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Whereto leadership, Mr. President and Gen. McChrystal?

Post by Maggie McGuire on June 22, 2010 at 9:15 pm with 8 Comments »
June 23, 2010 9:02 am

Would you like to be a fly on the wall during President Obama and Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s “come to Jesus” meeting scheduled for tomorrow? I sure would. Talk about an example of leadership under pressure – on both sides!

If I could offer a few words of unsolicited advice, here’s what I’d say to them both.

To Gen. McChrystal:
You are the commanding general in this operation, the boots on the ground. Nobody knows the situation in this war better than you do. But that does not give you the green light to opine about our country’s administration and its national security team to the media first, in place of communicating concerns with your chain of command. Frustrated though you might be, this was an error in judgment. A professional knows that one does not use the press as a first resort to air grievances. A sincere apology is in order, with a commitment to different action in the future.

To President Obama:
You are the ultimate “buck holder.” If your commanding general in this war felt that he had more access to the media than to his boss, then I would ask, “Why?” What does Gen. McChrystal need to win this war that he doesn’t believe he has now? If part of it is access to you –honest, one-to-one, access to you, his commander-in-chief – then put this in place now. If this hasn’t been in place, accept the blame and responsibility and apologize to him. Then commit to more positive action in the future.

Leadership is NOT about winning while making the other guy look bad. Leadership is about LISTENING, understanding your part in the problem, accepting responsibility, and committing to positive change.

Let’s pray that both of these distinctly different and able leaders understand the same imperative.

If so, then we all win.

Leave a comment Comments → 8
  1. comment_tayter says:

    And through all these Byzantine machinations is it ever considered that this entire enterprise is misbegotten; any reason for the operation long ago went away; that we are unwanted occupiers in a country that is the graveyard of empires.

    By the way, to Gen. mcChrystal: you’re fired.

  2. mattersnot1 says:

    Only a stupid person fires the right man for the job.

  3. comment_tayter says:

    Only an evil man advocates and promotes war which only end is to enrich a small group of people while ignoring the larger reality.

  4. Loren_Zimmerman says:

    Excellent thoughts Maggie and I am very plesantly surprised to find you here and writing. Even though you take no sides in this post, I do think I know your side….:)
    I would love to discuss this.

  5. tubbythetuba says:

    The General didn’t get to be General being stupid. I’ll be he knew exactly what he was doing and fell on his sword to get the word out. HE, at least, knows that the Civilian (mis)Leadership is wasting lives and wherewithal trying to look good to the world and his voter base.

  6. Ptolemy didn’t want it. Seleucus didn’t want it . The ” fool” ?,even he was too smart. Roxana’s son, too young. Cassander by default, 1800 years later Britain even leaves. Another reason that the “Wall” came down-Russia forced to over-spend and over-extend. Is another decade of firing more MacArthurs really worth the copper and lithium for your I-pod if your CIC is playing golf while listening to “Hey Jude” on His I-pod, how’s about that “hearts-n-minds” politically correct poppy trade. The absurdity is the name “war on terror”, you CANNOT have a ‘war’ on an emotion, fools they are…

  7. Novelist3 says:

    “You are the commanding general in this operation, the boots on the ground. Nobody knows the situation in this war better than you do. But that does not give you the green light to opine about our country’s administration and its national security team.

    Funny, I kinda thought a little thing called the first amendment established that right. Eh, but what do I know. I’m not the All Powerful Barak Obama Whos Words Shall Not Be Questioned.

    Psst…the emperor has no clothes.

  8. I agree with Tubby, Rolling Stone isn’t exactly the same as Stars and Stripes. He was using it as a predictable tool. Pattons and MacArthurs WIN wars, self-addicted politicians merely “manage” a “crisis” ( don’t waste a good crisis, right, Rahm?)

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