MD LT Govenor Visit

Maryland Lieutenant Governor Shares Views on Leadership

The Point Position Staff

MDLT Rutherford

Maryland Lieutenant Governor Boyd K. Rutherford

You can lead a parade, lead an army, lead by example, and even lead a horse to water.

No matter what the task, good leadership is the result of the little things done to improve the overall environment of subordinates.

“Titles and ranks do not matter, explained Maryland Lieutenant Governor Boyd K. Rutherford during a recent interview with The Point Postion. “It’s the care and the level of support a leader provides that is most important.”

Mr. Rutherford visited the U.S. Army Aberdeen Test Center (ATC) as part of a monthly leadership speaking series. He spoke to the APG Installation workforce regarding what leadership means to him and then took a helicopter tour of the ATC grounds and test facilities. In between, The Point Position spent a few moments with him one on one for an exclusive interview.

Mr. Rutherford reflected on his past and how it led him to where he is today and shaped his management style.

“Failing is not trying,” Rutherford said, regarding his leadership style.

In leadership as well as any worthwhile endeavor, he explained, failure is not the inability to reach a goal, but the unwillingness to “try.”

His goal is to always start a new role with strategic messaging to his workforce, the challenges of unforeseen circumstances, and his mantra that “failing is not trying.”

“Failing is not trying” has become a tenet of Mr. Rutherford’s style.

A good leader, he elaborated, needs to focus on three precepts:

• Be willing to change course and be accountable if a decision you have made is not the correct one;

• If you ask something of your workforce, demonstrate the benefit;

• Never be afraid to jump in and help your workforce complete a task regardless of the job.

The Lt. Governor shared an example of this by recounting how he sought to reduce expenses through energy efficiency in a former leadership post.

“Energy efficiency is a high ticket expense to any organization,” he explained, and by making a few small changes to the day-to-day office routine, significant savings can be gained. He simply asked his employees “to turn off their computers, turn off all non-essential electronic items, and lighting” at the end of the workday.”

The savings were immediate and were quickly put to use. In return for his employees’ energy conservation, he was able “to renovate by making much needed updates to employee workstations and increase the housekeeping contract for an overall better work environment.”

“Using ‘this is how we have always done it’ as an excuse to avoid new work methods is failure to try,” explained Mr. Rutherford. Embracing change and finding its positive affects is leading by example.ATC leadership speaking series is held monthly to give the workforce a forum to learn how leadership is affected outside the fence of the Command. Inviting non-military leaders to speak on the subject provides a wide breadth of outlooks on the topic.