Archive for wisdom

Spirituality in War: Victory Through Faith

Posted in Leadership, Quote of the Day with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 10, 2013 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

Sunday’s Spiritual Quote

“There is no substitute for the spiritual, in war.  Miracles must be wrought if victories are to be won, and to work miracles men’s hearts must…be afire with self-sacrificing love for each other, for their units, for their division, and for their country.  If each man knows that all the officers and men in his division are animated with the same fiery zeal as he himself feels, unquenchable courage and unconquerable determination crush out fear, and death becomes preferable to defeat or dishonor.”[i]

Major General John A. Lejeune, USMC

from The Reminiscences of a Marine

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The true strength of the men and women of our armed forces is their faith in themselves and in others; faith in their skills, their abilities and their resources.  They must have faith and courage to overcome adversity during the chaos of war and the constant struggles of military life.  Faith is the bedrock of teamwork, and General Lejeune’s quote speaks to the power of esprit de corps, and one’s solidarity and devotion to the love of victory over defeat for themselves, their teammates, their unit, and their country.  Therefore, it is one’s faith that becomes their secret weapon, and prayer is the secret battleground where victories are won.[ii]

Faith is confident assurance concerning what we hope for, and conviction about things we do not see.  Through faith we perceive that what is visible came into being through the invisible by faith.

Hebrews 11:1

 

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Footnote:

[i] The Reminiscences of a Marine. Major General John A. Lejeune. Philadelphia, PA: Dorrance and Company, 1930. Chapter Fifteen, Nancy, Marbache, Colombey – Les Belles. p. 307. Hathi Trust Digital Library (http://www.hathitrust.org/). Web. Date Accessed on 10 Feb. 2013. http://hdl.handle.net/2027/mdp.39015008300819

[ii] Prayer Is the Soul’s Sincere Desire – By James Montgomery (1771-1854) – Words written in 1818 at the re­quest of Ed­ward Bick­er­steth, who want­ed them for his book, Trea­tise on Pray­er.  Mont­gom­ery called this “the most at­tract­ive hymn I ev­er wrote.”

Photo Credit:

Lt.Gen. John Archer Lejeune (1867-1942) – Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune website – http://www.lejeune.marines.mil/

 

Related Articles:

Pithy Points to Ponder (A Leader’s Moral Compass)

Posted in Leadership, Pithy Points to Ponder with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 14, 2012 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

As a leader, which way will you go when your moral compass brings you to the intersection of human nature and temptation?  Your life’s experiences and lessons learned, as well as your attentiveness (remaining aware of your surroundings), should provide you the sense of direction necessary to make the right decision.  You must have courage, faith and confidence that your moral compass will point you in the right direction to the path toward the intersection of character and integrity, and your ultimate destination of success and victory.

Dale Richard Wilson, Sr.

Blogger @ Command Performance Leadership

Copyright © Dale R. Wilson

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Related Articles:

More on the Navy’s “Moral Compass” (navycaptain-therealnavy.blogspot.com)

The Navy’s Moral Compass: Commanding Officers and Personal Misconduct (www.dtic.mil)

Power and the Fallen Man (blog.usni.org)

Moral Courage and Faith to Become a Leader of Character

Posted in Leadership, Quote of the Day with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 13, 2012 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

Quote of the Day

“Make us to choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong, and never to be content with a half truth when the whole truth can be won.  Endow us with the courage that is born of loyalty to all that is noble and worthy, that scorns to compromise with vice and injustice and knows no fear when truth and right are in jeopardy.”

Excerpt From the Cadet Prayer, United States Military Academy, West Point

Some Final Thoughts from Dr. Stephen R. Covey

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 2, 2012 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

Stephen Covey Stephen Covey

Stephen Richards Covey was an American educator, author, businessman and motivational speaker.  His most popular book was “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” which was written to help individuals discover how they can be more effective by making conscious decisions as to how they will respond, act, and think.

On July 16, 2012, we lost this pioneer in leadership development.  Dr. Covey died at the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls, Idaho, due to complications from a fall, having lost control of his bicycle in April.  He will be missed my many people here in the United States, and around the World.

