Both excellent articles, easy to read and very favorable about the modern day military hero. I found a seat in the front row of the ballroom among an audience of a sold-out crowd of 1500 people. The Chicago Council crowd is always an impressive one. It’s a foreign policy organization; a think-tank right here in Chicago and the Chairman of the Board is . He’s a big shot; very smart, very rich and a very influential big shot. And very well known in Chicago as a philanthropist. This night, there were also guests from the military world sitting among the captains of industry. West Point Grads, classmates of the Generals’ and military men and women in uniform with a lot of swag on their lapels.
The General took the stage and he took my breath away. He has a very easy manner of speaking. He started off with an appropriate Chicago reference; Louie Apparecio was his favorite shortstop as a kid. And then he talked about the new business of war: Secure the people, serve the people, live among the people and reconcile the people. It’s not capture a country and fly your flag anymore. Combat is reserved for protecting the civilians. It mostly doesn’t work like that, especially at first. In Iraq, the Iraqi security forces are finally 700,000 strong. As long as there’s no political interference, the General is confident we will be leaving a secure people in August.
Here’s where it got spiritual. He talked about leadership:
- Get the big idea right.
- Communicate the idea
- Oversee the implementation of the big idea
- Capture best practices and share lessons learned
I thought about Prayables, as I sat there next to the CEO of Underwriters Laboratory. I have a very big idea: Women can bring peace through prayer. A mother in Afghanistan is praying for the same thing as the mother of the Al-Qaeda cell leader: Peace for her family. They may disagree on how to achieve it, but they will agree on this: the ultimate outcome is peace. Please pray with me.
Please, protect my child.
Please, protect other mothers' children.
Please, give me peace.
Please, give other mothers peace.
Please, give the world peace.
This is the peace only You can give.