THE CITADEL | PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE
Nov/Dec 2004
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Articles in this edition
General's Journal: Leadership 101
Cadet named governor of
state student legislature
Early season wins give boost to Bulldogs
Palmetto Battery cadets build houses
Stories Beneath The Stones
Charles O. Fortsonís Diary:
A glimpse into the life of a 1939 alumnus during World War II
2001 graduate dies in Iraq
School of Humanities and Social Sciences forms advisory board
General and Boo make list of
portentous pups

General's Journal: Leadership 101



Major General John S. Grinalds
U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.)
President, The Citadel


John S. Grinalds

Major General, USMC (Ret.)
President, The Citadel
When the regimental commander opens military training, he gives the fourth class a simple formula for success: learn to follow and keep trying. He explains to anxious knobs that they will experience multiple demands, confusion and stress. They will pull from inner resources and depend upon each other. By continuing to try when quitting seems easier, they will eventually succeed.

Alumni often entertain others with knob-year stories usually touched with humor about their demanding cadre or their grit during tough times. Such tales are the stuff of legend, possibly embellished but nonetheless amusing. Most alumni will also insist that their knob year was tougher than that of any class coming later.

Although we talk a great deal about the fourth class year and the process of learning how to follow, those with the real challenges are the upper class cadets who must train the freshmen. Leadership 101 has two parts - learning to follow and learning to lead - and the final exam is the success of the leaders who are responsible for that training.

To be a true leader, one must command respect. That means having the wisdom to be informed, the selflessness to care about the success of others and the character to serve as an example. Each year I personally tell cadre never to ask a fourth class cadet to do anything they are unwilling or unable to do themselves.

Good leadership is a learned skill, not an inborn trait. To expand our leadership training, we are spending more time discussing leadership. Lt. Col. Jeff Weart, our director of the Krause Initiative in Leadership & Ethics, encourages cadets to think about what their actions teach others about leadership. He also pushes them to take responsibility for their own development by asking them the tough question, “How are your actions making you a better leader?”

In many of our academic disciplines, cadets and CGPS students study historical and ethical issues associated with leadership. Now an
Readings on leadership
To view the list of readings on leadership, go to the Daniel Library web site, click on "Search Catalog", type "Leadership collection" in the search box, and click "KEYWORD".
interdisciplinary minor at The Citadel, leadership is also the subject of an impressive body of readings assembled in a collection at the Daniel Library. Yet the most compelling leadership instruction will continue to take place in the barracks where cadets learn first-hand from both good and bad examples.

Learning to follow is an essential skill, but in the grand scheme of things, followership is the easy part. The one who must inspire others to follow has the real challenge.

While leadership styles may vary depending upon personality, the fundamentals of character, knowledge and service are the same for everyone. At The Citadel, we will continue to train leaders by focusing on these fundamentals, confident that the formula that has worked so well for generations will prepare the leaders we so urgently need in the future.

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