Earlier this year, I posted, Good to Great (A Submariner’s Profile in Empowerment), a profile about Captain David Marquet, former Commanding Officer of the USS Santa Fe.  In that post, I mentioned Dr. Covey’s ride on that submarine, and that he discussed one of Captain Marquet’s leadership practices in his book, The 8th Habit.  More recently, upon his death, I posted a guest post by David Marquet to commemorate and honor the man entitled, In Memory of Dr. Stephen R. Covey (1932 – 2012).  That post was an impassioned reflection by Captain Marquet on how Dr. Covey impacted his life.  In that post, David wrote directly to the spirit of Dr. Covey writing, “Stephen, thank you for your influence, clear thinking, and enthusiasm for life. We will miss you.”

Stephen Covey rides USS Santa Fe with commanding officer David Marquet in 2000.Dr. Covey’s ride on the USS Santa Fe had made an enormous impression on him.  As I said earlier, he wrote a few pages in his book, The 8th Habit, but that wouldn’t be the last time Dr. Covey would express his thoughts about that day on the Santa Fe.  Three weeks before his bicycle accident, Dr. Covey sent David Marquet a written draft that would soon become the Foreword to David’s book, “Turn The Ship Around! How To Create Leadership at Every level.”  With the release of David’s book on August 1, this piece would become one of the last public writings Dr. Covey would pen.  With David’s permission, I am posting the Foreword here.  Along with David’s gracious permission to reprint these words, David offered the following:

I thank Stephen for all his support of our project.  It’s no doubt, due to his influence, that the book has started out as the #1 new release in leadership.  I’m sorry he’s not here to see that.
 
L. David Marquet
Author, “Turn The Ship Around! How To Create Leadership at Every Level”
 
I present to you Some Final Thoughts from Dr. Stephen R. Covey; the foreword to Turn the Ship Around! –

Foreword

by Dr. Stephen R. Covey

I had the opportunity to ride the USS Santa Fe during Captain Marquet’s command tour and observed firsthand the impact of his leadership approach. It had a profound impact on what I thought possible in terms of empowered and engaged workplaces.

I had been training U.S. Navy officers in leadership during the dot.com era, when I started hearing about something really special happening on a submarine in Hawaii. When an opportunity arose to ride the USS Santa Fe I jumped at. I embarked on Captain Marquet’s submarine to see what the buzz was about. Never before had I observed such empowerment. We stood on the bridge of this multibillion-dollar nuclear submarine in the crystal clear waters off of Lahaina, Maui, moving silently along the surface of the water. Shortly after getting underway, a young officer approached the captain and said, “Sir, I intend to take this ship down 400 feet.” Captain Marquet asked about the sonar contacts and bottom depth and then instructed this young man to give us another few minutes on the bridge before carrying out his intention.

Throughout the day, people approached the captain intending to do this or do that. The captain would sometimes ask a question or two, and then say, “Very well.” He reserved only the tip of the iceberg type decisions for his own confirmation. The great mass of the iceberg – the other 95 percent of the decisions – were being made without any involvement or confirmation by the captain whatsoever. Wherever I went on the submarine, the control room, the torpedo room, even the galley where they were preparing lunch, I witnessed a dispersed intensity of operations I hadn’t expected. The crew was amazingly involved and there was a constant low-level chatter of sharing information.

I can’t say I actually saw the captain give an order.

I asked David how he achieved this turnabout. He said he wanted to empower his people as far as he possibly could within the Navy’s confines, and maybe a little bit more. There was a mischievous twinkle in his eye when he told me that. He felt if he required them to own the problem and the solution to it, they would begin to view themselves as a vitally important link in the chain of command. He created a culture where those sailors had a real sense of adding value. But that answer only makes clear his objective, not what it actually takes – from the top man in the organization and everyone else – to accomplish this.

How do you create such an organization? What does it take?

The answer is in this book.

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THIS BOOK

First of all, this is a great story, one of self-discovery, tension, and the lonely self-doubts of the leader who sets off on an unknown path. We know now that Captain Marquet’s experiment on Santa Fe was wildly successful, but at the time, neither he nor the courageous crew who embraced this new way of running an organization, knew if it would work.

Second, the book provides the specific mechanisms they used on Santa Fe to achieve the transformation. We learn what they did, how the crew reacted – good or bad – and how the mechanisms matured with time. The good news is that these mechanisms are about how we interact as people, and are universally applicable. You can apply them in your organization – business, school, government, and family.

