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Leading the Way Podcast: Dr. J.D. Crouch, CEO USO

It was an honor to have Dr. J.D. Crouch II, CEO and President of the United Service Organizations, as our guest this past week on Leading the Way. The United Service Organizations, which celebrated its 77 th anniversary on Super Bowl Sunday, has over 200 locations worldwide and offers programs and entertainment for service members across the globe..  

Crouch shares with us his take on the common challenge of measuring engagement and how learning from leaders from our past impacts our future. Intriguing discussions ensue around how the increase of women in the military has had an impact on their programs, how the USO Pathfinder program helps veterans transition into the civilian workplace, and how a former U.S. president became his mentor—and what he learned from him.

Key Soundbites  

  • On leadership development – “I think leadership can be learned by reading, studying and watching leaders. What were the problems they were facing? How did they deal with those problems? Building an understanding of what the people did before you as a leader helps you be a leader. The best leaders from the past actually were the inspirational ones and the ones who brought people together.”  
  • On teamwork – “Care less about your personal brand and more about your genuine commitment to the team that you’re a part of. Whether you’re a leader of that team or part of that team, you are a leader. Everybody on the team is a leader.”  
  • On decentralized leadership - “In this day and age you have to have decentralized leadership, particularly at the execution level. It’s critical that they have that sense of empowerment and that sense of authority. You don’t command in today’s corporate or non-profit environment. You inspire people, you get their best ideas on the table and you help them bring those things to life.”  
  • On technology – “This is just to state the obvious – the young generation of people are used to communicating and doing things on their screens, they create things on those devices, and they share those things with their network. So, woe to any organization that ignores that. You have to be a part of that.”  
  • On talent acquisition - “The ideal team player, we call smart, hungry and humble. Smart means people smart, they can work with people. Hungry is somebody who really wants to make a difference and the humble part is that it’s not about them. Those elements are things that we also build into our interview process and other approaches to selecting people.”  

About Leading the Way

Leading the Way is a weekly radio show and podcast series that highlights influential business leaders and leading people practices from i4cp. Co-hosted by Emmy award-winning television anchor and radio host, Scott Murray, and i4cp’s Angel Carlton, the show features interviews with respected business leaders from the world of business, sports, entertainment, healthcare and philanthropy.  

The show airs live every Sunday at 4 pm CT on KLIF 570 in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, the global audience is invited to listen live on www.klif.com   and the weekly podcast debuts on iTunes  or Google Play and the i4cp website the following week.