This episode got to highlight the principle of Semper Fidelis with the perfect guest, Len Houston, who has the Marine Corps woven into the fabric of his soul and strives to be always faithful in everything he does. Len embodies this tradition throughout the episode and you will be able to see ways to weave that great Marine Corps motto into your organizations as you listen and look for ways to incorporate aspects of what you hear. Len believes deeply in being a part of something bigger than himself, building up those around him, and sharing as much knowledge as he can with the rising generation. This is eloquently described in a philosophy he describes that might challenge your perceptions about what you think a Marine should act like.
Len also educates us that we need to innovate and adapt to the changing world. He shares a personal story of how he found his way back to the Marines after retiring from active duty which is a great model for all us in clear communications. Len joins us from Okinawa where he shares with us his deep love for the Japanese people, their culture and we discuss the wonderful principle Kaizen. Len reminds us to never forget where we came from and that we have a responsibility to step up – no matter how uncomfortable the situation because just like the Marines – ALL of us can all be a leader.
Len was born in Ohio and raised in Western Pennsylvania. Raised in a single parent household from the age of 8, he was heavily influenced by his grandmother, who grew up during The Great Depression. Following the bombing of the Marine Barracks in Beirut, Lebanon in October 1983, Len enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in June 1984 as a part of the Delayed Entry Program. In June 1985, he attended boot camp at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, SC and attending multiple MOS or Military Occupational Specialty schools before entering the Fleet Marine Force in May 1986 with III Marine Expeditionary Force on Okinawa, Japan. Len served 21 years across multiple duty stations until he retired from the United States Marine Corps in 2006. Since retirement, he has worked in leadership/management positions across four companies, where he currently works in support of the Marine Corps.
Len has been married to his wife of nearly 36 years, they have two adult sons, and a grandchild.
Semper Fidelis – Marines
Thomas E. Ricks – Making the Corps
Larry Spears – Ten Characteristics of a Servant Leader
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