Third, the book presents a comprehensive paradigm shift for how we think about leadership. Captain Marquet has coined the phrase “leader-leader” to differentiate from the leader-follower approach traditional leadership models have espoused. I think that laying out this distinction in such opposing terms is a good idea. Having personally witnessed how Santa Fe operated, I can attest that this new way is not a nuanced modification of how we are doing business now – it is fundamentally different, and that is where its power lies.

WHY YOU WANT TO READ THIS BOOK

No matter where you are in your company’s organization chart, you’ll want to read this book. People at the top will learn how they can release the passion, intellect, and energy of those below them. They may be unwittingly behaving and taking actions that work against those goals.

People on the front lines will also find ways to embrace decision-making and make it easier for bosses to let go of control.

We are in the middle in one of the most profound shifts in human history, where the primary work of mankind is moving from the Industrial Age of “control” to the Knowledge Worker Age of “release.” As Albert Einstein said, “The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.” They certainly won’t be solved by one person, even and especially the one “at the top.”

Our world’s bright future will be built by people who have discovered that leadership is the enabling art. It is the art of releasing human talent and potential. You may be able to “buy” a person’s back with a paycheck, position power, or fear, but a human being’s genius, passion, loyalty and tenacious creativity is volunteered only. The world’s greatest problems will be solved by passionate, unleashed “volunteers.”

My definition of leadership is this: Leadership is communicating to people their worth and potential so clearly that they are inspired to see it in themselves. I don’t know of a finer model of this kind of empowering leadership than Captain Marquet. And in the pages that follow you will find a model for your pathway

Remember, leadership is a choice, not a position. I wish you well on your voyage!

— Stephen R. Covey, Spring 2012

Learning from Stephen Covey aboard USS Santa Fe

 

*Reprinted with permission from “Turn The Ship Around!: How to Create Leadership at Every Level”, by L. David Marquet, 2012, Greenleaf Book Group Press, Austin, Texas. Copyright © 2012 by Louis David Marquet.

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Dr. Stephen Covey

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Related Articles –

What I Learned from Stephen Covey: Begin with the End in Mind (posted 18 July 2012) (leader-leader.com/blog)

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Pithy Points to Ponder (How Do You Motivate Your Employees?)

Posted in Leadership, Motivation with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 30, 2012 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

A few weeks ago, in the LinkedIn group Innovative Leadership & Change Management Expert Innovators NetworkBrandon W. Jones started a discussion entitled, How Do You Motivate Your Employees?.  Brandon had previously posted an article by the same name on his blog, and was using the LinkedIn group to get a variety of opinions.  Brandon attracted quite a few people, including me, to express their thoughts on the topic of motivation.  I commented on this discussion post in the LinkedIn group, and I wanted to share my pithy point to ponder about motivation with you in this post; to get your opinions and thoughts.

At the end of this post is an absolute goldmine of articles and resources about motivation.  I encourage you to dive into this information, especially if you are interested in further study and research on the subject of employee motivation.  Also, I want to hear what you have to say about motivation and motivating people.  What has worked for you?  Please share your comments in the section provided, at the end of this post.

This post begins a series on the topic of motivation in both the military and corporate environments.

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My Pithy Point to Ponder

Leaders cannot motivate.  Leaders can only provide the positive environment to enable one to be motivated.  Motivation is an internal function of each person.  One can only motivate themselves, given the right circumstances and situation within their environment.  One can only be motivated to do something if they themselves want to do what needs to be done.  Fear, intimidation, and even incentives may not be enough. Internal stress and pressure, or on a positive scale, self-fulfillment, emotional satisfaction and success will be the stimulants and drivers to one’s motivation.

Dale Richard Wilson, Sr.

