Archives For Leadership

The Founding Fathers on Leadership – First Listen, Then Communicate               

  • Communicate your message with simplicity, consistently, and clarity.
  • Communicate in total, without filters or editing. Provide a forum where people can hear the message together and discuss it together.
  • Bring people together from distant regions helps to bridge gaps in communication.
  • A primary element in your overall strategy should involve disseminating and receiving timely information.
  • Be a frequent reader of the controversial literature of the day.
  • You do not need to speak for more than ten minutes at a time, nor to any but the main point.
  • Do not act without asking, Take time to verify key information.
  • Listen, then speak; follow, then lead.
  • When things look darkest, stay optimistic and positive; plan on offensive.
  • Create “flying camps” in your organization.
  • Work by day, think by night.
  • Remember that one inspiring communication can turn the tide.

~ Donald T. Phillips, The Founding Fathers on Leadership

Understanding and accepting diversity enables us to see that each of us is needed. It also enables us to begin to think about being abandoned to the strengths of others, of admitting that we cannot know or do everything.

The simple act of recognizing diversity in corporate life helps us to connect the great variety of gifts that people bring to the work and service of the organization. Diversity allows each of us to contribute in a special way, to make our special gift a part of the corporate effort.

Recognizing diversity helps us to understand the need we have for opportunity, equity, and identity in the workplace. Recognizing diversity gives us the chance to provide meaning, fulfillment, and purpose, which are not to be relegated solely to private life any more than are such things as love, beauty, and joy. It also helps us to understand that for many of us there is a fundamental difference between goals and rewards.

~ Max DePree, Leadership is an Art

Eddie Rickbacker was called America’s Ace of Aces during World War I, the highest scorer of American aerial victories over the Germans. He could just as easily have been labeled the ‘luckiest man alive,’ however, since he survived — by his own count — 135 brushes with death during his exciting lifetime. He joined automobile designer Fred Duesenberg in 1912 and struck out on his own as a race car driver and set a world speed record of 134 mph at Daytona in 1914.

When America entered the war in 1917, Rickenbacker volunteered despite the fact that he was making a reported $40,000 a year at the time. He flew a total of 300 combat hours, more than any other American pilot, and survived 134 aerial encounters with the enemy. ‘So many close calls renewed my thankfulness to the Power above, which had seen fit to preserve me,’ he wrote in his memoirs.

He joined Eastern Air Transport (Eastern Airlines) in 1933 as its vice president and was instrumental in the growth of the commercial airlines company and eventually retired after 33 years. He and his wife moved to a ranch in Texas, but didn’t like the isolation and donated the ranch to the Boy Scouts and moved to New York, then ultimately Florida.

He passed away in 1973, and lived his motto, ‘I’ll fight like a wildcat,” till the end.

~ C.V. Glines,

WIN THE DAILY BATTLE                                

People who achieve daily success have learned to conquer four common time-wasters.

Time put to no useful purpose, not even relaxation.

Putting off things that should be done now.

Time frittered away on the
Details of side issues, to the detriment of the main issue.

Lack of preparation, thoroughness, or perseverance, usually resulting in time-consuming mistakes.

~ Leadership Principles for Graduates, John C. Maxwell

Lee’s Lesson:

  • A leader, in delegating authority, should never trust to the discretion of a subordinate who does not share his vision.
  • A leader needs to remember that even the best soldiers can be pushed too far and their limits strained. As Lee told Longstreet the day after the battle of Gettysburg, “It’s all my fault. I thought my men were invincible.”
  • A leaders takes full responsibility for the failures on his watch, and never tries to shift blame to his subordinates. A leader’s job is not to assign blame but to make the best of every circumstance and to meet every new challenge to his objective.

~ H. W. Crocker III, Robert E. Lee on Leadership

Manageable, short-term goals focus our attention and efforts. Leaders appreciate and make clear the link between these goals and the long-term rewards that will results.

~ Coy Barefoot, Thomas Jefferson on Leadership (2002)


  • Never crush a man out, thereby making him and his friends permanent enemies of your organization.
  • No purpose is served by punishing merely for punishment’s sake.
  • Always keep in mind that once a subordinate is destroyed he ceases to contribute to the organization.
  • People would be more willing to seek an audience with you if you have a good reputation.
  • It would not hurt you much if, once in a while, you could manage to let things slip, unbeknownst-like.
  • Remember: Your organization will take on the personality of its top leader.
  • You should be very unwilling for young people to be ruined for slight causes.
  • Touch people with the better angels of your nature.


~ Donald T. Philips, Lincoln on Leadership, Executive Strategies for Tough Times

Lee’s Lesson:

  • A leader’s one unalterable rule: asses circumstances and make the best of them.
  • A leader consults his subordinates. Talk through alternative approaches and explain your views. It is the best teaching tool you have.
  • Learn to delegate. Find your Stonewall, find subordinate officers you trust and who share your vision, and turn them loose.
  • The best motivator—as with Jackson—is to grant your officers independence and responsibility.
  • The greater the risks, the more a leader must trust his subordinates.
  • Keep your composure. A leader should take great risks and bear terrible strife with equal equanimity. A leader should never submit his judgement to emotional swings.
  • People matter, individuals matter: no system, however well-oiled, and no leader, however omnicompetent, can afford to ignore the importance of personnel and having the right people in the right posts.

~ H. W. Crocker III, Robert E. Lee on Leadership

The leader of any group must always be the one most focused on results—on getting them, keeping them, and building on them.

~ Coy Barefoot, Thomas Jefferson on Leadership (2002)



Set out a general framework for your team. Do not try to set a detailed game plan for every situation.

Create values that are consistent with the company vision. Values should reflect the vision, culture, and goals of the organization.

Make sure there is room to maneuver. Core values should be constant, but the strategies may need to change with the competitive environment.

~ Robert Slater, 29 Leadership Secrets from Jack Welch