About Me (uh-roon’ chi-toor’)
First things first. Whenever I introduce myself to someone new, their first response (even before sharing their name) is, “Huh? What’s it again?” I’ve experimented with pacing, tone, exaggerated lip movements, creative rhymes … all to no avail. So I devised a pronunciation key for whenever I’m attending a conference or networking event (see this page’s headline). If you still have questions, we can iron them out when we talk next … but hopefully the key was enough to break down a needless barrier between us. 🙂
I’ve been a husband since 2008 and father since 2019 and appreciate many things about both roles, foremost that both pushed me to understand myself and my role in the wider community in all sorts of ways.
After college at Ohio State, I joined the Air Force and spent a decade deploying across the Western U.S. to alert facilities 80 feet below ground with a crew partner. The two of us stood ready behind one of the world’s most powerful instruments of politics and strategy. The job can be busy with daily maintenance, 24/7 security operations, and constant revision to hardware and software. Yet despite the responsibility and unique heritage, my fellow “missileers” and I grew up in “one of the world’s worst cultures” according to author Daniel Coyle. In 2014, a select group of the Air Force’s senior leaders directed an overhaul of our profession and to rehabilitate the service’s image of nuclear operations. We made some early gains and were on the path to convincing the ‘old guard’ that there was a better way, but it seems what positive momentum we enjoyed early would give way to old patterns of behavior and our persistent failure of imagination. As often happens in large organizations and in the face of inertia, we failed to lead.
In the year leading up to my military separation in 2021, I struggled in search of my next “mission.” The original plan had been graduate school, for a PhD in social science or public policy. But as the application deadline loomed, I questioned that path as the ‘best.’ I’ve always resisted the pressure to specialize or focus on one problem or ‘thing.’ We’re surrounded by problems in this world and no matter how capable or well-intentioned we are, it’s proving impossible to solve them (SO FAR). But I’ve learned the hard way that leading ourselves and others toward a solution–for anything–requires both people with hyper-specialized expertise and those with the broad experiences necessary to integrate all that expertise into a well-honed vision of the future.
So I no longer apologize for having “too many” interests. Or asking “too many” questions. I do, however, apply the framework veteran and business owner Rob Rens talks about to focus my attention. He offers three lines of effort to organize all that we do every day: our “main hustle, side hustle, and give-back.” To wrap up this “About Me” description, I offer a glimpse into each of those for me:
- The MAIN Hustle, Financial Advising. I looked into the financial services industry years ago while assigned to Minot. I wrote-off the idea assuming I’d be dead-on-arrival without academic credentials in finance or business. Lo and behold, there’s no such barrier or expectation. If anything, it’s not the advisors with the most technical acumen who become most successful; it tends to be the ones who care of their clients first and leverage past experiences to build a 360-degree financial plan that truly speaks to what each clients care most about.
- The SIDE Hustle, Coaching. I work with leaders from any industry who are ready to do and BE BETTER in service to others. I focus on every client’s development needs and what it will take for them to lead effectively in their unique circumstances. If I’m not actively coaching an individual or group, I’m studying and writing about leadership, training, and team-building.
- The GIVE-BACK, Our Military and Its People. Even though I’ve left the military–and don’t regret it for a minute–I’m still invested in its success as an institution. I care deeply for the men and women still wearing the uniform and deploying 365 days a year (in-CONUS and downrange). And I’m BEYOND INFURIATED at how long we’ve allowed our senior military officers to fail as leaders. Instead of real questions and true accountability, they’re met with well-intentioned but useless hero worship and soft landings into civilian life. So while I couldn’t affect how those officers were developed and selected while I was on active duty, as a citizen I now have the capacity to do everything I can do affect those processes for the better and to be a guardian for those brothers and sisters guarding me. While they serve and forever after.
I’ll leave it there for now. Please take a look around the site and really, seriously, reach out to me with any questions or feedback you have. Even if it’s to say “Hi!” and and connect, I want to hear from you and learn from you so we can lead better together.
The Wisdom of Others
The future of leadership is braver leaders.Brené Brown
Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
What makes you effective as a leader is not the title you hold. Rather it’s demonstrating an unrelenting focus on helping others succeed in their collective efforts.Tanveer Naseer