Blogger @ Command Performance Leadership

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Motivation

In my research for this post, I came across a great article on this topic entitled, “How to motivate employees: What managers need to know,” in Psychology Today.  I think it pins this subject down very well:

How many management articles, books, speeches and workshops have pleaded plaintively, “How do I get employees to do what I want?”  Motivating people to do their best work, consistently, has been an enduring challenge for executives and managers. Even understanding what constitutes human motivation has been a centuries old puzzle, addressed as far back as Aristotle…

…The things that make people satisfied and motivated on the job are different in kind from the things that make them dissatisfied. Ask workers what makes them unhappy at work, and you’ll hear them talk about insufficient pay or an uncomfortable work environment, or “stupid” regulations and policies that are restraining or the lack of job flexibility and freedom. So environmental factors can be demotivating…

…It turns out that people are motivated by interesting work, challenge, and increasing responsibility–intrinsic factors. People have a deep-seated need for growth and achievement…the focus on motivation remained the “carrot-and-stick” approach, or external motivators…

…What do we mean by motivation? It’s been defined as a predisposition to behave in a purposeful manner to achieve specific, unmet needs and the will to achieve, and the inner force that drives individuals to accomplish personal and organizational goals. And why do we need motivated employees? The answer is survival…

John Baldoni, author of “Great Motivation Secrets of Great Leaders,” concluded that motivation comes from wanting to do something of one’s own free will, and that motivation is simply leadership behavior–wanting to do what is right for people and the organization…

…In the July, 2008 issue of the Harvard Business Review, authors Nitin Nohria, Boris Groysberg and Linda-Eling Lee describe a new model of employee motivation. They outline the four fundamental emotional drives that underlie motivation:

1)      The drive to acquire (the acquisition of scarce material things, including financial compensation, to feel better)

2)      the drive to bond (developing strong bonds of love, caring and belonging)

3)      the drive to comprehend (to make sense of our world so we can take the right actions)

4)      the drive to defend (defending our property, ourselves and our accomplishments)…

…In his…book, “Drive,” Daniel Pink, author of “A Whole New Mind,” describes what he says is “the surprising truth” about what motivates us. Pink says that true motivation boils down to three elements: Autonomy, the desire to direct our own lives; mastery, the desire to continually improve at something that matters to us, and purpose, the desire to do things in service of something larger than ourselves. Pink…warns that the traditional “command-and-control” management methods in which organizations use money as a contingent reward for a task, are not only ineffective as motivators, but actually harmful… (see also “Dan Pink: The surprising science of motivation,” a TED Talks presentation)

…Joseph Le Doux, in his book, “Human Emotions: A Reader,” describes new recent brain research that has shown that emotions are the driver for decision-making, which includes aspects of motivation…

*Source – “How to Motivate Employees — What Managers Need to Know” – Published on February 13, 2010 by Ray Williams in Wired for Success – Accessed 30 July 2012 – Psychology Today – http://www.psychologytoday.com/

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Another brief and accurate summary about motivation:

“Different people are motivated by different things. I may be greatly motivated by earning time away from my job to spend more time my family. You might be motivated much more by recognition of a job well done. People are not motivated by the same things. Again, a key goal is to understand what motivates each of your employees.”

Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, from the answer to myth #4 inClearing Up Common Myths About Employee Motivation

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Since Brandon ignited this discussion, inspiring me to write this post, I wanted to provide Brandon full attribution by listing his various online resources and social media outlets:

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/brandonwjones

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BrandonWJones1

Blog: http://brandonwjones.me/ and “Leadership Done Right” at http://leadershipdoneright.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LeadershipDoneRight

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/brandonwjones2

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/brandonwjones/

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Related Articles –

**HIGHLY RECOMMENDED** Motivating Employees (wsj.com)

**HIGHLY RECOMMENDED** Helping People to Motivate Themselves and Others (managementhelp.org) – From the Free Management Library, you can absolutely get lost in this website with the articles and resources available on the topic of motivation.  I encourage and challenge you to do just that.

Motivating Employees (inc.com) – Great collection of articles about motivation and motivating employees.

Motivation and Retention (entrepreneur.com) – Another good collection of articles about motivation (and retention).

Employee Motivation, Morale, Recognition, Rewards, Retention (humanresources.about.com) – An endless list of links to articles and resources from the Human Resources site on About.com.

