Category Archives: Leadership

War is a Racket!

U.S. Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler was a true patriot. According to, Wikipedia, he was at the time of his death (1940), the most decorated Marine in U.S. history.

He refused to be corrupted by money and power, or to use his position to overthrow elected government, and he was courageous in waging the battle to expose the true reasons for war. This dramatization of one of his speeches brought me to tears. I urge everyone, especially people in military service, to watch this video.

Here is the introduction to it:

The real speech re-created by an actor

If you know your history, you know that in 1934 there was an attempted coup in the United States that was thwarted largely due to the efforts of U.S. Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler (ret.) Look it up.

Among other things, Butler was only one of 19 people ever awarded the Medal of Honor twice and the only person to be awarded a Marine Corps Brevet Medal and a Medal of Honor for two different actions.

After it dawned on him how his heroism and the heroism of the troops under his command had been misused, he wrote a book called “War is a Racket” which I can virtually guarantee you never heard about in school.

Butler concluded there are only two reasons to ever take up arms:

1. To defend the country against real – not manufactured – attacks

2. To defend the Bill of Rights

Sounds good to me.

Servant Leadership: Ten Characteristics

Robert Greenleaf is said to have coined the term servant leadership. Since then, others have taken up the ideas and promoted them. The following 10 characteristics, based on Greenleaf’s work, seem to me to be the the kind that need to be cultivated by anyone who would aspire to lead in any realm. They seem especially important in the development of a new paradigm of social justice, global harmony, and sustainability.

Ten Characteristics of Servant Leadership

Based on the ideas of Robert K. Greenleaf

1. Servant leaders are servants first, and consciously choose to lead as a way to serve the development of others.

2. Servant leaders respond to any problem by listening first. Their attitude emulates St Francis: “Lord, grant that I may not seek so much to be understood as to understand.”

3. Servant leaders maintain empathy for the essential humanity of other people, even when they cannot accept the other person’s acts.

4. Servant leaders utilize both analysis and intuition to develop foresight (Greenleaf considered foresight to be the Central ethic of leadership.)

5. Servant leaders cultivate awareness and hone their powers of perception.

6. Servant leaders create change by inspiration and persuasion, not coercion.

7. Servant leaders are highly creative, drawing from their unique strengths to create fresh responses to new situations.

8. Servant leaders remember that healing means “to make whole.” They know. that to be wholly human, one must joyfully accept both the goodness and the bitterness of life” while contributing to the good.

9. Servant leaders recognize that healing actions take place in the context of community.

10. Servant leaders change the world by first changing themselves.