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Posted August 14, 2014
This one goes at the top of my short list. Don't let the 157 pages of content discourage you. There is no fluff and no filler in this great book on leadership, military or otherwise. Every page contains a lesson or lessons. And you get the author's unvarnished views on the subject. He loves his Marines and the Corps. but that doesn't stop him from showing the "good, bad, and the ugly" of leadership. For 43 years Colonel Fox led Marines, from his start as an enlisted fire team leader to Colonel, earning the Medal of Honor along the way. His leadership skills were tempered and honed in the crucibles of fire and ice. Or more correctly ice and fire. From the frozen battles of Korea to the steaming jungles of Vietnam, this hero has seen leadership at its best and worst. And he's not so arrogant to think he knows it all either. He quotes from many sources, civilian and military and of course, the Marine Corps. itself. One of my favorite observations is his distinction between leadership and management . "Care and concern for subordinates mark the leader, the subordinates of such a leader become followers. Management does not necessarily care about the people hired and fired; they are only the means. They, the individuals, usually can be easily replaced, and depending upon the employees time with the organization, maybe at a much lower cost or salary. A leader has to care. This care is shown by actions, not words, and is easily read by the subordinates who return this care..." I can personally relate to that one. If you want the longer version of Colonel Fox's journey I recommend his other work Marine Rifleman, working on that one now. And don't pass up his Courage and Fear: A Primer. Yes I'm an unabashed fan of Col. Fox. His service to our country and the Marines he led is invaluable, and unlike so many of our Medal of Honor recipients, he survived to pass on the lessons he learned to future generations of leaders, both military and civilian. Thank you Colonel Fox for your service and the care and leadership example you provided to the Marines who served with you, and thanks to all service men and women past, present, and future for your service and sacrifice.