Motivating Your Staff in a Time of Change – Want to Know What’s Most Important About Motivating Employees? (humanresources.about.com)

5 Ways to Keep Your Employees Motivated Without Breaking the Bank (forbes.com)

7 Tips for Motivating Employees (inc.com)

The Open Secret To Motivating Employees

20 Ways to Motivate Your Employees Without Raising Their Pay (biztrain.com)

Why Motivation Works … And When (kumardeepak.wordpress.com)

What’s Behind Human Motivation? Leadership Book Review: Meet Your Happy Chemicals by Loretta Breuning (davidmarquet.com)

Thursday’s reads: how to motivate people (has links to four articles on motivation) (davidmarquet.com)

How Do You Motivate in a Community Organization? (davidmarquet.com)

Posts from the ‘Motivation’ Category – Page 1 & Page 2 of Steve Keating’s LeadToday blog

16 Ways to Motivate Employees and to Celebrate Their Successes (majorium.wordpress.com)

Leaders: It’s Not All About the Money (linked2leadership.com)

How Much Money Would It Take To Be Unhappy? (managebetternow.com)

Quote of the Day By General John A. Lejeune

Posted in Leadership, Quote of the Day with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 21, 2012 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

13th Commandant of the Marine Corps
(1867 – 1942)

“Leadership is the sum of those qualities of intellect, human understanding, and moral character that enables a person to inspire and control a group of people successfully.”

Lieutenant General John A. Lejeune

EGA

 

Congratulations, You’ve Graduated College! Now What?

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 15, 2012 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

Larry Winget, author of Shut Up, Stop Whining, And Get A Life, appeared on Fox & Friends this morning (Tuesday, May 15).  He gave the following speech:

Congratulations on earning your degree. But the truth is that the degree alone isn’t going to be enough to assure your success in the real world.

In the real world employers don’t care much about your degree, your happiness, your income or really much of anything that has to do with you. They care about what you can do for them. And from this point on, that’s how you have to think. Businesses exist to be profitable. It is your job to help make them profitable. If you know how to do that, how to be worth more than you cost, then you have value in the workplace. If you don’t know how to be worth more than you cost, then employers will pass you over and find someone else.

Look at what it really takes to be successful in the real world.

You have to take responsibility. Your life, your results, your success, happiness, health and prosperity are up to you. When it turns out well, you get the credit and when it doesn’t work out the way you wanted it to, you get the blame. It isn’t up to anyone else to make sure you are successful, it’s always up to you, so be responsible.

Others. Respect your employer enough to be on time and give them your personal best every day because that is what they are paying for. Respect your boss, even when you think he is an idiot because he is still your boss and deserves your respect. Respect your coworkers so they will respect you and your customers because they pay you.

Clear priorities. Your time, your energy and your money will always go to what is important to you. If looking cute is important to you then you will spend all of your money at the mall. If being financially secure is important to you then you will make sure that you save, invest and live on less than you earn.

It’s about work and excellence. Regardless of what others may tell you, it’s not about your passion — as I know people who are passionately incompetent. It’s not loving what you do or being happy every day. You aren’t paid to be happy on the job, you are paid to do your job. Success always comes down to hard work and excellence. And it takes both. Hard work alone won’t cut it. I know people who work really hard yet aren’t any good at what they do so it doesn’t matter. And I know people who are excellent at what they do but they don’t work hard enough at it to make any difference.

So work hard and be excellent at what you do. And remember, if any one can do it then anyone can do it.

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PDF Transcript: http://larrywinget.com/pdf/2012-graduates.pdf

In addition to the YouTube video above, you can see the video of Larry Winget’s speech, please go HERE.  And, another source for this video can be found HERE.

Larry WingetLarry Winget is a five-time New York Times/Wall Street Journal bestselling author. He is a member of the International Speaker Hall Of Fame. He has starred in his own television series and appeared in national television commercials. Larry is a regular contributor on many news shows on the topics of money, personal success and business.

Text Source –

Larry Winget’s Advice for Grads – By Larry Winget – Published May 15, 2012 – http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/fox-friends/transcript/larry-wingets-advice-grads – Accessed 15 May 2012 – Fox & Friends – Fox News – http://www.foxnews.com/

Video Sources –

Larry Winget’s Advice for Grads – Fox & Friends – Posted May 15, 2012 – http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/fox-friends/index.html#/v/1640428610001/larry-wingets-advice-for-grads/?playlist_id=86912 – Accessed 15 May 2012 – http://www.foxnews.com/

Conservative Author Gives Least Inspirational Graduation Speech Ever On Fox & Friends – By Noah Rothman – Posted May 15, 2012 (9:34am) – Mediaite TV – http://www.mediaite.com/tv/conservative-author-gives-least-inspirational-graduation-speech-ever-on-fox-friends/ – Accessed 15 May 2012 – Mediaite – http://www.mediaite.com/

Commemorating The Success of SEAL Team 6 One Year Later

Posted in Miscellaneous, Quote of the Day with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 1, 2012 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

Quotes of the Day Dedicated to Navy SEAL Team SIX and their Successful Mission on May 1, 2011 to Kill Osama Bin Laden

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“Let your plans be dark and as impenetratable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.”

