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From the Masters

An excerpt from The Essence of Leadership by Mac Anderson

On March 5, 2003, I turned on Good Morning America while eating breakfast. Charlie Gibson was interviewing General Earl Hailston, the commanding general of Marine Forces Central Command.

The general was waiting with his troops just a few miles off the border of Iraq…waiting to go to war.

Toward the end of the interview, Charlie asked him if he had any hobbies.


The general said, “Yes, I love photography, especially taking photos of my men.” He shared that while he had been waiting for the past few days he took photos of his men, and at night he would email the photos with a brief note to their mothers back in the USA.

Charlie asked if he could see a sample of a letter, and the general walked into his tent, turned on his computer, and read the last letter he had sent.   It said:

Dear Mrs. Johnson,

I thought you might enjoy seeing this picture of your son. He is doing great. I also wanted you to know that you did a wonderful job raising him. You must be very proud. I can certainly tell you that I’m honored to serve with him in the U.S. Marines.

General Earl Hailston

Wow! I had goose bumps as I watched Charlie randomly interview a few of General Hailston’s men, and without exception, you could feel the genuine love and respect that every one of them had for their leader.

You may have heard the quote…”They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

Well, here’s a man who truly understood what caring, kindness and leadership is all about.

To learn more about The Essence of Leadership, please click here!

Reprinted by permission of Simple Truths (c) 2011. In order to protect the rights of the copyright holder, no portion of this publication may be reproduced without prior written consent. All rights reserved.


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