Leadership

Keynote Speech Re-Cap At SynFiny

I recently spoke to the partners and employees of SynFiny, a Cincinnati-based global consulting firm, about my leadership of the Department of Veterans Affairs.  I was asked to talk specifically about how to change corporate culture.  I began my talk by asking an important question, “What do you do, and what steps do you take, […]

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McKinsey Leadership Forum Re-Cap

It was my privilege to speak to a group of about forty or so business leaders at the McKinsey Leadership Forum.  Other speakers included my friends Admiral (Retired) Eric Olson, former Commander of the U. S. Special Operations Command, and Beth Colbert, former McKinsey Partner and Head of Office of Personnel Management when I was […]

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The Leadership Potential of War Veterans

Bob McDonald was recently interviewed by UATV during his visit to Ukraine to talk more about how the year-old The Ministry for Veterans Affairs can model itself after the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. McDonald who is the former CEO of Procter & Gamble, and, the eighth United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs shared insight […]

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Bush Institute Stand-To Veteran Leadership Program

Last week participants gathered for an opening session at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, where they heard from President George W. Bush, General Peter Pace, former U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Bob McDonald, and former U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, among others. Participants were selected after a rigorous application and review […]

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What Makes For A Seamless Leadership Transition?

Seamless leadership transitions are necessary for organizations to sustain themselves and thrive.  Only 61 companies on the Fortune 500 list when it started in 1955 were still on the list in 2015.  Certainly one factor that led to the demise of those companies who fell off the list was poor succession planning and bad leadership […]

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2019 McDonald Conference for Leaders of Character

The mission of the McDonald Conference for Leaders of Character (MCLC) is to bring together a diverse group of the top undergraduate student leaders from across the globe with world class senior leaders who act as mentors in a team-based, experiential event that bolsters leadership skills, fosters critical thinking and collaboration, and develops potential strategies […]

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Creating Successful Environments That Attract Winners

One of my ten leadership beliefs is the importance of “everyone wants to succeed, and success is contagious.” I have never in all my life, in any career, in any country, at any time, met a person who tries to fail.  Everyone I have met wants to succeed.  So, the job of the leader is […]

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The Most Challenging Role of Being a Leader

I often am asked what is the most difficult role of the leader?  While there are many difficult roles, my experience and that of those with whom I’ve talked would say the most difficult and time-consuming task is getting the right leadership team in place. Adaptation Is a Must Organizations like human beings need to […]

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Leading An Organization’s Turnaround

There are several steps I have learned to follow when coming into an organization to lead a turnaround.  Normally, the organization is in crisis because it is not meeting its goals, and it has lost sight of its consumer or customer.  Human psychology is that when an organization gets into crisis, its people turn inward.  […]

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The Most Important Trait Of A Good Leader

Throughout my careers as an officer in the U. S. Army, CEO of The Procter & Gamble Company, and Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs; I learned that the most important trait of a leader is their character. Honesty Is Incredibly Important As a young Second Lieutenant, Airborne, Ranger, Infantry Officer leading First Platoon, […]

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Recent Posts

13th Annual Stand Up for Heroes

It was an honor for both Diane and I to attend the 13th Annual Stand Up for Heroes event organized by the Bob Woodruff Foundation in the Hulu Theater of Madison Square Garden in New York City November 4, 2019.  I also attended the Leadership Council meeting of the Bob Woodruff Foundation that morning, kindly hosted […]

Bob McDonald VA Portrait Unveiling

We walked over to the VA headquarters building before 4 p.m.  Once we walked in the door, Diane and I were inundated with our former colleagues and friends.  We introduced our daughter Jenny and her husband Scott Rowland.  First it was the members of Protocol, then our photographers, then our Special Agents, and then office […]

National Veterans Resource Center Tour

Thursday morning Ray Toenniessen, Associate Vice President of IVMF, picked me up and took me to the new National Veterans Resource Center, a new building on the Syracuse campus that will house IVMF and its resources.  It is a beautiful new building, funded primarily by a donation by Dan D’Aniello, Co-Founder of Carlyle and Chair […]