Reading List (Update):  on Character

By | February 12, 2020

[February 12, 2020]  I know what you’re thinking already if you skipped this intro and went straight to read this Reading List choice.  How in the world could he write a review on “The Autobiography of Calvin Coolidge”?  Does he think we’re boring or ahistorical or just plain brain dead?  “Silent Cal”?  Come on!  My good readers, please… Read More »

Always Train Your Crew

By | February 11, 2020

[February 11, 2020]  A tradition in the U.S. Navy upon the retirement of a sailor is to give a paddle as a gift.  The paddle (or oar) is symbolic of the naval team on which that sailor gave their time and devotion.  It is also a long-standing tradition for naval leaders to be responsible for training their crew. … Read More »

Great Leaders Dramatize Ideas

By | February 10, 2020

[February 10, 2020]  The idea that senior leaders aggressively promote their people, organizations, and missions is not new thinking.  These leaders also dramatize ideas that are at the core of what they do. Years ago, in 1964, Italian journalist Luigi Barzini, Jr. wrote the popular book The Italians.1  In his book, he delved deeply into the Italian national… Read More »

Things That Don’t Matter

By | February 9, 2020

[February 9, 2020]  One of the desirable attributes I find among combat veterans is they are skillful at judging what is essential, in contrast to those things in life that don’t matter.  Perhaps the reason is they have seen truly horrific destruction and death and can understand that there are small things in life that are mere distractions… Read More »

The Most Destructive Leader Trait

By | February 8, 2020

[February 8, 2020]  Growing up in the rural Deep South, my grade-school teachers often told us stories about the history of the United States.  For little kids like my friend Wilson and me, we remember being mesmerized by the Benedict Arnold story and how he betrayed our fledgling nation. We were raised as Christians, attending church everyday Sunday… Read More »

An Imaginary Speech

By | February 7, 2020

[February 7, 2020]  The official political relationship between the American Colonies and the British Government in the mid-1700s was not always “gentlemanly,” but it was a time that the expression of sentiments was open and honest.  I find that reading the letters and publications can give us an education in wittiness, clarity, and honesty. Benjamin Franklin’s life and… Read More »

Profiles: Donald Trump [Updated]

By | February 5, 2020

[February 5, 2020]  The best leaders are those that don’t necessarily do great things but are those who get other people to do great things.  There is no argument that U.S. President Donald Trump has made great strides on improving the U.S. economy, strengthening the military, and improving race relations.  These are accomplishments no one could predict four… Read More »

5 Things I Gave Up to be an Army General

By | February 4, 2020

[February 4, 2020]  There is an ancient religious idea that, with the right sacrifice, one will be saved in the eyes of the gods.  For example, in the Bible’s story of Cain and Able, the concept of sacrifice first appears.  I learned early in my military service, like in the biblical narrative, I had to make sacrifices if… Read More »

Leaders, Stop Being So Pathetic

By | February 3, 2020

[February 3, 2020]  “I could kick myself.”  The college Dean was telling his department about how she had failed to prepare her students because she had been unprepared to teach properly.  I’m shocked that a college dean, with a PhD and decades of experience, could be so down on herself that it drove her into personal depression. Leaders,… Read More »