Leadership Development: Thirteen Mistakes
B rigadier General S.L.A. Marshall started out in life as a newspaperman, eventually working for the Detroit News. Upon America's entry into World War II, he was given a commission as a major and was assigned to the Army Historical Section. His studies of World War II combat began in the Pacific, where he covered the landings on Makin Island and Kwajalein. After a battle on Makin, he asked the survivors questions about their experience in combat, which he referred to as the "after-action interview." After his work in the Pacific, Marshall interviewed those who fought in Europe, becoming chief historian of the European Theater of Operations. His experience and the evidence he amassed provided the basis for his pioneering and most controversial book, Men Against Fire, which was published in 1947.
In his 1966 book, The Officer as a Leader he shared thirteen mistakes leaders should avoid that are worth considering:
- To attempt to set up your own standard of right and wrong.
- To try to measure the enjoyment of others by your own.
- To expect uniformity of opinions in the world.
- To fail to make allowance for inexperience.
- To endeavor to mold all dispositions alike.
- Not to yield on unimportant trifles.
- To look for perfection in our own actions.
- To worry ourselves and others about what can't be remedied.
- Not to help everybody wherever, however, whenever we can.
- To consider impossible what we cannot ourselves perform.
- To believe only what our finite minds can grasp.
- Not to make allowances for the weaknesses of others.
- To estimate by some outside quality, when it is that within which makes the man.
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