Leaders, Good and Otherwise, by Francis X. Maier

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By Francis X. Maier, The Catholic Thing, Aug. 31, 2023

Francis X. Maier is a senior fellow in Catholic studies at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.


The finest example of leadership in my life is someone who has also been my closest friend for the past five decades.  Joe M. had a long and successful business career before retiring.  But he learned how to lead in the Marine Corps.  He commanded an infantry company on Vietnam’s DMZ in the late 1960s.  Two of his sons also saw combat as Marine officers, and the Corps drilled into all three men that leadership is not about the ego of the leader.

It’s about the common objective, obviously, but also about the men one leads, even the cranks and sluggards, because it’s their effort that matters and their blood at risk.  It’s why, in the field, a Marine officer typically eats last.  His men come first. …