Lessons on Leadership from Captains Lewis and Clark by Janette Barnard

This weekend I listened to a very interesting LinkedIn article voiced in a podcast by one of our Mays MBA grads, Janette Barnard.  She shared leadership insights she gained from reading the Stephen Ambrose bestseller book, Undaunted Courage:  Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson and the Opening of the American West.   You may recall reading about the Lewis and Clark Expedition when you studied US history in school.  Now, Janette has framed some valuable takeaways for leaders she gained from reading the book.  I encourage you to check out her post on LinkedIn.

To briefly summarize her key points, Janette identified 3 primary takeaways and 1 “how not to do it” for leaders.  Key takeaways: (1) Have a clear sense of purpose, (2) Be focused on the team.  Keep tabs on morale. Observe what each person brings to the team and utilize their strengths effectively.  Be humble and share credit to build trust among your team. (3)  Stay attuned to context, be observant of change and stay up-to-date.  Her “how not to do it” advice:  In the latter part of the expedition, the captains made some poor decisions because they were so focused on their own skill and strengths and then overlooked the influence of outside sources and even the role luck played.  She advised leaders to be cautious and avoid making this same mistake.

Listen to Janette’s 6-minute podcast here.

Janette is currently a Vice-President of Marketing and Sales for DecisionNext.   She is a Texas A&M Mays Business School MBA, Class of 2015.

By Kim Austin
Kim Austin Director