Category Archives: Information

When Problem Leaders Migrate

[June 6, 2017]  When Lieutenant Shawn McFarland began his career as a young officer at Fort Polk, Louisiana, he was a mess; often failed to complete his assignments and tasks given him by his commanding officer.  His commander once wrote in an annual evaluation that McFarland was untrustworthy and unrealizable.  Like McFarland there are a… Read More »

What Happens After ISIS?

[May 31, 2017]  “Get your act together, boy!”  This is how my grandmother would admonish me after I screwed up something important; to get my attention and to put me on the right path to manhood.  And it now looks like the Iraqi military is about to get their act together to destroy the remaining… Read More »

Ignoring Consequences

[May 28, 2017]  Many of my commanders in the U.S. Army were among the best this nation ever had to offer but it also included a few of the worst.  My first company commander was a man with many faults, one of which was that he often chose to ignore the consequences of his own… Read More »

Creating Confusion

[May 27, 2017]  If we were able to peer into the mindset of a narcissist, inexperienced manager, or failed leader the one thing we would find in common is their penchant at creating confusion.  Yet, it is the epitome of great leaders to thrive on making the best of volatility, uncertainty, chaos, and ambiguity in… Read More »

Interpretations to Confusing Language

[May 23, 2017]  This past Friday I attended a Rehearsal Dinner for a wedding scheduled the next day.  At the dinner I had an interesting and entertaining conversation with a young Jewish man who told me that in Judaism there is a dedicated effort to explain confusing language in the written and oral Torah.  This… Read More »

Courage and Integrity are not Enough

[May 22, 2017] On the battlefield and in the heat of extreme competition, courage and integrity are not enough to succeed.  One must also be imaginative and flexible; traits that every leader must possess if they are to be a winner and achieve something of importance. Those who have participated in professional sports, combat, or… Read More »

How to Read a Question

[May 20, 2017]  Senior leaders are often asked complex, ambiguous questions that easily trip up even the most seasoned veteran of leadership.  What leaders learn, usually the hard way from blundering an answer, is that good answers require knowing how to read a question. Whether it be at a news conference, an interview, or fielding… Read More »

Don’t Call Your Boss Crazy

[May 17, 2017]  FBI Director James Comey was recently fired from his job after President Trump decided it was time for him to go.  There are few people who would deny that the decision was necessary although it occurred rather abruptly.  One of the reasons for the firing, it is alleged, is that Comey called… Read More »

Loyalty is Getting a Bad Name

[May 16, 2017]  A few nights ago I got a call from one of my close friends who retired just before me.  As a Vice Admiral (three-star Flag Officer) he was one of the truly most exceptional leaders produced by the U.S. Navy in the last 50 years.  Our conversation revolved around the meaning of… Read More »

My Experience with a Military Narcissist

[May 15, 2017]  Our staff headquarters was going through a Transition of Authority (ToA) whereby an incoming military unit takes over the combat duties from an outgoing unit.  When I arrived in July of that year, the violence in Iraq was the highest it had ever been.  To complicate my transition into Engineer Staff operations,… Read More »