“Kill one, terrify a thousand.”

– Sun Tzu, The Art of War

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“We want to be in a situation under maximum pressure, maximum intensity, and maximum danger.  When it’s shared with others, it provides a bond which is stronger than any tie that can exist.”

– SEAL Team SIX Officer

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“Even in great pain, faced with the test of their lives, they had the ability to step-outside their own pain, put aside their own fear and ask: How can I help the guy next to me?  They had more than ‘fist’ of courage and physical strength.  They also had a heart large enough to think about others, to dedicate themselves to a higher Purpose.[i]

– Eric Greitens, author of “The Heart and the Fist – The Education of a Humanitarian, The Making of a Navy SEAL,” discussing BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL) Training

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Footnote –

[i]Leadership Secrets from a Navy SEAL” – By August Turak – Posted 9/16/2011 – http://www.forbes.com/sites/augustturak/2011/09/16/leadership-secrets-from-a-navy-seal/ – Accessed 1 May 2012 – Forbes Online – http://www.forbes.com/

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For those who are visiting from the blog Lean Leadership looking for the Chief Tecumseh post, please click HERE – “Chief Tecumseh’s Words of Wisdom (from Act of Valor)”.

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Related Posts on Command Performance Leadership

The True Undercover Boss

Act of Valor (Navy SEALs – Sea, Air, Land…Hollywood)

 

Inspirational Wisdom from a War-Hardened Marine Corps Officer

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , on March 21, 2012 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

“I like Marines, because being a Marine is serious business.  We’re not a social club or a fraternal organization and we don’t pretend to be one.  We’re a brotherhood of “Warriors” – Nothing more, nothing less, pure and simple.  We are in the ass-kicking business, and unfortunately, these days business is good.”

Colonel James M. Lowe, Commander, Marine Corps Base Quantico, 2004

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Marine Corps officers are straight shooters; especially the old, salty ones.  They’re straight shooters with their rifles and with their mouth.  We can learn a lot about leadership, integrity, honor and courage, among other valuable topics, from Marines and Marine Corps officers.

As I was researching for some inspiring Marine Corps messages and quotations, I stumbled on a speech presented by Colonel James M. Lowe, former Commander of the Marine Corps base in Quantico, Virginia.  I could not find very much biographical information about Colonel Lowe.  However, I did find the following:

Colonel James M. Lowe

Colonel James M. Lowe

Colonel James M. Lowe was commissioned a second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps in 1976 through the NROTC program upon graduation from the University of South Carolina.  Col. Lowe embarked on an illustrious military career during which, among varied assignments, he served as an Infantry Officer with the 3rd Marine Division, 2nd Battalion, 4, in Okinawa, Japan; was a Series Officer and Personnel Officer at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina; completed a tour of duty in Beirut, Lebanon with the Multi-National Peacekeeping Force; and was assigned to Special Operations Command-Europe in Stuttgart, Germany.  Col. Lowe earned personal awards including the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with Gold Star, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with Gold Star.  Col. Lowe assumed his duties as Base Commander, Marine Corps Base, Quantico, on August 22, 2003.  Col. Lowe, now retired, made eight Marine expeditionary unit deployments, served with the Special Operations Command, and undergone every level of professional military education possible to hone his warfighting skills.

In this speech, Col. Lowe presents his insights and experiences as a leader of Marines during his 28-year career.  The speech was delivered at The Basic School at Marine Corps Base Quantico, and was dubbed the ‘Mess Night’ speech to Charlie Company at a formal ‘dining in’ event.  Through my research of this speech, I could not find the actual date it was delivered, although it appears it may have been delivered late last year.  Regardless of when Col. Lowe delivered this speech, his words and wisdom is timeless.

