(Article below written and submitted by Bill Villont, President of Bright Horizons Rotary Club in Belvidere)

*Reprinted from the book “The Essence of Leadership” by Mac Anderson, founder of Successories.)

“Recently I began reading books from Simple Truths by Mac Anderson. He writes simple but powerful articles on many different aspects of life. My latest book is on leadership. ‘The Essence of Leadership’ was the title. I would like to share one of the short chapters with you about leadership that describes my principles in many ways. Here is the reprint from “The Essence of Leadership” by Mac Anderson:

*On March 5, 2003, I turned on Good Morning, America while eating breakfast. Charles Gibson was interviewing General Earl Hailston, the commanding general of Marine Forces Central Command. The general was waiting with his troops just a few miles off the border of Iraq…waiting to go to war. General Hailston is the only general in the armed forces who had enlisted and came up through the ranks, and as he spoke, I was impressed by his humble and caring attitude.

Toward the end of the interview, his answer to a question touched me deeply. When Charles asked him if he had any hobbies outside his work, the general said, “Yes, I love photography, especially taking photos of my men.” He shared that while he had been waiting for the past few days he would take photos of his men, and at night he would email the photos with a brief note to their mothers back in the USA. Charles asked if he could see a sample of a letter, and the general walked into his tent, turned on his computer, and read the last letter he had sent. It said:

Dear Mrs. Johnson,

I thought you might enjoy seeing this picture of your son. He is doing great. I also wanted you to know that you did a wonderful job of raising him. You must be very proud. I can certainly tell you that I’m honored to serve with him in the U.S. Marines.   General Earl Hailston

Wow! I had goose bumps as I watched. I then watched Charles randomly interview a few of General Hailston’s men. You could feel the genuine love and respect that every one of them had for their leader. You may have heard the quote… “They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Well, here’s a man who truly understood what caring leadership is all about”.

As a student of leadership I invite you to share your views on this example of leadership.

About Dilip

An open mind! Love to share my thoughts and a keenness to learn. An engineer and a MBA I had a wonderful innings in the Army and later moved to consultancy and teaching. My current interests are music and growing culinary herbs. Love to play golf and do yoga regularly. I am serious on "Living life less seriously". A warm welcome to you be well and be cheerful always.

5 responses

  1. Penha Santos says:

    The leadership is our inspiration for going ahead in life. When we were child somebody inspired us, father, mother, uncle, aunt, brothers, among others. In the first job somebody gave us the inspiration (or not). We have been researching about leadership in Brazil and we have realized that people who have had good inspirational person to follow in their lives, (personal, professional ways, etc) have got better position in their jobs. Therefore as a professional I hope I have been inspiring my employees as much as I inspire my students and I hope they can be good leaders by doing the right and ethic things.


    • Dilip says:

      Hello Prof. Penha,

      Its wonderful to know that research on Leadership in Brazil has come to a conclusion that ‘inspirational leadership’ is vital for success. Yes leaders must set an example themselves in being ethical at all times only then can he expect total employee commitment and loyalty.

      Brazil is great country on a growth trajectory and all the best companies in the world want to participate in business. Lots to learn about the success of your country. Me and my readers and students will be happy to hear more from you.

      Thank you very much for sharing your views!


  2. Santosh Kr. Singh (ASOM,B) says:

    Leadership is a quality to lead people. But it should start from it self. The followers follow leaders by his attitude,integrity,confidence,values and behave with others. Leader always live one step ahead from their followers. But they should not take decisions by being autocratic. Because each and every person has leadership qualities and all have right to give their views.
    These days there is a war to become a leader but become a leader is not an easy job. Because a leader should have moral values & ethics. Which they should maintain in their personal and professional life.


  3. Lalit Verma says:

    I don’t have any Idea about the size of General Earl Hailston troops, as we know that when someone has to take care of small group then he can focus on it very well, but as the size grows up the focus keeps on decreasing.
    Still its a great work my General Earl Hailston because in such a situation it is very difficult to concentrate on such beautiful things.
    He has good Leadership qualities and I Salute General Earl Hailston.


  4. niharikag says:

    “They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”
    – Thanks for the quote and your comments on my blog.
    I’ve often seen such acts from my father, who is also a role model, and who was the first one to teach me about being a leader and leadership.