Leaders of men

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by hobbit, May 28, 2007.

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  1. History has many figures with reputations of good leadership be it in battle or politics when armed services and nations have been inspired to great achievements by their ' leader '. In the case of UK , Nelson and Churchill immediately spring to mind . Nelson I know only from the record of his brilliance at sea but Churchill was in action during my younger days when he lead and motivated UK through possible invasion and defeat by the Germans.
    Where are such leaders now ? Men or women who speak the truth and can be trusted . With words and action that make people proud of their national identity, respected and trusted by other countries , I remember my feeling of pride when I wore the blue suit . It seems such feeling is no longer experienced in many areas so when will good leaders be seen once again .
    At this time I don't know of one ' leader ' anywhere near the sort of man who inspired ' the Nelson touch ' certainly not in the Western nations or elsewhere .

  2. Dubya, Bliar, 2Shags,
  3. I suspect they are all in business these days. Back in Nelson's time military service was a good place for some one with poor prospects to shine and make serious money, especially the navy. Even Churchill chose politics because he felt he made more chance of making the sort of money he needed to live the way he wanted too. Yes he made his money not out of office but by writing and lecturing but his profile from politics ensured the success of his private enterprises.
  4. Bill Gates
  5. In recent years we have had the American Colin Powell and the Israeli Mosh Dyan. However in this 21st Century there is no-one of their ilk. When does Buck Rodgers thaw out?
  6. Two possible contenders for good leaders are both in business , Dick Smith , in Oz , he built an ' electronics ' empire from scratch despite a poor scholastic standard . Has done some good things since including a flight 'round the globe by chopper , a natural adventurer . I always admired Richard Branson in UK as he showed a similar flair and took on BA and won . Another adventurer even pushing into space . So what ? could be asked but these guys have what it takes I reckon and both stand out as individuals and good role models in many ways and yes I know RB has done time but many of the others should be ' inside ' too for far worse things , no names no pack-drill .
    Yes , Bill Gates and Colin Powell have ' it ' particularly BG . I often ponder about CP as I thought he was in line for President and he would have been a good un I reckon.
  7. Hobbit
    If Colin Powell had stood for president I am certain that we would not be in the situation that we are with Iraq.
  8. Agree, 100% . I believe he was , not for sale ' as most of them are . Big business ' buys ' most of 'em and after that it's strictly business to fill the ( personal ) coffers .
  9. What about Norman Schwarzkopf ? Did the biz in the Gulf: anyone know what he's doing now ? Haven't heard about him for yonks.
  10. I would agree with Powell in the list (he's nearly British, don't you know) but not so sure about Schwarzkopf. From that era, I'd certainly add de la Billière and, although the popular Media assassinated him, J Major. I would argue that Major was the last "straight" statesman we had. OK, cue all the bloody Curry jokes!

    I think we need to be clear on the difference between a good Manager and a good Leader.
  11. Got agree with both Colin Powell and Stormin Norman.
    I was in Saudi during GW1 - both these officers were very well respected by the Mid East nationals.
    Either of them could have gone for President - Hell, I'd have voted for either of them to be PM !!

  12. How about Col.Tim Collins? He certainly wasn't for sale either!
  13. not current affairs, but interesting story of perseverance despite academic failures.
    my grandad told me about a man who was well known around leeds when he was young, sadly i forget his name.

    this man had left school and was looking for work, after trying unsuccessfully with local employers he applied for a council job as a dustbin man. all turned him down because he was severly dylexic and couldnt read.
    he eventually managed to make some money by breaking apart his dads old car and selling the parts for scrap. after giving some of the profits back to his dad, he used the remainder to by another car and repeat the process, eventually making enough to open his own scrapyard. being a hard worker he eventually had a series of yards in and around leeds.

    he made a name for himself as a business man and was asked to give a speech at leeds town hall on how he had become so successful.
    he declined several times as he was a fairly quiet and shy person. but was eventually persuaded to talk to an audience. when he arrived at the town hall, his speech memorised, only to be handed an already prepared speech written for him by the event organisers. he explained that he couldnt use their speech because he couldnt read and didnt have time to memorise it. astonished, the organiser said "if youve been this successful, and you cant read, imagine what you could have accomplished if you could!"

    the man replied "actually, if i could read, id have been a dustbin man"

  14. You have to be careful not to confuse leadership with celebrity. Its a sad fact that leaders aren't fashionable that's why we don't hear about them. Celebrities famous for being famous sell newspapers - leaders don't. The papers and television are only interested in people who are famous or rich - preferably both. There are undoubtably still plenty of good leaders out there in civvy street as well as the military. Some of those mentioned above have made it into the media but dozens haven't. I am sure that we can all name good leaders that we have served with - OK they may never have made newspaper headlines, but they made their mark on us nonetheless. Nelson was an undoubted hero, but in common with many of his peers was probably better known as a media celebrity (he was one of the first - the David Beckham of his day). What we are now seeing with our media savvy politicians is an emphasis on celebrity at the expense of all other traits including leadership. I don't think Bliar is an effective leader, he will change his tune to fit the latest opinion pollls or media headlines - Cameron is just the same. A leader would lead his men through hell or high water, these guys would just as soon sell them down the river.
  15. Excellant point Jeff.
  16. I understand your point, but in as far as Nelson worked hard to maintain his celebrety status he was doing no more than most of his fellow admirals were doing, to a significant ammount postings depended partly on ability, partly on what would be called today networking, and partly on public aclaim, Nelson didn't help his networking balance through his affair with Emma so had to compensate with the celebrity bit. Having said that he was considered by many of his contempories not just a self seeking excellent tactician in battle but also some one who got the best from his command from the top to the very bottom and as such was both a leader and winner.

    As to the aparent paucity of leaders I think as I mentioned above one has to look more these days to industry than the forces, not that they are not there in the forces rather service leaders find it very hard to actually get a chance of really leading in the way generals and admirals did in the past. I would suggest that todays crop of senior business men contain a fair number of good leaders, they are not just con men and bean counters, though there are plenty that are. Particularlyamongst the rags to riches bunch there are quite a few who have made their success through a combination of not just business acumen, but through motivating their people to achieve their objectives, perhaps not the classic leadeship in battle but still leadership. Many companies now include leadership development in their training programmes in just the same way as the military.

    Now I am not suggesting you could take some one like Bransom andput them in charge of the army and they would lead them to great success in battle, but had he had military training rather than a business training I do believe he would have made as good a military leader as he has been a business leader.

    One must always remeber that leadership qualities manifest themselves in many and varied people and in many and varied circumstances.

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