This excerpt comes from Leadership from 30,000 Feet: Attributes of Effective Leaders as told by Five Air Force Generals, an anthology by Two Blue Aces’ contributors. To read the rest of this story and many others like it you can purchase your own copy on Amazon!
Title: Never Forget Where You Came From
Author: Rob Polumbo
“Goodness is about character—integrity, honesty, kindness, generosity, moral courage, and the like. More than anything else, it is about how we treat other people.” —Dennis Prager
I believe character—more so than competence, courage, commitment, or compassion—truly separates great leaders from the rest of the pack.
Aspiring leaders can achieve success while exhibiting one or two of those qualities, but, without character, their successes will be short-lived. A seasoned leader steeped in character will have all the other attributes mastered, and his or her team will thrive in any environment or situation.
Ironically enough, developing character in a leader begins where you might least expect: in following. As a young fighter pilot, I remember the emphasis the unit placed on being a good wingman, a term synonymous with being a good follower. Every responsibility of a wingman was directly related to supporting his flight leader and their mission objectives. Following was essential. The greatest leaders I’ve had were also the best wingmen.
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