An Interview with
Russ Tippett

ALA Curriculum Developer and local author and historian

The World is Crying for Highly Effective Ethical Leaders

ALA benefits You and Your Kids because these culturally sensitive ALA programs address Leadership and Personal Growth Skills that last a lifetime. Participants learn how to leverage their dominant personality strengths and how to manage their weaknesses. Formal recognition is earned through ascending-ladder certifications that are highly valued by College Admissions Counselors and Employers. These complete and ready to use programs are all based on traditional American values and none advocate political or religious viewpoints.

Academy for Leadership Abilities®, Leadership Skills and Personal Growth Strategies programs are ideal for anyone aspiring to serve in leadership positions, regardless of their age or level of academic achievement.

Russ, Cindy & Connie

The Academy for Leadership Abilities® (ALA), focuses on people of all abilities and works diligently through leadership concepts to change the local culture by understanding how successful and ethical people think and act. The authors of the ALA Library (curriculum), Russ Tippett and Cindy Tippett, (a husband and wife duo), combined their 65-years of career experiences, with their high level of educational background to develop the curriculum. This ALA Library includes principles of being all inclusive, staying local and bringing ordinary people together to complete extraordinary and monumental achievements.

Russ loves and thrives on opportunities to discuss his passion for impacting the culture and often talks in stories of his time to relate the leadership concepts. On October 9, 2020 I, (Shelly Lackey) had the pleasure of interviewing Russ in his home. After reading, “The Personal Memoirs of Russell Kent Tippett” Volume One, the first question I asked him was, “How do you define vulnerability?”

Russ, taking full advantage to “teach” (he is always looking for an opportunity to teach), explained, being totally open.

“Do not hold anything back. That is what will keep you and your mate loving each other, but once you do it, you do not have anything to hide.”

Russ fully disclosed his childhood, which can be found in the book mentioned above on

Like most leaders, Russ had a dream as a small 12-year-old child. He was outside with his dog, Spot, when a “gully washer” rainstorm hit. As he was throwing a stick in a huge collection of flood water for Spot to fetch, he knew right then, he wanted to boat the Ohio River. This is where the dreams and thinking for Russ truly started. He also enjoyed his grandparents and taking road trips to learn and discuss life. During one of these trips, they stopped on a very curvy road (State Route 78, between Glouster, Ohio and McConnelsville, Ohio) for a picnic. Russ decided, upon learning the location was called the Rim of the World because of the intense beauty and being able to see for miles around, to one day live on that land. While dreaming, he knew ultimately, a Game Warden was the job he wanted to pursue.

Three major dreams of Russ’:

  1. Boat the Ohio River on his own boat
  2. Become a Game Warden
  3. Build a house and live at the Rim of the World in Morgan County, Ohio.


These major dreams did not come to fruition quickly. They took careful planning and preparation. At 19 years old, Russ signed a six-month contract with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). At six-months and one day, and fully acknowledging the FBI was not his career of choice, he signed up for the United States Army. In three short years, Russ reached E5 status and decided it was time to go home to pursue his Game Warden dream.

He did just that. After being offered the moon by the US Army to reenlist, Russ returned home and applied to the Division of Wildlife. Along with his application, 449 other people applied for the position. 30 applicants received interviews to attend the school and only six graduated. As you can guess, Russ was one of the six. In two years of working for the Division of Wildlife, he was promoted to Wildlife Enforcement Agent, where he spent the next 11.5 years of his career. Russ used dream #2 to purchase the land on the Rim of the World and built the home he still resides in today. Dream #2 took 8 years and dream #3, took 25 years. What happened to his first dream of boating the Ohio River?

It took 50 years! After 50 years, he completed the 5,000 river miles on the pontoon boat he still has sitting in a barn at his home. Russ explained the miles and each section he completed in great depth that he wrote about in his book, Ohio River Trekking on a Small Budget.
I did ask Russ, why is all this even important, to which he replied,

“You can truly live your dreams. It will never be what you think it is, or how you think it will turn out, BUT you must figure out what to do to get there. I did things that I did not even know how to do. I look back between my junior and senior year of high school. I went to Colorado Springs, Colorado for the 50th anniversary of the Scouts and was named Senior Patrol Leader for the 150-person contingent. Point is, someone knew I was leader before I knew I was a leader. Today, with Practical Strategies ltd®., I am finally living how I want to live, doing what I was born to do, and providing curriculum to help people live with integrity, honor and encouraging them to live their dreams.”

The point Russ makes for all of us on a consistent basis is simple:

“All of us are smarter than any one of us. Highly effective ethical leaders have become who they are because they are actually living what they dream about.

Everyone dreams. Listen to those whom you trust who have knowledge about that which you dream; but make your own decisions. Then discipline yourself to live your personal dreams. Doing so will reward you far beyond anything you can ever imagine.”