As a soldier sees it

As a soldier sees itI came across another great quote the other day. But, as I am getting old and didn’t write it down, I have to try to recall it from memory. The gist of it was the way that a soldier sees leadership. Leadership as a soldier sees it went something like this:

I do not follow orders, I obey them. Instead I follow a leader.

Let that sink in for a few minutes.

Now what does that mean?

Try as I might, I just cannot get some of the courtroom scenes from “A Few Good Men” out of my head. If you take some of the military bashing out of the film you are left with some riveting dialog. At some point along the way the characters Dawson and Downey lost sight of the impact of following an order from a leader who is not worthy. They followed an order and things went terribly wrong.

The premise of the movie is not a perfect analogy for me. But it does point out to me that we need to be clear regarding those that we chose to follow. And further, we need to be aware of the impact that we have on those who follow us.

And consider this as well.  We don’t always get to choose our leaders.

Are you following, obeying or leading?


Photo credit: Atfyfe / / Public Domain Mark 1.0

2 Replies to “As a soldier sees it”

  1. I read this post and reflect on my time in the millitary. Needless to say it has been a few years, but I remember good and bad leaders. I am thankful that the job I had made bad leaders obvious and they were removed from leadership. As I get older and I hope wiser, I wonder if they were bad leaders because of choice, training or lack of desire. I find that being a leader is more of a position of want than need. I mean I think you have to want to be a good leader, I dont believe good leadership is inherent. Lastly I consider the second to last line in the post, I think we have more of a choice about who we follow, but I think we should be more cognoscent of those who follow us. Becasue I really dont think you always get to choose your followers.

    1. I am always a little hesitant to write anything with a military flavor to it. I never “wore the uniform”. And sometimes I feel I don’t have a right to write anything with a military flavor. This is especially true in light of at least one of the authors on this blog. (Hint, hint, hint) But, I am trying to focus on leadership issues wherever I see them. And, the military is very fertile ground for observations and discussions.

      I am especially struck by the twist you put on the next to the last line of my article. Nicely played. Very nicely played.

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