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Monday
Oct262009

General Tommy Franks Lessons in Leadership

In June 2000, Tommy Franks was promoted to four-star General and assigned as Commander-in-Chief, United States Central Command. It’s in this position that the world knows Tommy Franks best – the culmination of an almost four-decade military career that saw him lead American and Coalition troops in two strategically unprecedented campaigns in two years – Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq.

The General’s awards include five Distinguished Service Medals, four Legions of Merit, four Bronze Stars and three Purple Hearts, in addition to numerous foreign awards. He was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) by order of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on May 25, 2004. And President George W. Bush awarded him the nation’s highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom on December 14, 2004.

Michael Hyatt (CEO of Thomas Nelson, Inc.) heard General Franks speak and shared the following on his blog:

Tommy flunked out of the University of Texas in 1967. Rather than wait to be drafted to fight in Vietnam, he enlisted in the Army. When we got on the bus to leave for boot camp, his father said, “Son, I have one piece of advice. Be feisty.”

Tommy replied, “But Dad, I am feisty.”

My dad said, “Son, I know you’re feisty, but I mean it as an acronym.

F-E-I-S-T-Y.” His Father then went onto spell it out:

“F” is for focus. You need to get focused on what is important and stay focused.


“E” is for energy. Bring all the energy you can muster to every situation.


“I” is for integrity. This is your most important possession. Don’t ever compromise it.


“S” is for solve the problem. Don’t argue. Don’t make excuses. Just solve the problem and get on with it.


“T” is for take the blame when no one else will. Accept responsibility and be accountable.


“Y” is for “Yes, I do windows.” Don’t ever say, “That’s not my job.” Do whatever the boss asks you to do and do it with enthusiasm.

 

 

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