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05.31.10

General Douglas MacArthur's Principles of Leadership

General Alexander M. Haig, the former Secretary of State who served in SCAP (Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers) headquarters during the occupation of Japan and in Korea, recalls a story of MacArthur's style of leadership as a young Brigadier in World War I:
He was in the trenches with a unit that had to seize some ground and it was a very difficult task of leaping out of the trenches and charging through machine gun fire to the objective and said to the young officer in command, he said, "Young man, if you do this and you seize those enemy positions, I'm going to give you a Silver Star." And, the young fellow looked at him. He said, "No, come to think of it," he said, "I know you're going to do it," and he pinned the silver star on the young officer's chest and needless to say, that young fellow charged at extra speed to the objective at the other end. So, this was the kind of leadership that Douglas MacArthur exercised.
MacArthur's confidence was derived from the depth of his convictions. William Addleman Ganoe recalled in his 1962 book, MacArthur Close-up: An Unauthorized Portrait, his service to MacArthur at West Point. During World War II, he created a list of questions with General Jacob Devers, they called The MacArthur Tenets. They reflect the people-management traits he had observed in MacArthur. Widely applicable, he wrote, “I found all those who had no troubles from their charges, from General Sun Tzu in China long ago to George Eastman of Kodak fame, followed the same pattern almost to the letter."

Do I heckle my subordinates or strengthen and encourage them?
Do I use moral courage in getting rid of subordinates who have proven themselves beyond doubt to be unfit?
Have I done all in my power by encouragement, incentive and spur to salvage the weak and erring?
Do I know by NAME and CHARACTER a maximum number of subordinates for whom I am responsible? Do I know them intimately?
Am I thoroughly familiar with the technique, necessities, objectives and administration of my job?
Do I lose my temper at individuals?
Do I act in such a way as to make my subordinates WANT to follow me?
Do I delegate tasks that should be mine?
Do I arrogate everything to myself and delegate nothing?
Do I develop my subordinates by placing on each one as much responsibility as he can stand?
Am I interested in the personal welfare of each of my subordinates, as if he were a member of my family?
Have I the calmness of voice and manner to inspire confidence, or am I inclined to irascibility and excitability?
Am I a constant example to my subordinates in character, dress, deportment and courtesy?
Am I inclined to be nice to my superiors and mean to my subordinates?
Is my door open to my subordinates?
Do I think more of POSITION than JOB?
Do I correct a subordinate in the presence of others?

Posted by Michael McKinney at 09:27 AM
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