Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A willingness to be alone - Former SECNAV John Dalton

"Character is the ability to place the needs of our Nation, our Navy, and our subordinates above our own personal desires. In this, character is good leadership, both by direction and by example.

What causes our Sailors and Marine to follow us into the danger of potential combat? What motivates them to stand a tough watch and work long hours? What inspires them to give their very best?

It's the trust and respect that our Sailors and Marines hold for those who lead them. It's the knowledge that naval leaders are looking after the best interests of their Sailors and Marines.

A leader stands for something…and that something is character. People choose to follow because they believe that that individual, that leader has the personal principles to make the right choice, the ethical choice when it comes to making a tough decision.

It requires courage to have character. It requires courage to admit mistakes and then take action to correct them. It takes courage to say "no" when it seems like everyone else in the crowd pretends not to notice, or worse yet, appears tolerant of immoral behavior--or a bad decision.

That's what it really takes to be a leader--a willingness to be alone while standing for something."

- Former Secretary of the Navy John Dalton

Captain Edward H. Deets III, (then) Commanding Officer, Center for Naval Cryptology, Corry Station, reminded us of former Secretary of the Navy John Dalton's important words about 'character and leadership' in his address to the Naval Cryptologic Veterans Association Spring Breakout - February 2003

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