Being There: an essential Leadership Principle

By | February 25, 2023

[February 25, 2023]  In the Mel Brooks’ movie, Being There (1979), starring Peter Sellers and Shirley MacLaine, a man who has been shuttered his entire life is now free of those constraints.  Sellers’ character has never ‘been there,’ and the innocence and lack of perspective shows to make this one of the best movies from that era.  For leaders, being here is a crucial principle.

Leaders are always busy people.  Yet when the need arises, a leader that takes time to go to where the action is happening will help bring success.  Whether planned or not, leaders must be there, especially bringing people together that would not normally occur and creating the dynamics of a holistic team effort.  In the U.S. Army, we call this “one team, one fight.”

We can see this in action or inaction with the recent train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio.  Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg deliberately stayed away from the wreck.  His reasoning that he could not bring anything more to the people and help them by being there shows a lack of basic leadership principles.

One of the most profound and tragic lessons learned from World War I was that military officers being there in person, at the point of action, was critical for the operation’s success.  The leader must be physically present whether the situation involves a large military action, a major business transition, or a national disaster.  Otherwise, opportunities are lost that cannot never be regained.

Other factors play into the perception that leaders are detached, but physical presence prevents misconceptions about engaged leadership.  Leaders must take the time, change their schedules, and do those things that must be done to be there and let people see and talk to them.

Pete Buttigieg failed his first real test as U.S. Transportation Secretary.


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Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article every day on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

22 thoughts on “Being There: an essential Leadership Principle

  1. McStompie

    This “man” is an idiot. He is just another one of Pres Biden’s quota hires.

    1. Liz at Home

      Hi McStompie, haven’t heard from ya in a few days. Yep, Buttigieg is an idiot but I like to think of him as a being who is not serious about his job (that is just too obvious) and one who is more interested in getting in bed with another man (close you eyes children, you don’t want to witness that perversion). Ouch, my a$$ hurts after that.

  2. DI Fred Thursday

    Sec of T Pete Butti is not there and will never be there. He is a queer hire. That’s it. And my buddies who work there think he is not just a clueless idiot, but an ideologue that will throw you under the buss for any reason in his head.

  3. Patriot Wife

    The train derailment and environmental disaster in East Palestine, Ohio exposes the phoniness and overhyped political skill of Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg.

    1. Wesley Brown

      Please don’t expect much different. He was hired to purchase the LGBTQ vote. He’s a narcissistic social climber, he’s bored by the normal demands of most jobs. He also lacks the instincts and guts to make the most of challenges and crises. He instinctively runs away from anything that is not rehearsed, planned, and perfect. That’s why he ignored the port crisis last year, instead secretly taking a few months off when he and his gay partner adopted a child.

  4. Eye Cat

    Gen. Satterfield nailed it with this paragraph. “We can see this in action or inaction with the recent train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg deliberately stayed away from the wreck. His reasoning that he could not bring anything more to the people and help them by being there shows a lack of basic leadership principles.”

  5. Emma Archambeau

    Pete, just go there and say a few words, get a photo, and leave. Even my 6 year old daughter has better political instincts. Leadership is instinctual. Pete has ZERO leadership characteristics and he continues to be an utter embarrassment to the American peoples. 🤣👀✔❤ Got that? You should.

    1. Bryan Z. Lee

      👍👍👍👍👍 Best rating for a comment here today, Emma. Thank you for making my day.

  6. Stacey Borden

    Pete Buttigeig is perfect for the Biden White House. An idiot who hires an idiot. 👍

    1. Doug Smith

      He doesn’t know even how to wear a hardhat. But the whacko leftist progressives know nothing about working men and women.

      1. Max Foster

        Got a good laugh out of the pictures from “the front.” Maybe he could say he was dodging incoming artillery rounds (oh, no, that was Hillary Clinton). Politicians, they are so vain in their attempts to show their relevance and bravery that they will lie, cheat, and steal. The Connecticut Democrat Blumenthal admitted making false and misleading claims about his military service record in Vietnam War but insisted he had “misspoken.” Yeah, right until he got caught lying.

        1. Greg Heyman

          Blumenthal insisted that those misrepresentations were “totally unintentional,” as he has also more accurately and modestly represented his military service at other times.

  7. Pen Q

    Being There, yep I remember the movie, as it come out when I finishing up my college degree. We all went to see it and had a great time laughing. But the message is true and should be clear to all that want to be leaders. Be There! Otherwise, go home!

  8. Kerry

    Youse guys are just too much. We all know that Pete got the job as a compromise for him not running against Joe B. And because he is a gay man, married (I think so) to another man, with an adopted kid. His bonefides are ridiculous. No body would be hired for this job on his merits and it shows.

      1. Julia

        Ya gotta laugh. And Pete Butt is complaining about people who say he is not fit for office. Maybe he should listen to them.


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