Friday, April 16, 2010

An Essay on Leadership

AFA members, Congressional Staffers, Civic Leaders, and DOCA members, I generally send you short pieces – op-eds and the like that can be digested in just a few minutes. However, this time I want to deviate from that standard and send you the link to a longer piece. This is a speech that was given plebes at West Point last year about four months after they arrived at USMA. It was given by William Deresiewicz – who was an Associate Professor of English at Yale University. I think it is an excellent read. As I said, it is long – 8 pages on my printer – but by midway through you will appreciate his reminder that we must look to our internal compass in solitude before we can lead others in a direction that is true.

http://www.theamericanscholar.org/solitude-and-leadership/

For your consideration.

Mike

Michael M. Dunn
President/CEO
Air Force Association

3 comments:

jconnor said...

Great read. Thanks for sharing.

Jim said...

Wow! I read this and even halfway thru, had to send it out to friends and fellow travelers! This guy hit the nail on the head, and hard! When we fret about America today and wonder whom we will get to lead us out of the mess created, we often wonder how is it, that our Founders got it together. How did they out think and defeat the greatest power in the world in their time, and how did they summon the very courage necessary to accomplish their goals? This is must reading for all true leaders in this country. Thanks Mr Dunn, for passing on these great, great, inspiring words.

Jim Strohmeier
Colorado

Niels T. said...

I found this article very interesting and provocative. I hope the plebes will read it several times and think long and hard about it. My wife and I moved to Italy in 2003 and bought a 15th century house that needed a lot of renovation and TLC. The highest point of the living room ceiling is 28 feet above the floor and is frescoed with images of the four cardinal virtues that were admired by the Colonna family who commissioned them. The virtues are Fortitude, Justice, Temperance, and Prudence. Prudence is represented by a woman holding a mirror to her face. My interpretation is that it is prudent to know yourself in solitude before and while you interact with others. Marcantonio Colonna (the Italian commander during the battle of Lepanto) would have agreed with Mr. Deresiewicz.