Monday, January 19, 2015

solid, sound leadership

It was a special treat for me as a young child to see Dwight Eisenhower (then President) in person when we lived at the Air Force Academy. I've profited from reading about his leadership during World War II.  The following is an excerpt of a letter he wrote on leadership in 1942.  


"This is a long road we have to travel. The men that can do things are going to be sought out just as surely as the sun rises in the morning. Fake reputations, habits of glib and clever speech, and glittering surface performance are going to be discovered and kicked overboard. Solid, sound leadership… and ironclad determination to face discouragement, risk, and increasing work without flinching, will always characterize the man who has a sure-enough, bang-up fighting unit. Added to this he must have a darn strong tinge of imagination—I am continuously astounded by the utter lack of imaginative thinking.… Finally, the man has to be able to forget himself and personal fortunes. I've relieved two seniors here because they got to worrying about 'injustice,' 'unfairness,' 'prestige,' ..." 

(Supreme Commander General Dwight David Eisenhower in a letter to General Vernon Prichard, August 27, 1942, quoted in The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History, by Robert M. Edsel.  Photo above was taken in 1942.)

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