Tag: Leadership

Quote of the Day: Leadership


Good leaders with sound ideas and well developed plans will welcome hard questions and informed challenges.

Bad leaders with weak ideas and compromised plans will be defensive, flinty, and more often than not will resort to appeals to authority or credentialism. Those are your warning signs. – Cdr Salamander

In an era of broad disappointment in the integrity of political figures, Dr. Daniel J. Mahoney, author of The Statesman as Thinker: Portraits of Greatness, Courage, and Moderation (Encounter Books, 2022) revives the idea of statesmanship, dwelling on figures ranging from Alexis de Tocqueville to Vaclav Havel, all of whom sought to preserve freedom in times of crisis.

Professor Mahoney, a 2020-21 Garwood Visiting Fellow here at the Madison Program, is a professor emeritus at Assumption University and fellow at the Claremont Institute. His most recent book has been awarded the Intercollegiate Studies Institute’s 2023 Conservative Book of the Year award, which honors thoughtful books that contribute to debate about important conservative ideas.

Pride Before the Fall


“Would you rather have me give a 45-minute speech on pride, or read Yertle the Turtle in five minutes?” I ask my students after reading the story. It’s no surprise. After I read Yertle the Turtle to my college students, they request Dr. Seuss, not a lecture, every time. I read the story from a large, hard-cover book, holding it high, so all can see the illustrations, just as I would, if I were reading to my grandchildren.

The story of Yertle teaches us that position, power, and pride can usurp freedom, rights, and care for others. Yertle is a turtle king. He is not satisfied with where he is in the pond. He says, “With this stone for a throne, I look down on my pond / But I cannot look down on the places beyond.” So, Yertle commands the turtles to create a stack so he can climb on their backs, in his words, “If I could sit high, how much greater I’d be!” He is higher, until, a plain turtle named Mack questions the whole enterprise. In case you’ve never read the story, I will leave out any spoilers.

But beyond the obvious message, is the way the story is told. Seuss created memorable characters in King Yertle and Mack. The illustrations are pure Seuss – wonky and wonderful. But I believe it is the poetry that best captures attention. Rhyming is signature Seuss. But rhyming can close the loop on understanding, as primary teachers know full well.

Not Everyone Hates DeSantis


The war has already begun. Even before DeSantis announces his candidacy for President, the hate speech and accusations are ramping up. The irony of all these efforts is that those attacking him don’t really understand his goals and motives, and don’t realize that many people have already seen through the rumors. But efforts to tarnish his reputation continue. I’d like to suggest that those who hate him (including Republicans and Democrats) are misjudging not only DeSantis but those who already are, and who could become, his supporters. We’re not as stupid as some assume.

This post was inspired by an article titled “DeSantis Further Right Than Trump?” My knee-jerk reaction was, “I hope so!” (Unfortunately, the article is behind a paywall.) Many of us knew that Trump lacked pure Conservative credentials, but we were satisfied with most of the work he did. In the case of DeSantis, the key attributes he demonstrates are that he acts and legislates like a Conservative, but he rarely relies on the label:

Quote of the Day: Election Deniers


Let’s talk about election deniers. Here’s 150 examples of Democrats denying election results. Look at this–this is from Joe Biden’s Press Secretary–‘remember, Brian Kemp stole the gubernatorial election from Georgians and Stacey Abrams.’ A Democrat was saying that-is that an election denier? Oh look at this–‘just heard Republican Ryan Costello said it would be difficult for Stacey Abrams to win because she lost her state bid, but she’s still claiming she never lost.’ Hillary Clinton: ‘Trump is an illegitimate President,’–is she an election denier? This one says, ‘was the 2016 election legitimate? It is definitely a question worth asking.’ That was the Los Angeles Times.

