Friday, March 16, 2012

Leaving a Leadership Legacy - Marshall, Courage

General George C. Marshall
General George C. Marshall believed that "only by embracing candor, selflessness, commitment, integrity and courage can a leader achieve the goals of effective leadership."

In George C. Marshall Foundation's "George C. Marshall: Legacy of Leadership: Chapter 6 - Courage" we see Marshall face one of his biggest leadership challenges: individuals accusing him of being a part of the communist revolution.

Morale Courage (Taken from Leading in the Wildland Fire Service, page 63.)

Wildland fire leaders demonstrate moral courage by adhering to high ethical standards and choosing the difficult right over the easy wrong. We avoid ethical dilemmas by directing team members to operate in ways that are consistent with our professional standards and by directing them only to actions they can achieve ethically.

When we make mistakes, we handle them in honorable and effective ways, fixing the immediate problem then searching for root causes, not scapegoats, learning and improving, looking for ways to turn weaknesses into strengths.

An outgrowth of strong character, moral courage enables us to build trust with our teams and gain respect from peers. Although some may judge that leading ethically compromises short-term gains, leading ethically allows us to accomplish more than our mission.

Because the consequences of ethical decisions can be great and those who make such decisions may be asked later to justify their conclusion, following a careful and thorough process is a wise approach in situations with ambiguous courses of action. The values of duty, respect, and integrity should weigh heavily in any ethical decision.

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