What is your SA?

A few years ago, I unexpectedly received a large yellow envelope in the mail. Although there was no return address, the package had a cancelled stamp from Australia. I quickly tore open the envelope. Inside was a newspaper with a yellow sticky note at the margin, luring me to an inside page. And there it […]

Average Won’t Cut It!

Average Won't Cut It!

Partway through flight training, I surprisingly found myself in the middle of the pack—decent grades, but nothing spectacular. I had failed a flight like most students had, but I had picked myself up and gotten back on track. My performance was average. I had never in my life been average at something I set my […]

Change Takes Time

Plebe summer at the Naval Academy is over and the academic year is fully underway. My commute to campus is an easy walk and if I time it just right, I get to weave through the Brigade of midshipmen, observing the differences among the students – the newness of this place for the plebes and […]

What should we do?

What should we do?

I’ve kicked off my semester at the Naval Academy teaching a course in leadership and ethics. This class has a new format for me. Monday’s group lecture is led by a seasoned philosopher. Then on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I meet with my individual class section and together we unpack the material for the week. This […]

Hitting the Mark

Hitting the Mark

As I was writing my book, a consultant friend “adamantly suggested” (how’s that for some nice words to cover a little butt kicking?) that I get very clear about my target audience.  He asked me to get focused. I wanted to reach as large of an audience as possible – men and women of all […]

Don’t Clip Your Own Wings

Don't Clip Your Own Wings

DON’T CLIP YOUR OWN WINGS One day I received a call inviting me to speak at the mother-daughter dinner at the Lyceum Club in Melbourne Australia, a university women’s club founded in 1912. The format of the evening was particularly appealing, as I would speak first, then we would eat dinner, leaving lots of time […]

Strap IN

Strap in

How many times have you flown on a commercial aircraft, and midflight the captain announces there is turbulence ahead and asks you to return to your seat and put on your seat belt? You hear the familiar chime as the seat belt sign illuminates above your head. You strap in and pull that seat belt […]

Dreams of Flying

Dreams of Flying

For me it started as a dream. But my story really begins before I was born. Biologically, I come from a long line that consists mostly of intelligent women, teachers, and nurses. They were the smart women in their high schools— graduated as valedictorians or salutatorians— but they did not have the same opportunities that […]

Why oh Why must we know our Why?

This past year one of my Vanderbilt students asked me to write him a letter of recommendation for law school. Matthew knew it was a long shot to be accepted to a top-notch law school right out of undergrad, but he was willing to put in the work. He studied all summer to get a […]

When opportunity knocks, step out on faith

Step out on faith

When opportunity knocks, step out on faith. As one of my tours in Washington, D.C. was coming to a close, I received a call from my favorite mentor from Test Pilot School, then Captain Steve “Smiley” Enewold. (RADM Enewold retired as a two-star admiral and ran the Joint Strike Fighter program). As a mentor and […]