I’d Follow This Guy


This one doesn’t need a lot of introduction.

Here we catch a glimpse of a commander who has all the right ideas and is leading with the perfect spirit. His message is simple but powerful. Every word is essential to that message. He dispenses with flowery bullshit and gives his people a clear and driving philosophy to guide their shared endeavor.

This is effective communication.

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Two things here are worth highlighting (actually many more, but we’ll stick with two for this piece).

First is Nussbaum’s admonition that not everyone will be treated equally. This is a critically important message. The Air Force has been stricken in recent years with a sense of entitlement that has made a mockery of the concept of equality. Everyone is deserving of equal opportunity. No one is entitled to an equal outcome — this is something earned and not given.

More than that, not everyone is equally important to the mission. Those with specialized skills developed through painstaking effort and preparation add more value. It’s refreshing to have a commander explicitly acknowledge this idea.

Second, Nussbaum declares his own fallibility, inviting his people to seek remedies should they feel he has been unjust. This is a remarkable statement, demonstrable of both humility and confidence.

From what I hear, this guy is the real deal. Judging by this introduction to the men and women of one of the USAF’s hardest working squadrons, he’s in for a superb command tour. What remains to be seen is whether the moral courage evident in his ideas runs him afoul of a system utterly intolerant to it.

We don’t glimpse that many leaders. Best we appreciate those we have.


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