Ethical Conduct & Zero Defects Environments…

“The state of ethical conduct is abysmal. Few battalion commanders can afford integrity in a zero defects environment. Telling the truth ends careers quicker than making stupid mistakes or getting caught doing something wrong. I have seen many good officers slide into ethical compromise.” Army Research Institute’s (ARI’s) command climate assessment, quoted in General Dennis… Read More

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How to Show Leadership…

“In the summer of 1918, a group of soldiers of the 301st Tank Brigade, which I commanded, was having 37 mm. gun practice which I was observing. One defective round exploded in the muzzle, wounding two or three men. The next round exploded in the breech, blowing the head off the gunner. The men were… Read More

Micro-Managers Beware…

“Never allow yourself to become absorbed in the task you have assigned to a subordinate. If you assume the direction of a detachment, you lose your grasp of the proceedings as a whole. The business of the responsible officer is to control the entire concern so that the general combination of efforts shall be concentrated… Read More

Competent or Incapable…

“A competent leader can get efficient service from poor troops while … an incapable leader can demoralize the best of troops” John Pershing (1860 to 1948) John J. Pershing, in full John Joseph Pershing, byname Black Jack, was a US Army general who commanded the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) in Europe during World War I.… Read More

Personal Contact…

“What troops and subordinate commanders appreciate is that a general should be constantly in personal contact with them, and should but see everything simply through the eyes of his staff.” Field Marshal A.P. Wavell (1953) Soldiers and Soldiering. London: Jonathan Cape.

Men Like You…

“In [1814], Lieutenant Frederick Young, … [led 2000 irregulars against 200] Gurkhas in the hills. Their first showing, when not yet drawn together by any marked esprit de corps, was a poor one. The Gurkhas attacked on sight, whereupon the irregulars incontinently fled, leaving the chagrined Young with a handful of officers where he stood.… Read More

Character Lost…

“War is much to brutal a business to have room for brutal leading; in the end, its only effect can be to corrode the character of men, and when character is lost, all is lost. The bully and the sadist serve only to further encumber an army; their subordinates must waste precious time clearing away… Read More