Episode 8: Debra Lewis – Grab Your Bull by the Tail – Bring Out Your Best When Stressed

In It's All About The Questions by Laura

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This is my birthday show and a very special one for me becuase of my guest. I like to reflect on all the blessings I have and one of them is the many freedoms I have been privileged to enjoy. Those privileges did not and do not come without a price. One of those prices is met every day by those who serve in our military. Putting their lives in harm’s way to protect our freedoms.

My dad served in the Army during the Korean War. Right up until the day he died his time of service to our country was the proudest moment of his life.The lessons he learned about leadership, success, communication and moving forward to achieve goals served him well in his post-Army career.

My guest today was in the first graduating class of women at West Point. She not only survived the hazing and outright hostility from the male cadets and staff that felt a woman should not be there she thrived and went on to get graduate degrees from Harvard University and a Bronze Star before retiring after 34 years in the Army as a Colonel.

On this week’s show we talk about how you can bring out your best when stressed, how to grab your own bull by the tail to break the cycle and the personal lessons that led her to the success she has today and even what her definition of success is. You might be surprised.

Deb Lewis brings numerous unique and varied experiences from her trail-blazing 34 year military career to Sunrise Aloha, the personal development adventure LLC she shares with her husband Doug Adams.  They offer rich stories, tools, and helpful insights so many more can thrive in the midst of ongoing challenges, instead of becoming derailed in their personal and professional lives.  


During her remarkable military career, Deb led three Brigade/Battalion-level commands, including a $3 billion reconstruction program in Baghdad and Al Anbar Provinces during combat in Iraq; the Seattle District, where she oversaw 850 employees responsible for constructing, operating, and regulating military and civil works projects; and the Philadelphia District where she led 500 employees responsible for the construction, operation and regulation of military and civil works projects.


Col. Deb also held numerous other key command and staff positions including the Inspector General for Washington State, as the confidential advisor to The Adjutant General, Washington National Guard; Senior Engineer Requirements Officer, Joint Staff, Antiterrorism/Force Protection (J-34), supporting the Joint Chief of Staff Chairman’s responsibilities before and after 9/11; co-chair of 220+ member worldwide team that produced Department of Defense facility protection standards; Company Commander, Fort Bragg during Grenada; Engineer Battalion Operations Officer and Executive Officer; Chief, Military Engineering Division, US Army Pacific Command (USARPAC) – responsible for treaty nations and US territories throughout the Asia-Pacific region; and Staff Officer, Congressional Activities Division for the Chief of Staff of the Army.


Today, Deb knows how to bring out the best in everyone, and is unafraid to challenge long-held assumptions to uncover the real truth about interpersonal relationships, leadership, organizational behavior, communication and project management.  Related hot topics include: Live the life you’re meant to and love the way you want to; What high cost are you paying each time someone at work fails to honor you?; 4 simple keys to insanely better writing at work; Greatly reduce your risk from harm by learning these 7 Antiterrorism/force protection (AT/FP) considerations; Key ways new policies can help instead of hurt; How to make adversity work for you; The ‘ALOHA Way’ approach to life and love – make it easier to thrive in rapidly changing and uncertain times; Inspirational stories of military women; An insider’s perspective on women leading in combat; Pay attention to what REALLY helps; and Relook your team’s diversity to unleash far greater potential.



Check out this episode!