|Follow Me! - Iron Mike, Fort Benning Georgia|
Photo by John D. Helms (Source)
The wing commander went on to wear a couple of stars. Vegas and Ricks retired as O-6s. Ras made Major at the first opportunity, 3 years below the zone, and retired as a Major.You see, that wing commander Juvat mentioned had about the same level of flying experience as one of his junior officers. One would expect that a man of that rank (colonel) and that length of time in service would have more flying time than a JO**. It was obvious to me that that particular officer had probably spent a lot of time in staff jobs, not flying jobs. It would be my guess that that fellow was a shoe clerk wearing pilot wings. Not a fighter pilot.
Now the fact that Ed Rasimus, a superb stick with over 250 combat missions up north as a Thud and Phantom pilot retired as a major still sticks in my craw. The man was a proven combat pilot and leader. Did he go on to wear stars?
No, he did not.
Robin Olds, another proven combat pilot who did eventually get a star should have gone on to lead the entire damn Air Force. Did he?
No, he did not.
Now the title of today's post is something I have always adhered to. One of my biggest failings is my inability to know when to "get the Hell out of the way." I can lead, I can follow, but sometimes I will butt heads with folks who have been "appointed and anointed" to lead an effort. Sometimes the result ain't so good. I tell you, it's tough to follow someone who couldn't pour piss out of a boot if the instructions were written on the heel." But sometimes you just have to drive on and embrace the suck.
I am mellowing though, in my old age. Sometimes it's just easier to get out of the way and let the "appointed and anointed" ones screw the pooch so badly that things go completely sideways. Sigh, FUBAR situations are only fun from a distance.
With that being said, here are some of my favorite quotes concerning leadership. (Which I got from here. There are many more. Some better than others. YMMV.) The first one should be tattooed on the forehead of every business school graduate.
"You manage things; you lead people." - Grace Murray Hopper
Need I mention that that lady was an officer in the Naval Service and is a legend in my current career field? An extremely smart person!
Alrighty then, here's the list...
- "Don't tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results." - George S. Patton Jr.
- "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."- Abraham Lincoln
- "The supreme quality of leadership is integrity." - Dwight D. Eisenhower
- "Leadership cannot really be taught. It can only be learned." - Harold Geneen
- "Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it." - Dwight D. Eisenhower
- "Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate, and doubt to offer a solution everybody can understand." - Colin Powell
- "Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other." - John F. Kennedy
- "No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself, or to get all the credit for doing it." - Andrew Carnegie
- "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill
- "A great person attracts great people and knows how to hold them together." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
- "Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm." - Publilius Syrus
- "Wise leaders generally have wise counselors because it takes a wise person themselves to distinguish them." - Diogenes of Sinope
- "I can give you a six-word formula for success: Think things through- then follow through." - Edward Rickenbacker
- "A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent." - Douglas MacArthur
- "The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things." - Ronald Reagan
- "Don't follow the crowd, let the crowd follow you." - Margaret Thatcher
- "A good leader leads the people from above them. A great leader leads the people from within them."- M. D. Arnold
Yeah, I know. Probably not going to happen.
But I can dream.
* The title is an old saying, attributed to General George S. Patton, Jr. - “We herd sheep, we drive cattle, we lead people. Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way.”
** JO = Junior Officer, O-1 through O-3.