Islamic State Terrorism & World Leader Excuses

[August 31, 2016]  New evidence has recently surfaced that 72 mass graves were discovered and contain Islamic State victims of industrial-scale murder.1  There are indicators of many more sites but due to ISIS presence, those locations are too dangerous to visit.  What students of leadership should review, however, is how world leaders have failed to… Read More »

Hero: Nancy Wake

[August 30, 2016]  For a vibrant, open society to have heroes is necessary like a living animal having blood that flows through its veins.  A hero helps us define the limits of our aspirations in life and so it is with Nancy Wake, the Allies’ most decorated servicewoman of World War II.  Her story is… Read More »

Leaders Remember the Little Things

[August 29, 2016]  One of my first lessons in the effectiveness of leadership was when, as a U.S. Army Private (the lowest rank), my Platoon Leader Jimmy Madison approached me one day to say Happy Birthday.  What a shock!  My entire time in the military had been one humiliation after another and now I was… Read More »

Self-Selection: Recognizing an Army Leader’s Choice

[August 28, 2016]  Army Vet writes for us today that the U.S. Army is EMBARRASSED by the choices that its junior Officers are making in their own self interests. I first noticed it as a junior in college.  Each of us in my Army ROTC1 class at Penn State University were anxious to select which… Read More »

Core Values: Services for the Underserved

[August 27, 2016]  My grandmother used to tell me that an important measure of a person’s character is how they treat the poor.  Do we treat them with respect and help them lift themselves up?  Services for the Underserved (SUS) is an organization dedicated to doing just that and more.  Their core values have gone… Read More »

Insults, Leadership, and Gold Star Parents

[August 26, 2016]  Regular readers of this column know that I often advise against insulting people; regardless of who they are or whether they deserve it.  I’ve written about it (see links here, here, and here) and mentored other leaders to avoid it.  Insults are generally counterproductive; insults are divisive, an immature tactic, and rarely… Read More »

Good Habits #24: Ask ‘Who Needs to Know’

[August 25, 2016]  As the Staff Sergeant walked in the new Afghanistan combat operations center in the heart of the Division headquarters, he saw plastered everywhere the printed words, ‘Who needs to know?”  He was new to combat and so he asked the closest person working on the security staff what it meant.  The sergeant… Read More »

Great Leaders Thrive on Complexity

[August 24, 2016]  Lately I’ve been reading about how to think and communicate in complex environments.  The subject of complexity itself and, in particular, how great leaders have successfully navigated the murky waters of a complex world is important to those who want to understand and be a senior leader. Great leaders are more than… Read More »

Selflessness is a Leader Trait People Do Admire

[August 23, 2016]  Looking back on the many many leaders I served under for the past 40-plus years, the ones I admired most were the ones that showed perpetual selflessness in carrying out their duties.  Studies on important traits of leadership consistently conclude that selflessness is a leader trait people like the most. A number… Read More »

Who is John Walker?

[August 22, 2016]  Most Americans have heard of John Walker, the infamous traitor responsible for spying for the KGB of the Soviet Union from 1968 to 1985.  Of all traitors from the United States since Benedict Arnold, John Walker’s espionage was likely the most destructive and was the biggest cryptographic failure in military history.  And… Read More »