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The Journey of the Accidental Leader by Stephen D. Gladis

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Lessons on Leadership

Here I would like to recount the ten leadership lessons I learned as a young Marine Corps officer during the Vietnam era. These lessons were reinforced in my careers as an FBI agent, as a faculty member and Associate Dean at the University of Virginia, and now as CEO of my own executive development company.

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1. No one knows what they’re doing until they try.

At 22 years of age I flew into Vietnam, a country that I couldn’t find on a map without help, hearing a language I could not speak, and fighting a war I never understood until much later in my life. Along with my duties as an artillery forward observer, I inherited a platoon of marines whose job it was to set protective fire out beyond the advancing troops, which placed ...

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