"Take one look at him, listen to him speak, watch him act, and you'll follow him. Why? Because throughout his life and military career, Sergeant Major Al McMichael has proven himself to be a visionary who develops and nurtures ideas to fruition.... Anyone who is charged with leading, teaching, mentoring, managing or caring for people should read the inspiring story of Al McMichael in Leadership." -- Dean Mark Pizzo, National Defense University in Washington, D.C.
There is only one sergeant major of the Marine Corps at any one time. It is the highest rank an enlisted Marine can achieve. From 1999 to 2003 the USMC's 14th sergeant major, and the first African American to attain the position, was Alford L. McMichael. Now, Sergeant Major McMichael shares how the values taught to him around the dinner table and in the hard times of his dirt-poor Southern childhood took him to the top of his field and made him one of the most respected and valued leaders of our time.
This is not a guide that speaks only to military personnel. This is not a guide that only CEOs will cherish. The magic of McMichael's life lessons is that anyone can relate to and build success from them, because McMichael himself learned them in the most modest of beginnings: growing up in the 1950s with nine siblings in a single-parent, one-story home in Hot Springs, Arkansas. It was the best training he could have received for the Marines, and with down-to-earth practicality and an engaging anecdotal style, McMichael demonstrates how the morals, work ethic and self-discipline he learned from his mother and grandmother gave him the life skills for groundbreaking success.
Practice dinner table values...Find your compass...Rely on intelligence over emotion...Prepare so you can prosper...Impress yourself first...Give power to your people...Lead from the heart...These are among the pragmatic and distinctive nuggets of truth McMichael imparts in Leadership, and whatever your walk in life, they are the foundation for making great things happen. Are you ready to experience the phenomenal results when you ask the best of yourself and those around you?
Sergeant Major Alford L. McMichael enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1970 and served his country for more than thirty-six years. He was appointed the 14th sergeant major of the USMC on June 30, 1999. In 2003, he became the first sergeant major ever to serve as the sergeant major to the Allied Supreme Commander of NATO. Among his countless other accomplishments he has, most recently, been appointed to the American Veteran Steering Committee, where he is working to improve the quality of life for young veterans of the United States Armed Forces. He and his wife reside in northern Virginia.