Weak Leaders Create Hard Times

By | March 20, 2021

[March 20, 2021]  There is an old saying by John D. Rockefeller that good leadership shows average people how to do the work of superior people.  He was right.  Conversely, weak leaders are those that cannot get their mission accomplished.  The result is hard times.

We’ve all witnessed this problem of weak leadership.

My first assignment as a new Army Second Lieutenant was in an Infantry Company that was the poorest performer of 23 companies in our Brigade.  I was embarrassed and discouraged.  My peers would chuckle when I came into the room and openly mock our company with senior officers present.

The company commander was a weak leader.  He did not understand the basic principles of leadership, which he thought meant just giving orders.  His method of ordering us to “get it done, now” was a problem I tried to help correct.  My commander would hear nothing of it and admonished me for trying.  Hard times!

Fortunately, our unit never made it into combat.  If we had, I feared terrible results.  Two years later, I was honored to have an exceptional company commander who put things right.  We were never again the dog of the Brigade

“Hard times create strong men, strong men create good times, good times create weak men, and weak men create hard times.” – G. Michael Hopf1

This is a common myth motif.  The hero is at first weak and underdeveloped.  Through a series of difficult adversaries, he develops strength and skill to bring good times to his community.  The price for weakness will always be high.

Michael Hopf’s quote implies a good-bad-good cycle of humanity. I’m not sure this is true, but I know that poor leadership makes us pay. For example, a country with an authoritarian, brutal leader will lead his people to ruin.  Human history is littered with examples from the 20th Century; Hitler’s Germany, Pol Pot’s Cambodia, and Idi Amin’s Uganda.

Weak leaders do, indeed, create hard times.


  1. The quote is from a post-apocalyptic novel called “Those Who Remain” by the author G. Michael Hopf.
Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I provide one article every day. My writings are influenced by great thinkers such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Jung, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Jean Piaget, Erich Neumann, and Jordan Peterson, whose insight and brilliance have gotten millions worldwide to think about improving ourselves. Thank you for reading my blog.

19 thoughts on “Weak Leaders Create Hard Times

  1. Ronny Fisher

    I agree with you Gen. Satterfield, weak leaders do create hard times. Just look at nations across the world with weak leaders and the difficulties their citizens have suffered.

  2. Tom Bushmaster

    Excellent article on anther important topic. Much appreciated. Let’s think about what are those ideas that weak leaders adopt. One of them at the federal political level and at colleges/universities is CRT (Critical Race Theory). Well, in short, it means all whites are bad and all racial minorities are good. Simple neo-Marxism (altho they will deny that link). Resist it whenever you can. It is a bad idea that is being pushed by weak leaders because – wait for it – they are cowards.

    1. Dennis Mathes

      Well said, Tom. This whole idea that the US is a racist society and is built on the backs of Blacks is ridiculous on its face. We should all reject it as irresponsible and as a deliberate attempt to divide and destroy. Stand up to it.

      1. anita

        I agree with both of you,, Tom and Dennis. WE MUST STAND UP, and how courage in the face of ‘cancel culture.’ If we do not, our children will be slaves to the masters of Marxism.

  3. JT Patterson

    I appreciate the verification of this idea. Yes, indeed, you might say. I also understand what Gen. Satterfield was getting at. This is why I keep coming back here to read and think hard about the subjects. It is more than just entertainment.

  4. Steve Dade

    “Dog of the Brigade.” Funny, I never heard that expression before but I understood what you meant immediately.

    1. Army Captain

      Hi Steve, the expression “dog of …(name the unit)” is not that uncommon but the point is well taken. There are units that do not perform up to standard. Those units usually get a change of leadership. We have discovered in the US military (Army where my experience is at), that a good leader makes all the difference. Even if many of the soldiers are not very good at their job, good leadership can overcome the deficit of poor performance.

      1. JT Patterson

        I appreciate the verification of this idea. Yes, indeed, you might say. I also understand what Gen. Satterfield was getting at. This is why I keep coming back here to read and think hard about the subjects. It is more than just entertainment.

  5. corralesdon

    Nicely written on an often overlooked topic. I think it will be more in the news as the new President of the US shows us more and more that he is a weak leader.

  6. Eric Coda

    Enjoyed your Saturday morning article. I’d like to read more on the topic. Maybe, you could elaborate more about HOW this happens and give more examples. I know many here are using Joe Biden and his administration to illustrate the point. But they lack specifics. Guys, use specifics and give us a reference link. Thanks.

  7. Otto Z. Zuckermann

    Weak leaders create hard times is an old idea that has been given new life recently since Joe Biden was “elected” president. Just look at him. He cannot even walk up a flight of stairs without falling down [3 times in one go]. Hey Joe, do you even know who president is? It’s not Kamala Harris, you are. Go figure.

    1. Gil Johnson

      He will be creating hard times for us, not for him or his cronies. Or, for his corrupt family. They lie to us all the time. And they are now hiding the fact that Joe’s dementia is getting worse. I bet he doesn’t make it to the end of the year this year before he is deemed incompetent.

      1. Greg Heyman

        Very true. And scary that the idiot K. Harris will be Pres. I’m not sure which is worse, her or China Joe.

      2. Purse 5

        Great comment. Corruption is the name of the game. Don’t trust the US government. Period.

  8. Anya B.

    Ha Ha…. great info here and I just can’t get politicians out of my mind. NY Gov Cuomo is the first with all those women (is is 7 now) accuseing him of sexual harassment? Neverminded, the media will cover for him.

  9. Mr. T.J. Asper

    Thank you, Gen. Satterfield, another great article. This was subject of my last High School class that I gave last week. There is a lot of material on it. Just search the Internet. Even young kids can understand it.

    1. Silly Man

      I bet you had plenty of material from the Democrat Party. Pres Joe “China” Biden comes immediately to mind.

    2. Lady Hawk

      Mr. TJ Asper, well done!!! There are many folks like you on the front lines of society that are teaching our young to honor the nation, respect others, and learn to see “failure” and “success” and what the makeup of those concepts are. Continue doing what you are doing for us. We don’t want a bunch of victims becoming adults and turn into BLM or Antifa activists.

      1. Yusaf from Texas

        Well said, Lady Hawk. Here in Texas, we are rejecting all the Critical Race Theory crap.


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