Monday, September 20, 2010

David Crabtree's Interview with Ret. Gen. Hugh Shelton

On Sunday morning, I awoke to the sound of David Crabtree's voice.  My alarm clock is set to turn on the radio, and this particular morning Crabtree's interview with Retired Gen. Hugh Shelton came on.  Shelton has just been named chairman of Red Hat, Inc., an international company headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., on N.C. State University's Centennial Campus.

The interview woke me up immediately, as Crabtree ran down Gen. Shelton's qualifications: nearly four decades serving in the military, two tours in Vietnam, leader of the 82nd Airborne, commander of Special Ops, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff serving Presidents Clinton and Bush.  Perhaps it was the local flavor that was the icing on the cake: a small-town eastern North Carolina native and an N.C. State University student. 

Take a few minutes to listen to the interview, as it's quite interesting.  They talk about the things that make great leaders, both in the military and the corporate world. 

"Great leaders are the same in the military as they are in the corporate world. They have the same values: integrity, ... great character, ethics... They use those same attributes to lead their corporation," he states. 

This is a similar concept shared in the first chapter of Made to Stick, by Chip and Dan Heath, which I highly recommend to anyone interested in corporate leadership and what makes ideas stick.  The role of leadership in the military and corporate world is something that endlessly fascinates me, and the interview with Gen. Shelton touches on it briefly.

Gen. Shelton also comments on the things happening today in Iraq and Afghanistan, which directly relates to our film.  Abandoned Allies explores the Vietnam War era, but through the lens of what's happening today. 

Our economy is still weak, making it tough for many Americans to focus some attention on the war overseas, but it's something I feel that we can't afford to ignore.  Gen. Shelton's thoughts on the differences between winning and succeeding during war are great, and I appreciated his thoughts on nation-building as well.

Have you listened to the interview?  What were your reactions?

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