Thursday, October 2, 2008

Quotes: Leadership (02)

The idea in bold-face print is a summary of the quote. The number after the topic is the page on which the quote was found.

Leadership 294 An important issue for subordinates is how to criticize their leader tactfully. "Subordinates ought to find ways to compensate for idiosyncrasies in their leader’s style." McNamara’s In Retrospect

Leadership 294 Problem: How to change policy. "It remained our responsibility to identify the contradictions in policy, force them to the surface, and debate them; had we done so, we might have changed the policy." McNamara’s In Retrospect

Leadership 299 Failure of coordination. "Once again, we had failed miserably to coordinate our diplomatic and military actions [in the Vietnam War]". McNamara’s In Retrospect

Leadership 306 Failure by the leader to give fully informed answers to his advisers. "Johnson was asking the right questions; but in his poker-playing fashion, he had held back crucial knowledge…needed to give fully informed answers… In particular, they did not receive Rear Admiral La Roque’s devastating report that a military victory in Vietnam was highly unlikely; nor did they see Dick Helms’s analysis that the risks of U.S. disengagement were limited and controllable." McNamara’s In Retrospect

Leadership 332 Advisers were not allowed to communicate to each other, to raise disagreements and resolve them. "…we failed to address fundamental issues…deep-seated disagreements among the president’s advisers…were neither surfaced nor resolved." McNamara’s In Retrospect

Leadership 83 The world will follow only those who have despised it. "The world will, in the end, follow only those who have despised as well as served it." Samuel Butler. 1912. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.

Leadership 82 Society respects those who don't care about it. "I have…come to the conclusion that [society] looks up to those who care nothing at all about it." Chamfort. 1805. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.

Leadership 94 Confidence cannot be begged for. "No one who deserves confidence ever solicits it. Churton Collins." 1914. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.

Leadership 115 Decisions by commonplace people can affect events for a hundred years. "The offhand decision of some commonplace mind high in office at a critical moment influences the course of events for a hundred years." Thomas Hardy. 1928. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.

Leadership 116 Practical leaders unconsciously follow ideas from yesterday's madman. "Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist; madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back." John Maynard Keynes. 1936. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.

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