Leadership Lessons from General Tommy Franks: "
Last Friday, I had the privilege of hearing General Tommy Franks speak at the Spur Leadership Conference in Austin, Texas. I was standing in the “green room” visiting with one of our authors when General Franks entered the room with his wife, Cathy. He stuck out his hand and said, “Hi, my name’s Tom.” I liked him immediately.
He told one story that I record in my journal. He flunked out of the University of Texas in 1967. Rather than wait to be drafted to fight in Vietnam, he enlisted in the Army. As he got on the bus to leave for boot camp, his father said, “Son, I have one piece of advice. Be feisty.”
He replied, “But Dad, I am feisty.”
His dad said, “Son, I know your feisty, but I mean it as an acronym. F-e-i-s-t-y.” He 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.
Leadership Lessons from General Tommy Franks