The Essence of Leadership
by Mac Anderson
Back in 2003, Charlie Gibson was interviewing General Earl Hailston, the commanding general of Marine Forces Central Command.
The general was waiting for his troops just a few miles off the border of Iraq…waiting to go to war.
Toward the end of the interview, Charlie asked him if he had any hobbies.
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 took photos of his men, and at night he would email the photos with a brief note to their mothers back in the USA.
Charlie 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 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
Charlie randomly interviewed a few of General Hailston’s men, and without exception, 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, kindness and leadership is all about.
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