by Admiral Stanley R. Arthur, USN (Ret.)
We talk about leadership. Some individuals seem to have an innate ability to lead. Some confuse management skills with leadership skills but they are certainly not the same. As History reveals, some use their leadership skills for good and others for evil.
Do leadership skills translate the same in every environment? My reflection is that they do not. I’ve known great combat leaders, when placed in an entirely different environment; find they are at a loss on how to get their team to perform.
Are there some basic building blocks that define a leader? I believe there are. First, One needs to be consistent. Secondly, one needs a vision and be able to clearly articulate it. Third, one needs to build trust among those that he/she leads. This bond is essential for that moment in time, when there is a crisis, he/she says “go” and his team does so without hesitation. This is certainly not a complete list, but we all need to realize that the acceptable “style” of leadership changes with time.
Admiral Stanley R. Arthur, USN (Ret.) is the 1997 recipient of the Naval Order’s Distinguished Sea Service Award. A naval aviator, he was the Vice Chief of Naval Operations, after serving as Commander, Seventh Fleet during the Persian Gulf War (1991) directing the operations of more than 96,000 Navy and Marine Corps personnel and 130 U.S. Navy and Allied ships in U.S. Naval Forces Central Command. Admiral Arthur was President of Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control in Orlando, Florida. He was the recipient of the Navy League's 1997 Arleigh A. Burk Leadership Award. He graduated from Miami University, the Naval Post Graduate School, and George Washington University.