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Chris LoCurto

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May 27, 2011

Leadership Spotlight: Colonel Norman Potter

The Leadership Spotlight continues this week with Colonel Norman Potter. Colonel Norman “Stormin” Potter is a retired United States Air Force Colonel and Master Air Battle Manager with more than 4,200 hours in various aircraft and more than 1,800 combat and combat support hours. He served in numerous military operations, including Desert Storm, Southern Watch, Provide Comfort, Deny Flight, Deliberate Force, Joint Endeavor and Iraqi Freedom. He also played roles in counter-drug operations in Central and South America and air surveillance operations on the Korean Peninsula.

Born in Ogden, Utah, Colonel Potter grew up in Elizabethton, Tennessee, and East Point, Georgia. He earned a B.S. in engineering technology from the University of Alabama (1984), an M.S. in international relations at Troy State University (1988) and an M.A. in strategic studies at Air War College (2007).

Other achievements include being twice awarded Military Distinguished Graduate. In addition, he was awarded the Department of State Superior Achievement Citation, United States Air Force Europe’s 1997 Air Force Association’s Hoyt S. Vandenberg Training Award, 1999 and 2000 Pacific Air Forces Air Battle Management Crew of the Year. He was also the recipient of the 355th Wing’s Lance P. Sijan Senior Leadership Award.

Following his military retirement, Colonel Potter joined the Dave Ramsey team as Vice President of the Financial Peace Military Edition. His mission is to use Dave’s principles to help all military members and their families achieve financial peace while greatly contributing to military readiness and combat effectiveness.

CLo: What is your role in leadership?

NP: To build the rapid expansion of FPME and to sell the “Big Picture” idea not only to leaders, but also to the Military Advisors

CLo: What is the best advice you’ve ever received about leadership?

NP:

  1. Absorb leadership traits from the good and bad leaders alike.  Once you become a leader, you will know which ideas to discard and which to implement.
  2. If you can’t get your work done in eight hours, you are doing something wrong (You aren’t delegating, you’re micro managing. Or you have ineffective processes).
  3. Build a team of experts you trust, give them your strategic guidance and let them go.  They won’t fail you.

CLo: What is the biggest challenge facing leaders today?

NP: To lead people and manage things.  Some leaders should wear a sign that says, “Great With Machinery. Keep Away From People.”

CLo: How do you continue to improve yourself as a leader?

NP: By applying observation with lifelong experiences and leadership education.

CLo: How do you invest in others?

NP: Treat the mission or task as a high performance jet.  The people are the parts of that jet.  If you don’t maintain them (through pay, benefits, understanding, respect, etc) the parts will falter and have to be discarded, thus making the machine much less efficient and effective.

CLo: What was the last book you read?

NP: Ronald Reagan, The Great Communicator.

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