So it’s okay for Democrats to question elections but it’s not okay for Republicans? It’s a crock of BS, everyone knows it; we have our freedom of speech and we’re not going to relinquish it to a bunch of fake news propagandists. If you want a copy of these, I’m sure Anthony will help you get a copy and help you learn how to be a journalist but look it up. It has been happening for a long time. — Kari Lake

Since we may very well be burdened with the leadership of Kevin McCarthy in the House and Mitch McConnell in the Senate after the elections, I hope with all my heart that they will take leadership lessons from Kari Lake, who will likely be the next governor of Arizona.

Member Post


In what seems like the distant past, I remember being proud of our leadership on the international scene. Especially noting our late but finally powerful intervention in World War II and working with others to design its aftermath, our efforts in Korea (incomplete but sincere), our engagement with the Cold War, our flawed efforts in […]

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Member Post


The kid in the link, (and I am deliberately formatting this with two paragraphs so the link is after the jump and doesn’t choke the Member Feed) shows more coherence than anyone in the Biden administration and more leadership than anyone in the GOP.  I am told this is from Washington state. Cannot confirm. Also, […]

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The Importance of Supervision


Your most valuable assets are your time and attention. No matter how clever you are, no matter how well educated, there is no way to add hours to the day. Most of us understand this, and I talk about it in The Power of Scheduling What is Important. The tricky part is figuring out just what is important. To your direct reports, your time and attention are a valuable resource. If you are a good leader, these are gold to them. Their success can depend on you.

I have always made a practice of scheduled supervision with all my direct reports for an hour every week. These sessions are our formal times. As things come up during the week, we can easily have calls or take a moment to talk. However, knowing we have a scheduled time, I find both sides save things for that conversation.

While I am very much an “open door” leader, in a supervision session, the door is shut. That is my direct reports’ time, and only a true emergency is a reason to disrupt it. It is a blessing to have a good Executive Assistant to screen out anything but a true emergency. Most of the time, however, we must teach our direct reports when it is okay to interrupt or not.

The Bible on Leadership: 7 Verses About the Work and Requirements of Leadership


My shelves are full of leadership books. I teach in a Ph.D. leadership program so the stacks of books I have read on leadership should come as no surprise! But what I’ve discovered in all my reading is that the Bible is the best leadership resource.

And you must agree! You are reading this post because you too believe the Bible is the best place to discover leadership principles! So, I’ve begun a list of Scripture passages about leadership that I hope will encourage you, inspire you, and, hopefully, challenge you to lead well, wherever God has placed you.

This is not one of those posts that just gives you a list of texts. Since this entry is the first of a few articles on leadership, I’ll begin with a focus on key leadership themes. In this post, the verses will focus on a leader’s work and requirements.

Member Post


I missed the Biden speech today. If you did, here it is linked: He opened his anticipated Afghanistan press conference today to the American audience, as well as the rest of the world with this WEF slogan!  The “Build Back Better” mantra has been mouthed by many world leaders over the last 18 months (right […]

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Military Leadership in Two Brief Messages


General Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander, prepared two messages in preparation for D-Day, 6 June 1944. One was issued as his Order of the Day for June 6, 1944, to be read to all the troops. The other was jotted in pencil on a single page. Both messages teach us what military leadership under our constitutional republic should look and sound like.


Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force!

Should a Confused Trans Bishop Be Serving a Community?


Whenever the topic of transgenderism comes up, I have multiple reactions: emotional pain, compassion, anger, and rejection. With the research I have done, I have decided that transgenderism comes out of unresolved gender dysphoria, and the results usually manifest as depression, confusion, and the inability to fit into society. Rather than treat this condition as a mental illness, it has been recognized as legitimate. Don’t even get me started about the damage the propaganda and transitions will do to children.

McClellan, and Other Leaders Who Got It Wrong


Officers of the 69th Infantry New York, at Fort Corcoran, VA, with Col. Michael Corcoran. (Mathew Brady/NARA)

American history is replete with examples of military leaders making foolish and erroneous declarations.

Perhaps none did so more frequently and with such significant consequences than George B. McClellan, arguably the worst commander in U.S. military history, a man who never missed an opportunity to be wrong with a spectacular inability to recognize it.

