Rumsfeld, Pace Reflect on Leadership at Town Hall
By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, March 12, 2004 Leadership isn't about power. It's about responsibility and what you do with the authority that's been entrusted to you.
Marine Gen. Peter Pace, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, delivered those insights to service members and Defense Department civilians during a Pentagon town hall meeting today.
Pace and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, responding to a question from the audience, said DoD's size and structure demand strong leadership at every level.
"Unless you are Einstein or Mozart or one of those people who go off in a room by yourself and do something brilliant for the world, all the rest of us do what we do with other people," Rumsfeld said. "And that means that we need to see that there are those many, many leadership centers at all levels that will provide the energy and guidance and direction to help keep this great institution of the Defense Department on course."
Rumsfeld praised the leadership qualities being demonstrated by service members throughout Iraq. "(Lt.) General (Ricardo) Sanchez (commander of Combined Joint Task Force 7) can't get up in the morning and tell them what they should do," he said. "They are out there in the field calling audibles, making decisions, providing leadership, and it's a wonderful thing to see."
Pace said leadership means looking out for your people rather than yourself. "If you are doing things for yourself and about yourself, then you are not a leader," he said. "But if you are taking the authorities that have been given to you by our government and you are doing the best you can every day to use your authority and ability to have impact in a way that takes care of those who look to you for leadership," he said, "then you can go home at night and feel pretty good about what you have done."