect opportunity to test out […]

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Why Invest in Leadership?

By Gretchen Moran — If one word can be used to describe the year 2020, it might be “unprecedented”. The challenges that Americans and the rest of the world share are complex and large scale, touching all walks of life indiscriminately. Pandemic effects are leaving essential elements of a flourishing life deeply wounded: children’s education […]

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Basic Principles for Doing Your Job

Introduction Since the end of World War II, the number of high-grade civilians in relation to the total (federal government) workforce has steadily increased to the point where we have more managers and checkers, than we have doers. Our senior employees have been schooled in this ‘new’ philosophy which holds that, as long as a […]

Life of Selfless Courage

Why Live a Life of Selfless Courage?

Why should anyone want to live a life of selfless courage and service to others – above self?  It is a fair question. There are a number of ways to respond to this sort of question. Martin Luther King Jr., civil rights leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner put it this way: “Every man must […]

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How Will You Measure Your Life?

Over the years I’ve watched the fates of my HBS classmates from 1979 unfold; I’ve seen more and more of them come to reunions unhappy, divorced, and alienated from their children. I can guarantee you that not a single one of them graduated with the deliberate strategy of getting divorced and raising children who would […]



Despite the thousands of books and articles devoted to the subject of excellence, the word itself remains somewhat abstract.  Its meaning and use are sometimes difficult to pin down, let alone put it into practice.

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