Your Leadership Legacy

Your Leadership Legacy: Becoming the Leader You Were Meant to Be by Oakland McCulloch (Skrive Publications, Feb. 2021, 183 pp.)

Often, when we pick up a book on leadership, we examine the experience of the author and their credentials. Lt. Col. Oakland McCulloch, the author of Your Leadership Legacy, has a varied and interesting leadership background. With a decorated 23-year service career in the US Army and various ROTC assignments, McCulloch received over 31 military service awards. His background speaks volumes not only about his commitment to service, but his commitment to leadership, academia, and growth of character. It comes as no surprise, then, his book translates his experience into a living guide on how to become a respectable leader in society.

At first glance, with its easy to digest materialYour Leadership Legacy seems best suited for middle-high school learners. However, upon careful reading, anyone, young or old, can benefit from the simple life lessons in the book. McCulloch himself describes the book as offering “common sense principles that every current and aspiring leader can use.” 

The book includes a few striking lessons, chiefly, the idea that leadership is not about titles, positions, or flow charts. In McCulloch’s words, what you do, the precedent you set, will ultimately guide your decisions and the decisions made by those around you. When you set the example, it’s not just by words, but by your actions. A clear example, he writes, is as the boss, if you tell your team that you’ll be in the office until 5 pm but without notice, you take off at 4:45 pm, your team may say to themselves they can leave early as well. This may seem to be an insignificant action, but it speaks volumes about your character and your commitment. As those who have served in the military learn, their word is their bond, and as leaders, that cannot be more true. In essence, leaders set positive examples in everything they do every single day. And to develop exceptional leaders, those in charge have to set the precedent, the example for others to emulate. As a reader, I truly appreciate the key takeaways and reflection notes that the author added at the end of each chapter. One reflection states: “Think of a time when you could have set a better example for the people in your organization.” I am sure that anyone reading this book can think of a moment in time when they could have improved their leadership acumen. 

Your Leadership Legacy is structured into timely lessons, first, by defining leadership. Then, on explaining how leadership, although it does not revolve around you, has to do with your growth and your experience. McCulloch also communicates that a leader is comfortable being in charge, communicates, teaches, and trains, solves problems, builds effective teams, achieves results, and never stops learning. By dividing the book into digestible chapters packed with quotes, takeaways, and reflections, the reader is left with a satisfying, introspective experience. I highly recommend Your Leadership Legacy to any reader desiring to brush up on their leadership skills or to gift this book to an up and coming leader. You will not be disappointed.

Review contributed by Jacqueline Parker. Parker is an avid book lover and has developed her passion into a professional hobby of writing and reviewing books. In 2021, she is embarking on a 52 books in 52 weeks challenge, curating her book list from 2020 favorites and 2021 must-reads. In her free time, Jackie enjoys cycling, hiking, podcasting on DODReads, and spending time writing her first novel.

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