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A thought on leadership…

…from the poet and philosopher Jon Stewart. The key to leadership, I think, is to just “be a f***ing human being.” Call it the Stewart Derivative of the Golden Rule or something like that if you must; whatever the name, if you just treat your people with basic decency and be a human being, you will be on good path towards being a decent leader.

*NOTE: this is not in response to anyone or anything specifically. All is well. I facilitated a leadership seminar today and some of the stories I heard violated this critical principle.


  1. BissBoss


    You know MY feeling on current USAF Leadership!

    They (TRUE Leaders) are TOO few and TOO far between…

    The USAF does not grow leaders and that – is a travesty and a crime.

    Posted on 08-Sep-12 at 23:13 | Permalink
  2. CombatRob

    Hopefully Gen Welsh can right the ship, or at least implement a course correction. However, I am not optimistic. Not owing to the man, whom by all accounts is a great leader. It’s as you write, though, institutionally we don’t grow them. We talk a lot about it but somewhere along the line, the process mostly gets fouled. I think it starts with our collective failure to hold bad managers accountable.

    *CombatRob’s school of philosophical thought says there are no bad leaders. By definition, if you are a bad leader you are not a leader. You are a manager at best.

    Posted on 08-Sep-12 at 23:57 | Permalink
  3. BissBoss


    This was one of THE MOST frustrating things I ran into while on Active Duty! The culture in the USAF BREEDS “Promotees”! That is what is preached, encouraged and rewarded. Simple as that.

    The USAF does NOT place an importance on leadership. It is a pleasant byproduct of some people’s personality. As you can attest to – In the AF – important things get attention.

    Posted on 09-Sep-12 at 19:35 | Permalink
  4. CombatRob

    That quote, that leadership is a pleasant byproduct of someone’s personality, will from this point forward become part of my leadership seminar. Specifically, I will talk to the point that this cannot be allowed to be…we must intentionally develop this, not let it be a byproduct.

    Posted on 10-Sep-12 at 01:59 | Permalink

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