Professional Pursuit of a Personal Passion: A Career Autobiography

I am completely fascinated by leadership and its impact on the world.  Ever since my earliest opportunities to lead, I have sought to understand and harness the disproportionate impact leaders have on the people around them.  It seems there is no group of humans whose focus, productivity, and morale isn’t profoundly impacted by the quality of their leaders.

My fascination with this dynamic of human nature began shortly after my twentieth birthday.  I was halfway through the Naval Academy, trudging through a computer science curriculum that was much less interesting than I envisioned it would be while simultaneously trying not to think about the next seven years of military service to which I was obligated.  

That summer, between my second and third academic years, I was given orders to take charge of a dozen incoming freshmen during their six-week indoctrination to life at the military academy. It was a role very similar to that of a drill instructor, and in my case it was also the first time I had to be responsible for the performance of others.  I remember feeling a mixture of emotions: confident and affirmed for having been given greater responsibility, but equally anxious and uncertain about whether I was up to the task.  What stood out most however was the anticipated thrill of watching the faces of these naive, unsuspecting high school graduates as they experienced a rather rude awakening and series of dramatic personal changes I knew they were about to undergo.  I was, ironically, completely unsuspecting of my own.