Mayor Ray Nagin cried during a WWL radio interview about Hurricane Katrina. Senator Mary Landrieu shed a tear on This Week while describing “one pitiful” crane working on a levee. The Aftermath is heart breaking and everyone should have a good cry.
But not the boss. Not in public.
A hundred years ago, as a young army lieutenant, one of my first lessons was that, “An ounce of appearance was worth a pound of performance.” How petty! I thought. So superficial!
My first superior in the army was a Captain Aykroyd, a soft-spoken West Pointer who was most patient in providing guidance in the finer points of Leadership. I once was tasked with the delivery of a pink umbrella misplaced by some Colonel’s wife.
Your Humble Blogger, sunglasses,
So I was off, with a jaunty step.
“No,” Capt Aykroyd said. “An Officer does not parade about with a pink umbrella.”
I instead wrapped the offensive girly accoutrement with manly red, green and yellow firing range flags and completed my mission. Appearances are an authentic part of the Conduct of Leadership.
I did not need to be reminded to never cry, never blubber in front of the troops.
In World War II on May 13, 1940, Winston Churchill gave his first speech to the House of Commons as Great Britain’s Prime Minister. He famously said: