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Monday, July 25, 2011

Colin Powell on leadership

Lesson 1:  "Being responsible sometimes means making people mad."

Good leadership involves responsibility to the welfare of the group, which means that some people will get angry at your actions and decisions.  It's inevitable, if you're honorable.  Trying to get everyone to like you is a sign of mediocrity:  you'll avoid the tough decisions, you'll avoid confronting the people who need to be confronted, and you'll avoid offering differential rewards based on differential performance because some people might get upset.  Ironically, by procrastinating on the difficult choices, by trying not to get anyone mad, and by treating everyone equally "nicely" regardless of their contributions, you'll simply ensure that the only people you'll wind up angering are the most creative and productive people in the organization.

General Colin Powell, Chairman (Ret.) Joint Chiefs of Staff

12 comments:

Chris said...

By attempting to redistribute income, regardless of their contribution, you'll simply ensure that the only people you'll wind up angering are the most creative and productive people in the country.

Anonymous said...

Do you mean those creative and productive investment bankers who brought us credit default swaps?

I can live with angering them.

rcorum said...

I think it is a shame that General Powell was not our first African-American President.

Chris said...

Colin Powell endorsed Obama which would make his judgement highly suspect.

Anonymous said...

Chris:

Guilt by association is a type of ad hominem fallacy, if the argument attacks a person because of the similarity between the views of someone making an argument and other proponents of the argument.

This form of the argument is as follows:

A makes a claim of P's status.
B also makes a claim of P's status.
Therefore, P is guilty by association.

Example: Alice believes in a theory. Bob and Carol believe in the same theory. Therefore, Alice is just like Bob and Carol.

Fox News notwithstanding, Chris, guilt by association is a logical fallacy. Please advance an actual rational argument or ... be quiet.

Chris said...

Have you not heard of the ad hominem fallacy fallacy? Throwing around an impressive Latin sounding term does not give anyone an edge in an argument.

If one endorses a person, they must of necessity agree with at least a good bit of his policies.

Anonymous said...

No, Chris, Latin does not give one an edge in an argument. Having an argument gives one an edge in an argument.

Since, without an express afirmation, one cannot know which 'good bit' of the other's policies the endorser agrees with, the endorsement tells you nothing. And if you have an express affirmation by the endorser of agreement with the policy, there is no need for inferences like guilt by association.

There are reasons for logical rules, Chris. They are not simply made up. Consult that brilliant conservative apologist, William Buckley, Jr., who at least played (mostly) by the rules.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:14, you're playing a fool's game. If the one condition for guilt by association is this contrived express affirmation concept, otherwise "the endorsement tells you nothing," why would anyone endorse any candidate without "express affirmation?"

Further, if some benefit is to be transferred from the endorser to the endorsee, whatever benefit may exist must be clear (enough) to some audience or voter. The very practice of endorsing is an effort to transfer something of value. We have no need to know precisely what that value is or represents. In fact, this value can be different for different audiences - thus a vague rather than explicit endorsement may garner much more support for the endorsee.

Your statement is nonsense. You simply do not understand politics.

Anonymous said...

I was talking about the rules of logic, not the rules of politics. Even the most casual observer will recognize the two bear little relationship to each other.

Anonymous said...

RE: "I was talking about the rules of logic, not the rules of politics. Even the most casual observer will recognize the two bear little relationship to each other."

So, anony-genious (11:02 AM), why did you invoke the rules of logic against Chris' comment about Powell's endorsement of Obama? You libs can't even play by your own contrived rules.

Ha!

Anonymous said...

I believe logic trumps politics, not the other way around. Your disagreement with this notion tells me tour a Republican.

Anonymous said...

Obseration indicates politics isn't always logical.