True leader takes responsibility

While at the Naval War College in Newport, during convocations, I sat on the dais with the other academic department chairmen. They were resplendent in their Harvard crimson Ph.D. robes. Frankly, I was intimidated with my lowly bachelor’s degree; but I had a Ph.D. in leadership learned from Admiral Rickover and three command tours.

On my first day of my first command, my boss called me and chewed me out because some sailor had unflatteringly painted a rock on the other side of the Thames. I couldn’t blame the sister ship across the pier. I could not blame my predecessor. As far as the Navy was concerned it was my problem.

Before the left or the right blame the other side for the rhetoric-induced violence, their leaders must look to their own responsibilities, the actions of their own base, their own sycophantic media, and their own "entertainment." Courage to do what is right is hard, when it is easy to blame someone else in a sound bite. As a leader you must be willing to lay your own job on the line if you truly are one.

George Jackson


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