United States Naval Academy Commencement AddressAs Delivered by Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, Annapolis, Maryland, Friday, May 27, 2011
Monday, October 24, 2011
Essential Qualities of Leadership - Choose the 'hard right' versus the 'easy wrong'
“Another essential quality of leadership is integrity. Without this, real leadership is not possible. Nowadays, it seems like integrity – or honor or character – is kind of quaint, a curious, old-fashioned notion. We read of too many successful and intelligent people in and out of government who succumb to the easy wrong rather than the hard right – whether from inattention or a sense of entitlement, the notion that rules are not for them. But for a real leader, personal virtues – self-reliance, self control, honor, truthfulness, morality – are absolute. These are the building blocks of character, of integrity – and only on that foundation can real leadership be built."