Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Impossible?



"Don't say it's impossible! Turn your command over to the next officer. If he can't do it, I'll find someone who can, even if I have to take him from the ranks!"

General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson

5 comments:

General Quarters said...

In three sentences, General Jackson summarizes the entire wartime senior officer selection process.

Anonymous said...

Who on the war and what side did Stonewall Jackson fight on?

Reality is a stubborn thing

Ready Room Randy said...

anon 11:39 AM,

What's your point?

Rubber Ducky said...

Jackson was inflexible, a harsh man, a bit weird in his personal conduct, and constantly at war with his subordinates, many of whom he took to courts martial. His military record was great, but not universally so (Seven Days Battle was not his best hour). His death (returning to his own lines) was the beginning of the end for Lee and the Confederacy; Lee was starting to run out of generals.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the typo, it would appear that my left hand was not responding to my direction. What I meant to write was “who won the war?” My point is that veneration of the generals on the losing side of the conflict is misplaced in my opinion. The aura surrounding these individuals was rooted as a political security blanket of the southern states following the conflict. The southern generals made horrible tactical and strategic decisions (Pickett’s charge for example) that would have annihilated the reputation of any Union general, yet Gen. Lee was placed on a pedestal. As to the quote in question, asking the truly impossible from your subordinates does not make a great leader in my opinion. Convincing your subordinates that they have the ability to rise above their own self limitations is what separates a good leader from a great leader. As the quote goes, a leader is a purveyor of hope. “Leading” through fear does not make a great leader.