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Meet the Team: Interview with Duncan MacLeod, RBLP-T

Photo of Duncan MacLeod

It’s the first interview of our ongoing #MeetTheTeam series in 2021! We can’t wait to introduce you to more of the terrific faculty at RBLP. Our Q&A today is with Duncan MacLeod, RBLP-T!

Duncan MacLeod pinning ceremonyHi Duncan! Thanks for chatting with us. Tell us a little about who you are and where you’re from.

My name is Duncan MacLeod; I am originally from just outside Boston and have lived in Virginia Beach, VA for about 23 years.  I was stationed here at the request of the Navy in November 1997 and when I got off active duty in 2000, my wife and I made the decision to stay here to raise our kids.  I currently have two careers: I am a Command Master Chief in the Navy Reserves and a civilian employee for the Navy.

What can you tell us about your education and career background before you started working with RBLP?

My civilian career has been a mix of the corporate and government contracting worlds, and recently as a government civilian.  In regards to specific industries, I was in the homeland security, corporate security and training arena for many years.  I have a Bachelor’s in Homeland Security from AMU and a Master’s degree in Executive Leadership from Liberty University.

Who is a role model that you’ve interacted with in your life that inspired you toward this career trajectory?

I don’t have any one role model really; it’s more of who has influenced me based on what chapter of life I’m in.  When I was younger, it was a few Chiefs and Senior Chiefs in the Navy and a team lead or two on the civilian side.  They all had several things in common that have led me to where I am today.  These include being authentic, having a sense of humor (especially at your own expense), transparency, humility, and be the main character in your life.

What drew you to the role that you’re fulfilling with RBLP as a certification instructor?

The curriculum we study as part of the certification process is the same no matter whom we are coaching and yet the conversations and dialogue created are different from person to person.  No matter the certification level, we always start at the same point.  We talk about the same concepts yet each student sees it just a bit different and have various examples and experiences.  As much as I am coaching a student, I am learning something as well.

Duncan MacLeodIn your mind, what is the best definition of “resilience” for those who might be unfamiliar with the program that RBLP offers?

Toughness is having the ability to take a hit, and resilience is your ability to come back from it.  Every day we are living life, moving along just fine and out of the blue life throws something in our way.  Ultimately that is nothing more than a distraction from our life.  So what do we do?  We take the distraction, deal with it, and keep living our best life.  Each distraction we remove (overcome) allows us to get a little bit better and a little bit quicker in removing them, and that in turn means we get better at being resilient.

What are the three most important components, in your opinion, that you try to convey to every team that you train under the RBLP certification program?

Authenticity, trust, and training your team. Be who you are regardless of what other people think or say.  People can tell if you are being fake and trying to “sell them”; it is one of the quickest ways to lose credibility.  Trust – build it, practice it, extend it – without trust there’s not much else.  We owe it to the people under our charge to get them ready for whatever may come down the road – to be there for each other, to have each other’s back. One of the best ways to do that is to know what the others know, and teach others what you know.

What is one of your own best personal experiences in your career that has influenced or inspired you in your certification training?

Being self-aware and realizing the impact I have as a leader.  This realization brought to the forefront of my mind a sense of purpose to learn as much as I can about leadership.  The curriculum at RBLP is such that the concepts are applicable across any industry at any level.  That flexibility allows me to create dialogue regardless of whom I am speaking to.

In your time as an RBLP instructor, what is one of your best memories of a training program that you’ve accomplished with a company and why?

It is not just one moment, it is one repeated with every student.  That look of understanding, or “the light bulb” moment, that each one gets at different points.  It is a constant source of inspiration to see them learn.

Duncan MacLeodPivoting a little bit from the program – tell us a little about yourself outside of work! What other activities or hobbies do you love?

Well, given the current COVID-19 environment it has been a challenge.  I enjoy spending time with my family and a couple of close friends.  Being stuck at home as allowed to me work on home improvement projects… slowly getting better with each piece of wood I cut.  I have to admit I am liking the fact I can buy more tools!   Working out, meditation, and reading are my other hobbies.

Can you give us a quotation that you feel really inspires you to continue inspiring others?

There are actually two that are tied for number one.  The first one – and I am not sure who it is attributed to – but “Leaders are learners” covers it for me.  If I expect to lead I cannot, and will not, remain stagnant in learning about others and myself.  I also use the following: “Live, learn, serve, lead.”  This one is self-explanatory I think.  Just do those things.


RBLP leadership certifications are about Building Resilient Teams™ that overcome adversity and then can adapt and grow together! 

Learn more about the requirements for the RBLP Certification program, and if you’re interested in getting certified to Build Resilient Teams, feel free to fill out our application!

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