Member Post


The individuals who rise to national prominence here in the U.S. puzzle me with their apparent mediocrity–the lackluster communication skills (or slick speaking ability devoid of content), the lack of clear principles, the absence of fresh ideas. I find it frustrating that we can’t elect strong, principled leaders in a country of more than 300 […]

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Peggy Noonan, Drudge and Others


There’s nothing like getting up on a promising new morning, grabbing a cup of your favorite coffee, and browsing the news only to get depressed within minutes. The Drudge Report is now like forgetting to take out that rotten smelling trash last night. I thought well, the latest story from a respected journalist like Peggy Noonan might freshen the air. No, it belongs in the garbage can with the black banana peels. Trump can’t handle a crisis, his “photo op” at the church was stupid, Joe Biden is way ahead, the country is about to lockdown again, thugs are winning…. I’m ready to go back to bed.

Let’s begin with “Trump can’t handle a crisis” – which crisis would that be Peggy? Was it the three-plus years since Trump was sworn in, where a covert, attempted takedown of his election under the Obama-Biden administration that beat the country’s spirit to a pulp, or how about impeachment over a call to the new Ukrainian president? Was it trying to restore, and succeeding, in resurrecting a failing manufacturing sector, creating new employment opportunities for all, regardless of skin color or gender – was that a crisis?

How about the extraordinary feats during a pandemic of pulling together a medical team of experts to direct the unfolding of this new disease, pulling together major industries to create and manufacture massive supply needs, rushing ships converted into hospitals, supporting governors, closing borders when Biden and Pelosi were crying foul – is that the crisis you meant? Did you regularly check both the CDC and the World Health Organization, as I did, both very late in identifying COVID-19 an actual pandemic, even as Italy was quarantining large segments of the population??

My Sheriff Makes Me Proud


We live in Polk County, Florida. No one messes with Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd. He’s been following the rioting that’s occurring across the country, and he’s taken a stand in Polk County:

Judd said there were rumblings on social media that rioters planned to bring violence into the neighborhoods of Polk County.

Member Post


  This morning I have been reading various social media trying to take in everything that is happening across the country. It is hard to fathom the amount of violence that has happened in the last several days Several have noted that the president has not made a major speech on this issue and have […]

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How One School Pivoted After Campus Closure


I’ve been working long-distance for a small K-12 California school since 2006, and I’ve always appreciated the leadership–but wow, have the principal and faculty outdone themselves since school campuses were closed weeks ago, due to the virus. I could sense in the days preceding the closure that he felt some stress, and I was told that developments with the virus were weighing on him. It concerned me–none of us could predict what was coming and what it might mean for our school.

Then the principal’s letters to parents and staff started coming in: campus is closed until thus and such a date–no, it’s actually closed longer. Here’s the plan–no, here’s the new plan. There was a first phase of online learning with teacher training to buy time, and then everyone settled into a second phase with clear, uniform procedures. All of this was accomplished via positive e-mails and a weekly parent letter; sandwiched between a paragraph of encouragement and links to resources, each parent communication carefully explained any new developments so there were no misunderstandings. Regular social media photos feature young students beaming from their computers at home, seniors posing with certificates, teachers handing out weekly packets to families in cars. Anyone would think it was the best thing that ever happened to the school, and in spite of the uncertainties, extra pressures all around, and financial stress (I actually don’t know how much longer they can keep me on), there have been some upsides to it.

Never Say Never


I think everyone must have their own “never say never” story, and this is mine. 

I have been involved with my church’s 20s/30s singles group for quite a few years now, and something we’ve done for a long time is discipleship groups (or d-groups). These are small gender-specific groups that meet during the week, usually at someone’s house, for deeper fellowship and Bible study. I really enjoy d-groups and signed up for one right away. But after I had been a member of a d-group a couple of times, our leader, Kelly, started asking me to think about leading or co-leading one.