Interview Questions

Posted: 3rd August 2015 by in Journal
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Here is an interview Taylor just completed.


Questions: Leadership in Practice:

  1. What was your role while serving in the Navy? Did you have to work up to this, or was it assigned to you? What leadership qualities or characteristics did you build during that time?
    1. Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) technician. It was a volunteer program. The training pipeline was about a year and a half requiring rigorous physical and academic standards to be meant under pressure. Jump school, dive school, tactical training/shooting, driving, Chem/nuke/bio and high explosives were all parts of the program. My responsibilities were to circumvent or render safe any explosive hazards encountered when traveling to and from the objective. This consisted of mostly underground-improvised explosive devices (homemade bombs). During that time I was usually running point (the first person in line when the team was traveling on foot). This required pre-operation briefings and expertise in navigation, local terrain, mission planning, reconnaissance, and post operation briefing.
  2. How would you describe your leadership style and your abilities as a leader (then and/or now)?
    1. I believe part of being a good leader is knowing when and how to follow. In a team setting everybody has an expertise in something and the leadership role is passed from person to person based on the situation and what expertise is needed at that time. Being a leader is know when to step forward and equally important knowing how to best utilizes all personal and resources most effectively and efficiently.
  3. What impact has your leadership had on those you have interacted with (since returning to the United States/Iowa)?
    1. I have always been very level headed and cool, calm, and collected in high stress situations. I believe this attribute has helped me immensely throughout my injury and recovery process. From day one of my injury, I have been able to accept the position I was currently in, and then think about how I could improve it. I knew my recovery would have to be executed with small goals along the way. I used my hard work ethic that was instilled in me as a child, to push forward and achieve these small goals one-by-one. I have never been one to accept defeat. This is just another example of understanding the road was going to be tough, exhausting, and troublesome but also knowing that I was responsible for my own destiny.
  4. What improvements in your own leadership abilities would you like to see yourself make?
    1. Finding the best place to use my leadership skills (both socially and vocationally) is something I am working on now.
  5. How do you keep yourself motivated and encouraged? Is this the same for your “followers”?
    1. I am motivated by many things- technology, space exploration, entrepreneurship, education, travel- there are so many things I look forward to just thinking about when I have spare time that there is just no room for dwelling on the injury or the past.
  6. What do you see your organization achieving over the next ten years? What can you do to help it get there?
    1. I don’t have an organization, but I do have a few different things in the works. One is a maker space we are opening in our hometown. It will be a full wood shop, metals shop, 3d printer lab, arts and crafts room, a place that fuels creativity and collaboration. Lately I have been working on some 3d printable prosthetics that will be 1/50th the cost of traditional prosthetics with potentially even more function. Available to anybody with access to the Internet and a 3d printer. The markers space ignites innovation with a think-tank atmosphere. It allows new, improved, groundbreaking products and ideas to be out there in order to better the general public while stimulating progressively thinking.
  7. What gives you the courage to continue in the face of adversity? Describe, or give an example, of an instance in the past when you faced adversity as a leader.
    1. My future. Knowing that my future’s fate rest in my ability to face adversity is a huge motivation for me. I want to live an independent life. I want all the things that my soon to be wife (Danielle) and I talked about. This is what gives me courage to continue to face adversity.
  8. How do you handle disappointments, mistakes, and setbacks?
    1. I take them as they come. Everybody has them, and when it’s my turn try to look for the next move, the next big thing. The most frustrating thing for me is breaking my prosthetics, or having them die on me. When this happens I immediately stop what I’m doing, go to a different room, and take a few minutes to just reset.
    2. I am not one to blow up or yell. I am the type that knows I need to walk away from the problem, digest the mistake, setback, or issue and take some time to myself. I use this time to relax and build up enough motivation to get back at it when the time is right.
  9. What keeps you from giving up?
    1. Giving up wouldn’t solve anything; it would only make things worse. Giving up would gravely depreciate my quality of life, my independence, my future. The way I see it is, I am a quadruple amputee now, I need to accept that and move forward to make the best out of every day.
  10. Share any other information or ideas you would like about “Leadership in Practice” that helps to define you as a leader and helps others to define your leadership style.
    1. Now that I am here in this situation, I am totally adjusting focus to make life better for an amputee. Because I have a first hand look at how many problems still need to be solved- I believe I could have a big impact in this community for the greater good.




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