029 JohnBob is proud to welcome Entrepreneur On Fire's John Lee Dumas!  John takes time out from his hugely successful Fire Nation to share his thoughts on leadership in the service, in the corporate world, and as an entrepreneur.  Are you Labsters ready to ignite?

Bob and John compare notes on their travels to Italy.  Both are enamored with the country and the people.  John also shares stories about his deep routes in New England and his home state of Maine.  He talks of his great childhood in a small town there.

John answers the leadership question of whether leaders are born or made by saying  that you can learn to be both a leader.  He expands this though by saying that you can learn to be an entrepreneur as well.  He talks about not being focussed squarely on business early in life, taking things as they came forward up until about the age of thirty. Our life experiences and what we learn bring us to both of those things.

In his four year stint in the Army, he was immediately commissioned as a second lieutenant out of ROTC at Providence College.  His class was the first to be commissioned right after 9/11.  He now focussed on his commitment to perfecting his craft for the sake of serving and protecting his first platoon of 16 men anf four tanks.

Transitioning out of the Army at age 26 was not without difficulty. The structure is missing. There was no passion yet.  He followed in his father's footsteps into law school., but after a semester he knew it was not his passion.  Leaving law school was such a difficult decision, but one made with great courage.

In the corporate world, John entered finance and was very excited about the prospects of a new career.  This excitement lasted the better part of a year with great successes.  This time however was followed by the financial crash.  Many others were laid off, but John remained.  He then though realized that this was not the place for him.  He handed him his notice the same day.

The leader he remembers was an all-star, a hard worker, a family man, that was super successful who made a huge amount of money,

John would advise a new MBA today to find a place to be an apprentice.  Look for someone that you want to become.  Ask them to be an apprentice, to be a mentor.  Find a situation that would allow you to learn from then.  Today, apprenticeship seems to be a lost art.  Bob emphasizes that this is one of the career critical conversations that people need to be prepared to have.

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