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August 26, 2002

By Al Monzingo

I recently read a book about Four Star Generals and Admirals.  At the end of the book was an article about comments given to a group of new Brigadier Generals.  It was given as part of a two-day training session at the Pentagon to brief these new Generals on their new promotion.  Unofficially it was called as the ďCharm School.Ē  The presenter was General Louis L. Wilson, Jr. a graduate of West Point a former Air Force Inspector General and a Commander in Chief Pacific Air Forces.

This General looked at the canned speech that was normally given and decided to change it.  He went over thoughts, of his success and failure, as a leader over the years.  He felt there was a real need for guidance for these new Commanders.  Therefore, he presented the following:

The Ten Points of Leadership

1.  Be Tough - Set your standards high and encourage your people to meet them.  Tell them what your standards and expectations are.

2.  Get Out From Behind Your Desk - In the modern day vernacular we call it ďManagement by Wondering Around.Ē  Go see whatís happening for yourself.  Your people will see you are interested in their problems and welfare.

3.  Find the Critical Path to Success -  Prioritize your activities, donít waste time on trivial matters.  Become personally involved, donít leave things to chance.

4.  Be Sensitive - Listen to your people.  Be perceptive and communicate often.  Empathize with your people.  Ask for input, seek ideas.  Be innovative and creative.

5.  Donít Take Things for Granted - Keep on top of things.  Donít assume anything.  If something needs to be fix - do it, donít procrastinate - do it and then monitor it.

6.  Search out the Problems - ďIf you think there are no problems in your organization, you are ignorant.Ē   Search out the problems, find them.  Foster an environment that encourages open, clear communications.  If you shun problems they will get bigger.

7.  Donít Alibi - Just take care of the problem, fix it.  We know that people make mistakes.  So donít be defensive when things go wrong.  Nothing is worst than when someone who has an alibi for everything that goes wrong.

8.  Donít Procrastinate - The problem only gets worst if you procrastinate.  Therefore, address the problems when they arise.  Donít put off hard decisions - make them.  It wonít really be easier tomorrow.  Just do it.

9.  Donít Tolerate Incompetence - People who are lazy and/or disinterested should be replaced.  You need people to get the job done.  Have the courage to terminate their assignment.  Use positive motivation - encourage people when they are doing good work, recognize their efforts.  Then they will do even better.

10. Be Honest - Integrity is one of the most important aspects to someoneís character.  People wonít trust you if youíre dishonest.  Tell it like it is - be up front with people.  Create an atmosphere of trust and confidence.  Be an example for your people.

To Sum Up:  Your task is to be the leader.  It requires hard work, enthusiasm, and sensitivity to whatís going on.  Establish your expectations, be involved, and listen.  Remember integrity and honesty is basic to everything.  Practice these ten points for success as a leader.

Reference:  Charles T. Jones and R. Manning Ancell, Four-Star Leadership for Leaders, Executive Books, Mechanicsburg, P.A., 1997.

About the Author:
Al Mozingo is a nationally recognized instructor in the leadership arena.  One of his newest programs is "Leadership Training from Great Leaders of the Past," which is a very valuable leadership training program for any organization.  Mr. Mozingo is a certified instructor in Organizational Development and teaches for the National Fire Academy.