Wanted: Leaders

ThinkerWanted: Leaders. Must know who deserves a pat on the back. Inquire at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C. Possible multiple openings soon.

A lesson I learned quite early is that tough talk is not a positive leadership attribute. Good leaders, actually just adequate leaders, realize that all of the led need an occasional pat on the back. The target of those pats is a little higher for some than for others, but each is delivered with the same level of respect for its recipient. Regardless of the location it is delivered, the purpose of the pat on the back is to provide positive direction. A leader does not need to convene a seminar of so-called intellectuals to tell him who deserves a pat on the back or to advise him if it should be a high or a low pat.

A leader, who is a true leader, delivers his message in positive tones. Tones that are firm and honest and are meant to inspire action not place blame. A leader is not concerned with who gets the blame or who gets the credit. A leader is concerned with outcomes.

A leader knows where the blame lies and he does not need a commission to figure that out for him. He does not dwell on who is at fault because it is wasted time better spent on solving the problem. He knows where the responsibility lies because his first step toward identifying the cause of a problem in the entity that he leads, whether it’s an Army squad or a nation, was a long look in the mirror. If the culprit cannot be identified after some honest introspect, then he broadens the search by increasingly larger circles around himself. Most often the cause for problems is close by and failing to look there first is a fatal leadership flaw.

Identifying a major problem does not require much thought. Just flip on the 24/7 news and the problems will be everywhere. Being the pivot man in a circle and wanting that circle to determine for you where to place your boot, whether it’s on an oil company’s neck or on its CEO’s hind end, does nothing toward solving the problem. You just come away looking immature, wholly unqualified to lead anything and well, small like a community organizer. A person who has always been more focused on trying to build his stature by placing blame on others rather than offering solutions.

A leader’s job is to move his organization from problem identification to problem solution. It is not to place blame or issue what may be construed as a physical threat toward those who might solve the problem. The leader’s job is to tell the led what the fixed problem looks like and then ensure that they are focused on the goal and resourced to solve the problem. The leader does not have the time or energy to dedicate to low level back pats delivered to the incompetent. A mature leader simply thanks the incompetent person for their try and replaces them with someone else. For a reference on how this is done research Abraham Lincoln, Civil War, Generals who couldn’t get the job done.

I have encountered a lot of tough talkers in my life. My experience has been that action talks and bovine scatology walks. If you are capable of delivering the promised A-kicking you do not posture, spin, and blame and threaten, you deliver. In Washington, there is not much delivering going on these days.

Happy Birthday to the Warriors of the United States Army who have always delivered for us!

© 2010

Happy Birthday United States Army

June 14, 1775. Thank you.

The Army Goes Rolling Along

March along, sing our song, with the Army of the free
Count the brave, count the true, who have fought to victory
We’re the Army and proud of our name
We’re the Army and proudly proclaim

First to fight for the right,
And to build the Nation’s might,
And The Army Goes Rolling Along
Proud of all we have done,
Fighting till the battle’s won,
And the Army Goes Rolling Along.

Then it’s Hi! Hi! Hey!
The Army’s on its way.
Count off the cadence loud and strong (TWO! THREE!)
For where e’er we go,
You will always know
That The Army Goes Rolling Along.

Valley Forge, Custer’s ranks,
San Juan Hill and Patton’s tanks,
And the Army went rolling along
Minute men, from the start,
Always fighting from the heart,
And the Army keeps rolling along.

Then it’s Hi! Hi! Hey!
The Army’s on its way.
Count off the cadence loud and strong (TWO! THREE!)
For where e’er we go,
You will always know
That The Army Goes Rolling Along.

Men in rags, men who froze,
Still that Army met its foes,
And the Army went rolling along.
Faith in God, then we’re right,
And we’ll fight with all our might,
As the Army keeps rolling along.

Then it’s Hi! Hi! Hey!
The Army’s on its way.
Count off the cadence loud and strong (TWO! THREE!)
For where e’er we go,
You will always know
That The Army Goes Rolling Along.

