Good Leaders are Also Sentinels

By | October 16, 2019

[October 16, 2019]  While attending college in Oklahoma – part of my requirement for commissioning in the U.S. Army – I traveled through a small town without traffic lights, big stores, or movie theaters.  When I first arrived in Sentinel, Oklahoma, the name immediately reminded me of the inherent responsibility of good leaders to always be a sentinel for their people and organization.

“The eyes like sentinel occupy the highest place in the body.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero, ancient Roman statesman, and philosopher

Cicero was trying to tell us something.  The sentinel operates on the highest plane of human existence.  The sentinel is always on the lookout for dangers and obstacles that the body of the nation/community/group may experience.  Without the sentinel, failure is sure to visit.  The lone soldier stands guard over the many.  Without the soldier, the body of the world will surely die.

Any leader who takes upon them the mantle of leadership must also shoulder the have provided the resources they need.  It matters not that you are a bigwig in some giant company or a rocket scientist at NASA.

We can judge a nation by those who guard its front door.  The sentinel exercises great judgment, who to allow in, and who to bar from entrance.  Those nations that prosper are those that have made serial decisions correctly.  Those nations that suffer and die are those who have elected leaders who cannot “see” the future and have thus allowed evil and despair to enter into their society.

In America today, we have some of the best military leaders of our time.  They have the resources, the intelligence, and the know-how to prevent our enemies from entering and destroying our nation.  Often underappreciated but always needed, those members of our society that have chosen the duty to be a sentinel must remain focused and appropriately judgmental.

As long as our sentinels stand guard, they will ensure our country remains strong, and that is what deters the evil that so overwhelmingly stalks our world.

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Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article everyday 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 “Good Leaders are Also Sentinels

  1. Albert Ayer

    Excellent article. While the idea is not new, I have found that many leaders miss the point of being a ‘sentinel.’ It means that not only do you care about your followers and do the right things to ensure they are supported but ALSO that they are properly trained in the ways of good people. Any thing else and a problem will persist and issues never solved.

  2. Max Foster

    “Deterring evil’ now that is a real difficult job. Reading the Bible as I was young, kept me informed – I think – about what evil was and was not. I’m not so sure these days but there is one thing that is clear; when the socialists of the 20th century came calling to make us all ‘equal’, they also killed over 100 million people doing it. This number doesn’t count those killed in war. Don’t be too surprised when the next socialist from the USA comes calling. Read that as Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, and the list continues to grow.

    1. Otto Z. Zuckermann

      Nicely said. Socialism is an evil ideology. Just like the Bible says, Satan can present himself in a very appealing way that attracts the weak of mind.

    2. Georgie B.

      Max, you have once again put my thoughts into a short paragraph. Let’s all learn from history especially learn from those ways that failed spectacularly.

  3. Joe the Aussie

    For those who are interested in seeing leadership in action; failing and succeeding, just read about the Presidential election upcoming in the U.S. Wow, some really crazy stuff going on with the Yanks. Cheers!

    1. lydia

      But it is very entertaining. Pocahontas, sleepy Joe, crazy Lizzy, and the name calling just keeps coming. I laugh every time I turn on the television or read a news article.

  4. Gil Johnson

    I’m not so sure I agree with your example of the “rocket scientist from NASA.” NASA is a very large govt organization that is known for its major blunders. Fortunately, they live on their good reputation from the long-ago past. Anyway, you comment that good leaders are also sentinels is spot on!

    1. Mr. T.J. Asper

      Gil, good point and I was thinking the same thing. Good leadership may not be easy but it means you must develop your career in order to be advanced more to take on more responsibility (at least in large organizations). Let’s not forget that leadership is applied everywhere and in every circumstance.

  5. Bryan Lee

    Another related article, “3 Reasons Leaders Are Made, Not Born”
    https://ericgeiger.com/2016/06/3-reasons-leaders-are-made-not-born/
    The reason I linked to this article is that it speaks to the idea that leaders are made thru their own hard work and the help from others. This idea is about “caring”; which is one of the most important attributes of leaders. Gen. Satterfield has written about caring on several occasions; it is no small thing.

    1. Willie Shrumburger

      Yes, Bryan. Another good link here. I found the idea of caring is sometimes carried too far. When we stop teaching people “how to fish” and instead “give them a fish”: the world will begin to go downhill. We must learn to fish or we will be dependent upon others too much.

    1. Crazy Dude

      “Sentinels – Logisticians, Defenders, Executives, and Consuls – are cooperative and practical. ”
      Interesting!

    2. Kenny Foster

      Much appreciate your research Harry. Good article that points to the “personality” of leaders who are also good sentinels.

  6. Greg Heyman

    Interesting take on an old capacity of leadership. The more I study leadership the more I see things like this. Being a good leader is complex and often confusing. That is why so few can do it right.

  7. Army Captain

    As part of my caring for my soldiers, I’m always looking out into the future (as best as I can) to see what kind of threats are there from both the enemy and from our own stupidity and ignorance. For example, safety mistakes can kill you. So we practice safety, train for it, and brief it always.

    1. Dale Paul Fox

      Thanks Army Captain. Well written comment. I too see that the best leaders are also ‘sentinels.’ Nothing better!

      1. Tomas Clooney

        This is why we keep coming back to this leadership website. I like to open my computer, have my first cup of coffee in the morning, and then read this blog. It’s a good start to my day. Hope you’ve been well, Dale.

      2. Yusaf from Texas

        I agree, thanks Dale. Army Captain helps keep us informed and up on new developments. He also makes sure that we understand what Gen. Satterfield has written and how it applies to today’s US military. Well done again, Gen. Satterfield for another entertaining and educational blog post.

  8. Janna Faulkner

    Nice article and written in such a way that I was not expecting it. Thanks.

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