The Venn Leader Challenge

The Venn Leader Challenge

Leaders who are up to the Venn Leader Challenge are willing to strive for excellence.  “A Venn Leader is one who others follow for their character, presence, and intellect.  The Venn Leader is a morally mature person, who with varying degrees of transparency is willing to live their life with unwavering character to ensure honorable and virtuous behavior in the midst of adversity.  They have a clear sense of identity and are a fair judge of right and wrong.  They operate with a sense of self awareness that leads to effective use of emotional intelligence; they take ownership of their decisions.  The Venn Leader has the moral strength to be courageous to stand up for what they believe is right.  They have the confidence to believe the outcome of their actions will achieve their desired intent.  They are self-disciplined and able to control their emotions.  They continuously strive to be technical experts and masters of their profession.  Perhaps most important is their mental agility and the resiliency of their spirit that allows them to circumnavigate the obstacles they can avoid and the perseverance to bounce back from those they cannot.”


Character is a person’s moral and ethical qualities, helps determine what is right and gives a leader motivation to do what is appropriate, regardless of the circumstances or the consequences.  A leader’s character is heavily based on socialization, the formation of values and the inculcation of a personal ethic.  This site is largely set on developing the leader’s character as technical and tactical competence will come as a matter of course and is covered in so many other training opportunities and publications.


Presence is defined as the state or fact of existing, occurring, or being present in a place or thing.  But for a leader presence is so much more than just showing up.  As a leader the magnetic north on your compass may be something like, “I’ll be where the action is, when it is, and ready to lead when I get there.”  Being a leader is a status and a role we play on the world’s stage.  Taking pride in ourselves as leaders is the first step in being a leader of presence.  This requires us to be fit enough to do what our charges must do, to have the courage to lead them through it, and the bearing – projecting a command presence and being an image of authority.


Intellect is the faculty of reasoning and understanding objectively, especially with regard to abstract or academic matters.  For the leader intellect is our collective mental abilities, both conscious and unconscious.  being a master of our craft requires some serious brain power, conscious and unconscious.  Leaders must have the implicit skill to make spontaneous decisions when seconds count, but they must also have the ability to slow the process when time allows.  Perhaps more importantly than the ability to do both is the experience to know when to do which.  Our agility as a leader to adapt to evolving situations, a myriad of team member personalities and talents, and to overcome our own obstacles is paramount.  Leaders must have the ability to decide between two courses of action based on their VAB and previous experiences, often in a split second.

The Point of Authenticity

Our point of Authenticity is what we refer to as the manifestation of our character and is a combination of our strength and maturity.  Maintaining a continuity of character is challenged by the mental and emotional terrain that we navigate day in and day out.  Each person has a myriad of factors that directly and indirectly effect their ability to live up to their expectations.  Our organizational culture and the styles of those who lead us have as much of an impact on our day-to-day environment as the needs and personalities of our peers and subordinates.  Our operating environment poses some unique challenges and our own state of physical and psychological well-being tug at us constantly.  It may not be uncommon for some people to find themselves in a state of constant conflict between personal, professional, and cultural values.  The roles and statuses we have may also be in conflict as the identity we have in one part of our lives conflicts with another.  Ultimately we are also constrained by laws, regulations, and standing operating procedures that may or may not be congruent with our own needs or beliefs.