So why this book? And how is it different from other books focused on leadership?  At a Veterans United meeting last year Rick West posed the question, “Why don’t we collectively write a leadership book?  I don’t think a book written by senior enlisted leaders from every military service has ever been written.  Even though we are now retired we should share our leadership experiences.”

The senior enlisted leadership role that has evolved in the armed services is unique to the military.  Service level Senior Enlisted Leaders came from what other organizations might call the “rank and file.” They are selected by the military’s most senior leadership to represent the workforce and provide a “field reality check” to senior leadership at the top of their respective services.  Representing over 190 years of proven leadership experience, this group of senior enlisted leaders served as the champions for a force of more than 2 million Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen, and Coast Guardsmen.

The six authors of Breaching the Summit—are Ken Preston, former Sergeant Major of the Army; Mike Barrett, former Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps; Rick West, former Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy; Jim Roy, former Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force; Denise Jelinski-Hall, former Senior Enlisted Advisor to the National Guard Bureau; and Skip Bowen, former Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard.

The focus of the book is to help aspiring leaders improve their leadership ability by using the skills, techniques, and experiences gained from military service, post-military corporate careers, and quite frankly hard work, commitment, integrity, and respect for others.

So that is how Breaching the Summit was started.

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