Overcoming the boundaries between the military community and society requires a deliberate effort to open our world. It is tempting to stay on our military bases, live in military communities and only talk to those we know. For the curators of The General Leadership Foundation, it is our mission to bring the experiences, principles and stories amassed through war and military life to the public. On the other side of this motivation, we want to learn from you, to garner your leadership principles and lessons from the non-military world. It is our belief leadership is a universal skill-set…and is defined by results, not attributes.… Read the rest
[The following is an unedited transcript of the speech I shared this morning commemorating the third anniversary of the loss of nine of our teammates fighting for freedom in Afghanistan…a reminder they are gone but certainly not forgotten].
We have a difficult but important duty today, paying homage to nine American heroes who gave everything in defense of freedom.
Three years ago today, it was a standard Wednesday morning in the Air Command and Control Center, Headquarters Afghan Air Force.
The Center was abuzz with daily update meetings and discussions of training.… Read the rest
Growing up, one of my favorite television series was Mission: Impossible. The immensely popular program chronicles the adventures of the Impossible Missions Force (IMF), a team of government spies and specialists who are regularly offered “impossible missions” (should they decide to accept them).
Outside of the cool gadgets and spectacular stunts, what I most enjoyed about the series was that it reinforced how, with a well-executed, methodical strategy, just about anything’s possible. Take a lesson from a real life mission impossible, the race to be the first to the South Pole, as a case-in-point.… Read the rest
‘Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.’ Many of you will remember this popular rhyme from elementary school. In fact, you may have even recited it a number of times as kids as it’s a common childhood idiom we use to remind people they cannot hurt us with the bad things they say or write about us. Well, now that we’re all a little older (and a little wiser), we know that this isn’t quite true.
Words have derailed political campaigns, ruined marriages, started wars, and destroyed businesses.… Read the rest
Greece’s history is replete with tales of heroes and the great battles they fought. Platea, Tangra, Coronea, and Chaeronea are but a handful of the battlefields that litter the small island nation. However, on a single spot marked by only a stark, white marble column in the middle of a grain field, you’ll find arguably the most significant battlefield of all. It’s a little-visited place called Leuctra, in the region of Boeotia, where in 371 BC General Epaminondas and his army from Thebes defeated the previously unconquerable army of Sparta.… Read the rest
Picture the scene: In a remote part of Afghanistan, near the mountainous border with Pakistan, helicopters carrying dozens of elite Army Rangers race over the rugged landscape. Their target on this high-risk mission is an insurgent compound. It is broad daylight and the Rangers know the insurgents are heavily armed. But it’s considered a risk worth taking as reliable intelligence sources indicate a top al Qaeda commander is in that compound.
Within a matter of minutes, the helicopters touch-down and the Rangers immediately come under fire.… Read the rest