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Rear Admiral Danelle Barrett (Ret.) On Leading with Integrity, Humility, and Humor
Rock the Boat: Embrace Change, Encourage Innovation, and Be a Successful Leader

After 30 years in the US Navy, retired Rear Admiral Danelle Barrett has learned a lot about effectively leading at the highest levels.

She is insightful in everything that matters most if you want to learn how to lead with integrity, humility, humor, and compassion. Today, Danelle Barrett is a sought-after board director, speaker, and leadership coach.

During her time as an Admiral, she served as the director of current operations at US Cyber Command and as the Navy Cyber Security Division Director and deputy chief information officer on the Chief of Naval Operations Staff.

In her last role, she led the strategy and execution of enterprise IT improvements, cyber security efforts, and cloud operations for over 700,000 personnel across the globe. She is the author of the new book Rock the Boat: Embrace Change, Encourage Innovation, and Be a Successful Leader. 

► Purchase a Copy of Rock the Boat:   (Amazon Link)

There will be failures, and you have to teach people how to fail with grace and to look at failures as an opportunity to learn.

Rear Admiral Danelle Barrett

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What I Discuss With Rear Admiral Danelle Barrett About Leadership

We spend an hour discussing what it takes to have a successful career. …We discuss how to lead when the PRESSURE IS AT ITS HIGHEST and the clock is ticking. Her guidance is precise, and she offers countless sea stories throughout the interview, including poking fun at herself, that illustrate the core pillars of servant leadership. 

We explore the following topics:

  • Her path to joining the Navy and ROTC experience
  • Why she wrote Rock the Boat
  • Why mentoring matters
  • How to manage expectations
  • The keys to effective communication
  • Work-life balance
  • Finding inspiration
  • Overcoming biases
  • Guarding your reputation as a leader
  • How you learn from jerks
  • Have any questions, comments, or stories you’d like to share? Drop us a line at [email protected]m!
  • And much more…
180 | Leading with Integrity, Humility, and Humor | Rear Admiral Danelle Barrett (Ret.) | Passion Struck Podcast
180 | Leading with Integrity, Humility, and Humor | Rear Admiral Danelle Barrett (Ret.) | Passion Struck Podcast

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New to the show? These Starter Packs are collections of our most popular episodes grouped by topic, and we now have them also on Spotify. To find your old favorites, you can also browse starter packs for existing listeners. Every week, John interviews everyday heroes from all walks of life. Learn how to subscribe to the show and never miss a new episode and topic.

More From My Interview With Rear Admiral Danelle Barett on Why She Wrote Rock the Boat

During our interview, I asked Admiral Barrett about why she wrote Rock the Boat and the takeaways she hoped readers would get from it.

Rock the Boat by Rear Admiral Danelle Barrett for the Passion Struck podcast book list

Rear Admiral Danelle Barrett explains, “As military folks, we always get tapped to talk to different groups about mentoring or leadership, or you end up having discussions with folks about leadership, and it always comes up the same kind of things. John, what do I do if my boss is a jerk? How do I have a work-life balance? I mean, everybody asked the same questions.

And frankly, I have found since working with industry and being on several corporate boards now that everybody always asked the same question. So it’s kind of agnostic of industry or profession. It’s not anything unique to the military. So I wanted to write a book that focused on those kinds of lessons that anybody could use in any management position at any level and then put it in language that’s accessible.

I don’t know about you. But I’ve read some leadership books where I literally get a bruise on my forehead, as the book slams into my forehead at night, when I’m trying to read it, lay in a bed or whatever, right? Because it’s just so heavy, they’ll put mathematical forms on there. Also, testing them. I say to myself, ‘like, just stop, just give it to me in English, like we’re having a conversation.’

So I wanted to write a book that was like we’re having a conversation today on the podcast but that you could get some practical advice out of. I also wanted to tell some funny stories because I’ve always found that the best leadership lessons I’ve gotten from people were through storytelling. They would tell you what happened to them. And as either a cautionary tale or a, Hey, this is a good way to think about doing it. And I remembered their stories long after I would remember them giving me a leadership lesson on time management or something, then telling me a story about how they manage their time was more impactful.

So I tried to pepper the book with many stories that might be useful for folks to understand conceptually what I was trying to express.”

Thanks, Rear Admiral Danelle Barrett!

If you enjoyed this interview with Danelle Barrett, let her know by clicking on the link below and sending her a quick shout on Instagram or Twitter:

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Resources From The Show With Rear Admiral Danelle Barrett

Please note that some of the links on this page (books, movies, music, etc.) lead to affiliate programs for which The Passion Struck podcast receives compensation. It’s just one of the ways we keep the lights on around here. Thank you so much for being so supportive!

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Show Links

* My solo episode on how the consequences of excuses and 8 ways to stop making them:

Quote from Rear Admiral Danelle Barrett from the Passion Struck Podcast: "If your people are your most important thing, then do those things that make them your most important thing."

* Want to hear more leadership advice about how to handle risks, check out my interview with Admiral James Stavridis: 

* Do you want to learn how to be a leader with moral courage? Listen to my episode with VADM Sandy Stosz: 

* Are you interested in learning the keys to personal growth? Listen to my interview with VADM Ted Carter: 

* Have you ever found yourself in turbulent seas? Check out Read Admiral Tim Gallaudet’s advice: 

* My solo episode on why micro choices matter:

* My solo episode on why you must feel to heal:

About Today’s Guest Rear Admiral Danelle Barrett

Passion Struck with John R. Miles album cover episode 180 with RADM Danelle Barrett

Rear Admiral Danelle Barrett (ret.) spent over thirty years in the Navy. While in active duty, she served as the Director of Current Operations at U.S. Cyber Command, the Navy Cyber Security Division Director, and Deputy Chief Information Officer on the Chief of Naval Operations staff. Her new book Rock the Boat: Embrace Change, Encourage Innovation, and be a successful leader is an Amazon Best Seller in Business Leadership, Business mentoring and coaching, and Management skills. She’s one of less than 200 women in history to achieve the rank of admiral.  Today, Admiral Barrett is a sought-after public speaker and writer.

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John R. Miles is a serial entrepreneur and the CEO and founder of Passion Struck. This full-service media company helps people live intentionally by creating best-in-class educational and entertainment content. John is also a prolific public speaker, venture capitalist, and author named to the ComputerWorld Top 100 IT Leaders.

John is the host of the PassionStruckPodcast. The show focused on exploring the mindset and philosophy of the world’s most inspiring people to learn their lessons to living intentionally. Passion Struck aspires to speak to the humanity of people in a way that makes them want to live better, be better and impact.

Stay tuned for JJohn’slatest project, his upcoming book, which will be published in summer 2022.

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