Journal Entry: Shane Andrew Smith-12/26/2023

Journal Entry


Before my case, I spent the first eleven years of my career attempting to become an executive in a major, public, global corporation, climbing the ladder of corporate America. I spent the next eleven years as the second-ranking executive for a small company that we built into a medium-sized organization with over $700 million in annual sales, 650 plus employees, over 25 locations, and 20 companies. I was the “leader” of the departments that made up over 200 of those employees, and I thought I was a decent leader. I used the terms “servant leadership” and “empathetic leader” when I described myself. But, I realized that while I may have practiced those leadership qualities most of the time, it only takes one time to do the wrong thing, to forego your morals, and make a decision or decisions that can cause catastrophic consequences to those who you are supposed to be “leading”.

I am taking those lessons and re-making myself as a leader who has better qualities and above-board character so that I can not only lead people in my next career but also so I can ensure they don’t make the same mistakes I did. My plan is to incorporate the qualities that lead to the positive and legitimate growth of the company and the people I was responsible for, and combine them with the areas of weakness that I displayed as a leader of people. Those areas include:

  1. Being more patient and not quick-tempered.
  2. Listening to people until they are fully finished explaining the situation so I can understand the full scope before making decisions that affect them and the organization.
  3. Not compromising my integrity for anyone…not my supervisor, not those I supervise, not business partners….NO ONE!
  4. Taking longer to make major decisions so I can analyze and understand how they will affect all stakeholders.
  5. Involving others is major decisions even if I have full authority to proceed. This includes mentors, and others I trust who may or may not be impacted with the decision.
  6. Praying about major decisions, and even minor decisions, so I can ensure I do the right thing even if it may not be the most profitable thing.
  7. Putting myself if others’ shoes so as to understand how decisions might affect them or their department or their organization.

Most people in business today like to use buzz words when they describe leadership and leaders. But I think the best leaders always go back to the fundamentals. The fundamentals are often lost because of the fast pace of the business world today. And the main fundamentals of being a leader are making sure that decisions are made based on right and wrong, on legal versus illegal, on moral versus immoral. When we slow down, and make the right decisions, the first time, then success is inevitable. That’s the kind of leader I want to be, and I will work the rest of my life striving to redeem myself and being that leader, in all things.