30 Sep Markon Leadership Development Program, Leadership Tour of Washington, D.C. with David Elliot

The September session of the Leadership Development Program (LDP) got out of the office for a hands-on approach to Leadership.  The LDP group took a field trip tour of Washington DC monuments with a specific focus on leadership.  Our tour guide was Mr. David Elliot from David Elliot LEADERSHIP. David impressed us by not only providing a tour, but tying in the Markon Core Values at every stop along the way.  He also integrated our personal stories into the tour using responses to a participant survey. David pushed us to focus how we see ourselves at Markon as leaders.  The tour started at the Washington Monument:


Here David explained how all leaders go through trials, and how, while it’s important to have a nice environment, at times we need to crank up the heat.  David shared a story of when Washington’s troops were ready to take over Congress because they had not been paid. Washington read a letter from Congress where, reaching for his reading glasses, he demonstrated the sacrifices made when Washington said aloud: “I have not only grown grey but also blind in service of our Country.”  Our next stop was the World War II Memorial, where we continued discussing sacrifice, and expanded the conversation with the topic of honor, and how great leaders emulate other leaders.


David then took us to Signers Island, which was a stop not many had previously been.  The island has a tribute to the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence.  The act of signing was considered treason and they were all risking their lives at the hands of the British. When Charles Carrol, a common name in Maryland at the time, signed, it was noted that the King may not know which Charles Carrol signed the document.  Mr. Carrol went back to the parchment and amended to “Charles Carrol of Carrollton”.  Many of the men were later robbed by British soldiers and died impoverished.

We finished the morning at the Vietnam War Memorial, where we heard the leadership story of General Peter Pace, who embodied one of our core values; Leading with Humility: giving credit where credit was due. He never forgot his first lost troop as a young platoon leader in Vietnam, Guido Farinaro.  After retiring from service, General Pace left his 4 stars at the wall under Guido’s name.


In the afternoon we stopped at the Lincoln Memorial learning more about leadership through the Gettysburg Address and the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.  The speech was short but powerful, still remembered as one of the best pieces of oration ever. This was followed by a lesson about Robert E. Lee’s leadership style of self control and peacemaking.

We finished the day at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.  Where we were all impacted by the quote below by Dr. King:



We loved the opportunity to feel the impact that our nation’s past leaders have made. David made a point to say that our society and our nation faces a dearth of leaders. He challenged us to be inspired by what we saw and heard and to be not only great managers but leaders as well.

Thank you to David Elliot LEADERSHIP for the fantastic tour and experience!


Markon Solutions

Founded in 2007, Markon Solutions is a nationally recognized consulting firm headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia. With employees in seven states and overseas, we support the intelligence community, defense and civil sectors, as well as commercial clients. Markon specializes in facilities support, financial management, acquisition management, and security consulting services. For more information, visit www.markonsolutions.com.