There are various sources for the transcript of this speech; sources that are also good blog spots on the web.  I present a few of them at the end of this post.  What I wanted to do here is present some poignant highlights of the speech that will both inspire you and fire you up; no matter if you are a Marine or not.  You can find the entire transcript of the speech via Marine Corps Web Log, as well as other links listed at the end of this post.  Please note that what I have summarized below are pieced-together excerpts from the speech.

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“Basically, I was told to talk about what I have learned over the last 28 years of leading Marines. Well, I have only learned eight things, and it will only take me about 60 seconds to share them with you.

Now that I think of it, if I had been invited to speak to you the day Charlie Company formed up, I could have probably saved you six months of TBS training.

I thought I would get this structured portion out of the way up front so I could talk about anything I want to, so here goes.

1. Seek brilliance in the basics, always do the right thing, and have a plan to kill everyone you meet.

2. If you are riding at the head of the herd, look back every now and then and make sure it is still there.

3. Never enter an hour-long firefight with 5 minutes of ammo.

4. This one is really important for all of you born North of Washington, DC. Never, never kick a cow chip on a hot day.

5. If you’re not shooting, and I can see by your marksmanship badges that some of you are challenged in this area, you better be communicating or reloading for another Marine.

6. There are three types of leaders. Those who learn from reading, those who learn from observation, and those who still have to touch the electric fence to get the message.

7. Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice. Ammo is cheap.

8. And finally, you might want to write this one down: Never slap a grown man who has a mouth full of chewing tobacco

I have a few minutes left; so let’s talk about something I like…Marines. Up front, let me tell you how much I admire you. Why is that? Unlike the vast majority of your fellow citizens, you stepped forward and committed yourself to a greater cause without concern for your personal safety or comfort. And you did it knowing that you would gain nothing in return. Except the honor and cherished privilege of earning the title of “Marine Officer”.

Individually, you are as different as apples and oranges, but you are linked for eternity by the title “Marine” and the fact that you are part of the finest fighting force that has ever existed in history.

If you haven’t picked up on it, I like being a Marine and I like being around Marines.

So what is it that I like about Marines? This is the easy part!

I like the fact that you always know where you stand with a Marine! With Marines, there is no middle ground or gray area. There are only missions, objectives and facts.

I like the fact that if you are a self-declared enemy of America, that running into a Marine outfit in combat is your worst nightmare, and that your health record is about to get a lot thicker or be closed out entirely!

I like the fact that Marines are steadfast and consistent in everything they do. Regardless of whether you agree with them or not; that Marines hold the term “politically correct” with nothing but pure disdain; that Marines stand tall and rigid in their actions, thoughts and deeds when others bend with the direction of the wind and are as confused as a dog looking at a ceiling fan!

I like the fact that each and every Marine considers the honor and legacy of the Corps as his personal and sacred trust to protect and defend.

I like the fact that most civilians don’t have a clue what makes us tick! And that’s not a bad thing. Because if they did, it would scare the hell out of them!

I like the fact that others say they want to be like us, but don’t have what it takes in the “pain-gain-pride” department to make it happen.

I like the fact that the Marines came into being in a bar, Tun Tavern, and that Marines still gather in pubs, bars and slop chutes to share sea stories and hot scoop.

I like our motto: Semper Fidelis, and the fact that we don’t shed it when the going gets tough, the battlefield gets deadly or when we hang up our uniform for the last time.

I like the fact that Marines take care of each other. In combat and in time of peace.

I like the fact that Marines consider the term “Marines take care of their own” as meaning we will give up our very life for our fellow Marines, if necessary.

I like the fact that Marines know the difference between “chicken salad” and “chicken shit” and aren’t afraid to call either for what it is!

I like the fact that Marines have never failed the people of America and that we don’t use the words “can’t”, “retreat”, or “lose”.

I like the fact that the people of America hold Marines in the highest esteem and that they know that they can count on us to locate, close with and destroy those who would harm them! I like Marines. And being around Marines.

I like the fact that a couple of years ago an elected member of congress felt compelled to publicly accuse the Marine Corps of being “radical and extreme”. I like the fact that our Commandant informed that member of congress that he was absolutely correct and that he passed on his thanks for the compliment.

I like the fact that Marine leaders — of every rank— know that issuing every man and woman a black beret — or polka-dotted boxer shorts for that matter— does absolutely nothing to promote morale, fighting spirit or combat effectiveness.

I like the fact that Marines are Marines first. Regardless of age, race, creed, color, sex, national origin or how long they served or what goals they achieve in life!

