Thursday, April 13, 2023

Bullfrog Wisdom

 I saw Admiral  William H. McRaven with Fareed Zakaria.  He has an interesting history giving him some credibility for this book, "The Wisdom of the Bullfrog" on leadership advice.

Subtitled "Leadership made Simple (but not easy)" might explain although there is a lot of common sense you need to make an effort.

 The term "Bullfrog" comes from his background as a leader with the SEALgroup where he started out as a frogman.  He was a key factor in the assassination of Osama bin Laden which is covered in the book.  Things did not go according to plan, but in fact they planned for that.

Tom Landry, former Dallas Cowboys coach is quoted "Setting a goal is not the main thing.  Ir is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan."  The Osama bin Laden plan got off to a bad start with one helicopter crashing near the site.  Disasters had been anticipated and worked around.

The Admiral's first point is that honor is a key to leadership.  Trust is necessary and is based on character. 

On one hand you need to be confident.  You were entrusted with a command, so you must command.  On the other hand humbleness is important.  He quotes Pope Francis; "A shepherd should smell like sheep."

He returns to the notion that character is critical.  It is too easy for some to bend the rules to achieve some goal, such as increased profits or a promotion.  An example he offers is Enron, a company run by very smart people, but used unethical means to gain greater profits.  Sooner or later such behavior will have to be accounted for.  

Periodic inspections can make a difference.  It is normal to get complacent and an inspection can reveal small problems that can lead to big problems.

A last point he made was to find someone you can trust.  In his background that person was often thought of as a swim buddy, someone who would support and protect you.  No one person can withstand all the trials the world can throw at you. 

There are a lot of books on improving our lot in life.  They each have a different perspective, but with a lot of overlapping good advice.  We can all use a little reinforcement.  Check out some other books I have read;

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