Sunday, April 19, 2015


This little excerpt comes from a much longer entry from 2007 over at Stone Kettle Station. It's the story of one Warrant officer on one ship on December 7, 1941. The ship was the battleship Nevada. The only ship to get underway that blazing morning. And they had to beach her rather than risk her being sunk and blocking the channel into the harbor.

"Those men went when ordered - and this is the point of the whole story. Those men were not stupid, they were Sailors, trained fighting men, and they knew what Hill was ordering them to do. They knew that they would most likely not survive it. And they went anyway.

When that moment comes, men will not follow you because you're a big, mean, tough son of a bitch. They will not follow you because they fear you. They will not follow you because you're better educated, or older, or more experienced. They will not follow you because you out rank them. They will not follow you because you're their friend or father figure or because they love you. And they damned sure won't follow you for freedom and democracy or other high ideals. No, Sailors, Marines, Soldiers, Airmen will follow your orders in that moment, they will give up their lives on your command, for one reason, and one reason only - respect.

Respect cannot be bought, it cannot be forced, it cannot be bargained for - it must be earned. It must be earned each and every day, by every action, by every word, because when that moment comes it is far, far too late. You'll have seconds at most, and either you are that person men will follow into battle, or you're not. It's that simple."

Thank you Jim. you've said better than I ever could what I believe about leadership. Maybe because you've been there and I haven't. The whole crew supposedly running for the Republican nomination just don't get it. They haven't earned the respect they are asking for and they never will. They shift with circumstance and the audience in front of them. Most of them could talk for half and hour and say absolutely nothing. And frankly it scares the hell out me to think that any of them could get withing a thousand miles of the oval office. 

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