Here is one thing I have learned for sure over the last 28 years. The years fly by, names change, the weapons and the gear change, political leaders and agendas change, national priorities and budgets change, the threats to our nation change. But through it all, there is one abiding constant —- the basic issue, do-or-die Marine.

He or she will do damn near anything asked, under terrible conditions, with better results and fewer complaints than any civilized human being should have reason to expect. And we, who have the privilege of serving them and leading them, make our plans and execute crucial missions based primarily on one fact of life. That the basic Marine will not fail his country, his Corps and his fellow Marines. That they will overcome any threat. If allowed to do so.

Think about that and remember that for 228 years it has worked and it has kept the wolf away from America’s door. I like Marines, because being a Marine is serious business. We’re not a social club or a fraternal organization and we don’t pretend to be. We’re a brotherhood of “warriors” — nothing more, nothing less, pure and simple.

We are in the ass-kicking business, and unfortunately, these days business is good. But don’t worry about that. What you need to remember is that the mere association of the word “Marine” with a crisis is an automatic source of confidence to America, and encouragement to all nations who stand with us. As Marines, our message to our foes has always been essentially the same. “We own this side of the street! Threaten my country or our allies and we will come over to your side of the street, burn your hut down, and whisper in your ear “can you hear me now?” And then secure your heartbeat.

Regardless of what MOS (Military Occupational Specialty code) you now have, if you don’t already know it, being a leader of Marines is about as much fun as you can legally have with your clothes on! And that’s true regardless if you are a grunt, datadink, sparkchaser, stewburner, wiredog, buttplate, remington raider, rotorhead, legal beagle, fast stick, cannon cocker, track head, skivvie stacker, dual fool or a boxkicker. And if you don’t believe it you will! Trust me!

Why is that? Because each of us fought to gain the coveted title “Marine”, it wasn’t given to us. We earned it. And on the day we finally became Marines, an eternal flame of devotion and fierce pride was ignited in our souls.

You have some challenging times and emotional events ahead of you. I am not talking about tomorrow morning’s headache. I am talking about the fact that the world is a dangerous place and as leaders of Marines, you will be walking point on world events.

Make sure you keep that flame that I mentioned earlier burning brightly. It will keep you warm when times are hard. It will provide light in the darkest of nights. Use it and draw strength from it, as generations of leathernecks have done since our beginning.

For those of you who are wondering, “Am I up to it?” forget it. You will be magnificent, just as Marine officers always have been. I realize that many of your young Marines are going to be “been there, done that” warriors and that they will wear the decorations to prove it. But you need to know, that they respect you and admire you. You need to know that they want and need your leadership. All you have to do is never fail them in this regard and everything will turn out great. Hold up your end of the bargain and they will not fail.

Long live the United States. And success to the Marine Corps!”

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Related Articles –

*Some very good USMC blogs and sites*

Col. Mike Lowe’s Mess Night Speech (usmc81.com)

Col. Mike Lowe’s Speech at Quantico (grunt.com)

Colonel Mike Lowe’s Mess Night Speech at Charlie Company TBS (onemarinesview.com)

Long Live the United States.  And Success to the Marine Corps (leadingmarines.com)

Long Ago and Far Away I was in a “Charlie Company” at TBS Quantico (v4asa.org/v4ablog)

Long Live the United States.  And Success to the Marine Corps – Colonel Mike Lowe’s Mess Night Speech at Charlie Company TBS via  Maritime Expeditionary Security Squadron 11 Det Foxtrot on Facebook

Some Spiritual Leadership from General George S. Patton, Jr.

Posted in Leadership, Quote of the Day with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 20, 2012 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

Here is a timeless quote from one of the greatest Generals in history, General George S. Patton, Jr.:

General George S. Patton Jr., U.S. Army General, 1940s Premium Poster“Urge all of your men to pray, not alone in church, but everywhere.  Pray when driving.  Pray when fighting.  Pray alone.  Pray with others, Pray by night and pray by day.  Pray for the cessation of immoderate rains, for good weather for battle.  Pray for the defeat of our wicked enemy whose banner is injustice and whose good is oppression.  Pray for victory.  Pray for our Army, and pray for peace.  We must march together, all out for God.”

George S. Patton, Jr.

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