I will bless those who bless you

ThinkerWhy should we be concerned about what Helen Thomas has to say? She stated about as emphatically as she could that, “The Jews should get the hell out of Palestine and go back to Germany or Poland.” Yes Helen, they should travel back to the lands where Adolph Hitler tried to implement his final solution by murdering all of them. Maybe we should be concerned because Ms. Thomas too easily expresses the sentiment embraced by too many in modern day liberal America, including our national leadership. The sentiment is that the Jews are the problem. If they would just give up, everything will be grand. Peace will fall on the land. It is also interesting that the President’s Counterterrorism Adviser refers to Jerusalem as al-Quds. Al-Quds is the Arabic name for Jerusalem. No surrender indicated there. He also has some other strange thoughts about Islamic terrorists. Especially for the man who is supposed to protect us from them.

The Muslim Dome of the Rock is built on the Temple Mount over the location of the earlier Jewish Temple. It is a symbol of conquest in my opinion. That is the first thought that came to my mind when I heard about the towering mosque that will be constructed at Ground Zero. I cannot read minds, but I fully believe that the Islamists responsible for the 9/11 attack looked upon the World Trade Center as the “temple” of the American system. They destroyed that temple and now wish to construct their symbol of that conquest at the site of the crime. It is astounding, but good ole and always tolerant America is just going to let it happen. Spare me the moderate Muslim religion of peace speech. If there was such a thing, all of the moderates would be out there every day confronting those who are tainting their faith with murderous acts. But they are not. Silence is complicit.

Our free society is wonderful and I would not want to replace it with another, but we need not allow our freedom to be suicidal. Try clinging to your Bible in Saudi Arabia as they government’s religious cops wrestle it away from you and toss it into the shredder. Saudi Arabia is only an example of what is common. The United States of America needs to tolerate those who are tolerant of us, period. You will find no Christian Churches in Saudi Arabia, the center of Islam.

I do not know what anyone’s religious leanings are, except for those who openly express them and I do not know whether anyone who might read this ever reads from the Bible. And if they do read it, I cannot say if they believe it. So, I can only state what I believe.

Reverend Archbishop James Ussher, in his Annals of the World first published in 1658, places the following Old Testament passage at 1921 BC.

The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.

 “I will make you into a great nation
       and I will bless you;
       I will make your name great,
       and you will be a blessing.

 I will bless those who bless you,
       and whoever curses you I will curse;
       and all peoples on earth
       will be blessed through you.”

Genesis 12:1-3 (NIV)

This passage from the book of Genesis, the first book of the Old Testament, is what I believe. The Promised Land was Canaan. Canaan is the early name for what is now called Israel or Palestine.

To my knowledge, the United States of America does not appear in any context in the Bible. But, I am neither a Biblical scholar nor theologian. What I do know is what I believe and I believe that the United States is moving closer to those who will be cursed and farther away from those who will be blessed. In that context, understand that since the Israelis returned to their Biblical homeland; the United States has stood by them. That commitment appears to be weakening daily.

The Gaza blockade incident and Turkish threats are also interesting in light of this Biblical prophecy of Israel being attacked by an Army from the North. Israel stands alone in this prophecy.


“Son of man, prophesy against Gog and say: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. I will turn you around and drag you along. I will bring you from the far north and send you against the mountains of Israel. Then I will strike your bow from your left hand and make your arrows drop from your right hand. On the mountains of Israel you will fall, you and all your troops and the nations with you. I will give you as food to all kinds of carrion birds and to the wild animals. You will fall in the open field, for I have spoken, declares the Sovereign LORD. I will send fire on Magog and on those who live in safety in the coastlands, and they will know that I am the LORD.

Ezekiel 39: 1-6 (NIV)

The question for us is will America stand with Israel or will Israel stand alone? Will we bless or curse Israel?

I only know where I stand.

© 2010

D-Day June 6, 1944

D-Day, June 6, 1944

President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s D-Day Prayer

My fellow Americans: Last night, when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our allies were crossing the Channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success thus far.

And so, in this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in prayer:

Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our Nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.

Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.

They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.

They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest-until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men’s souls will be shaken with the violences of war.

For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and good will among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.

Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.

And for us at home – fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas – whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them – help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.

Many people have urged that I call the Nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.

Give us strength, too – strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces.

And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.

And, O Lord, give us Faith. Give us Faith in Thee; Faith in our sons; Faith in each other; Faith in our united crusade. Let not the keenness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.

With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogancies. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister Nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.

Thy will be done, Almighty God.


Memorial Day


In Flanders Fields

Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, 1872-1918

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies blow
In Flanders fields.


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