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Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world.
Unreasonable people attempt to adapt the world to themselves.
All progress, therefore, depends on unreasonable people.
--- George Bernhard Shaw

My mother used to say to me, "Elwood" - she always called me Elwood
- "Elwood, in this world you must be oh-so clever, or oh-so pleasant."
For years I was clever. I'd recommend pleasant - and you may quote me.
--- Elwood P. Dowd, in "Harvey"

What is a soldier?Back to Top

    "The soldier is a man; he expects to be treated as an adult, not a schoolboy. He has rights; they must be made known to him and thereafter respected. He has ambition; it must be stirred. He has a belief in fair play; it must be honored. He has a need of comradeship; it must be supplied. He has imagination; it must be stimulated. He has a sense of personal dignity; it must be sustained. He has pride; it can be satisfied and made the bedrock of character once he has been assured that he is playing a useful and respected role. To give a man this is the acme of inspired leadership. He has become loyal because loyalty was given to him."
    - General George C. Marshall

    “….Wherein lies our security? It is the American man at arms. From personal experience I know how well he guards us. I have seen him die at Verdun, at St. Mihiel, at Guadalcanal; in the foxholes of Bataan, in the batteries of Corregidor, in the battle areas of Korea; on land, on sea, and in the air; amidst jungle and swamp, hot sands and frozen reaches, in the smoldering mud of shell pocked roads and dripping trenches.”

    “He was gaunt and he was ghostly; he was grieved and he was loused; he was filthy and he stank; and I loved him.”

    “He died hard, that American fighting man. Not like a dove which when hit, folds its wings gently and comes down quietly. But like a wounded wolf at bay, with lips curled back in a snarl.”

    “He left me with an abiding faith in the future of this nation; a faith that our beloved land will once more know the serenity of hope without fear; a faith in the course of our destiny as a free, prosperous, and happy people.”

    - General Douglas MacArthur, as quoted by General Alexander M. Haig at the Nixon Library, 29 July 2003
Losing and Winning StrategiesBack to Top
    Losing organizations sometimes understand the need for leadership but make the mistake of betting on the wrong horses. They handicap their field of employees, select the ones they think will go farthest, and pour resources into training and developing them. Unfortunately, their too-early designation of an elite class of "high potentials" (HI-POs) often weeds out the people who could ultimately turn out to be the best leaders and irritates many other solid players. At Exxon, they used to jokingly refer to the "HI-POs" and the "PO-POs," standing for "pissed on and passed over." In such a system, it's highly likely that creative leaders like GE's Jack Welch, Compaq's Eckhard Pfeiffer and Allied Signal's Larry Bossidy would have been lost in the "passed over" class.

    Winning companies do quite a bit of handicapping as well, but they wait longer before making their decisions, and they base them on broader leadership skills .... Further, they continue to pour resources into developing everyone else, including the people that they don't think are going to make it all the way to the top. This means not only that they don't prematurely eliminate the late bloomers and nontraditional leaders, but also that they get the best out of everyone.

    In researching this book and looking for the core traits and competencies that separate winning organizations from losing ones, it became increasingly clear to me not only that leadership is the key trait that distinguishes the winners, but that the ability to teach leadership is their core competence. Lots of companies talk about leadership and try to teach it, but winning companies do it remarkably well. Winning organizations consistently improve and regenerate themselves by effectively developing the leadership skills of all their people.

    from The Leadership Engine: How Winning Companies Build Leaders at Every Level, by Tichy
Command and ControlBack to Top Combat LeadershipBack to Top OrganizationsBack to Top Schools, Courses, and CentersBack to Top Building Strategic LeadersBack to Top Articles from AU-24, Concepts for Air Force LeadershipBack to Top LeadershipBack to Top LeadersBack to Top Self-AssessmentBack to Top Readings & HandbooksBack to Top Leadership Research OnlineBack to Top

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