Blog

What’s missing this Memorial Day?

By Jeff Schloesser | May 29, 2021 |

This week I am visiting Fort Bragg, and there are American flags everywhere on and off post, as befitting the home of the great All American Division and the home of our Special Operations outfits. I sincerely hope all of you are able to get some well-deserved breaks from work or the same old routine if you are retired, and see family, barbecue, and enjoy some refreshments. So what’s missing? Missing are those that died in uniform serving our country and all of us Americans. Pick your war or conflict, there have been so many. Those that did not come…

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Coming to you from Park City!

By Jeff Schloesser | May 23, 2021 |

Coming Tuesday! Yes, yes, more shameless plugging for my book, Marathon War. See me reading an advanced copy downtown. Marathon War releases on Tuesday, 25 May, in hard cover, eBook, and audio book. No excuses! From start to release, it’s been about seven years in the writing, re-writing, editing, clearing (Pentagon), and publishing. I am unabashedly proud of the book, so give it a try!

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You Can Build Character!

By Jeff Schloesser | May 22, 2021 |

Character: so important to leadership, so important to being a good human being. So how to build it? Let me snatch a few lines from Marathon War: “Men and women are not perfect, and all of us have flaws, which we usually try to control, or at least hide from others. We are not born with character: instead, we develop it within ourselves over a lengthy period of time, some through education, some through the school of hard knocks of experience, and most often, through watching and emulating those we admire. The most important facet of character is the act…

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Character

By Jeff Schloesser | May 16, 2021 |

For followers of my blog, you remember that I believe three leadership traits are most important in our very best leaders: competence, moral courage, and character. Earlier posts discuss competence and courage. For the next series of posts, let’s get into character. There are many definitions of character. I think of it simply as this: Character is what you actually do in morally and ethically challenging situations when NO ONE is watching. In my view, actions are most important: you can have pure thoughts, but it’s what you actually do that indicates your character. Why? As I write in Marathon…

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Thank you to Military Mom’s Everywhere, Past and Present

By Jeff Schloesser | May 8, 2021 |

On Mother’s Day, let me thank military mothers everywhere. I tried to explain what I owe my wife, Patty, the mother of our two children, in Marathon War: “…Patty and I had two children, Ryan and Kelly, and tried hard to maintain a loving family. Moving frequently with too much time away in the field, on temporary duty, or on deployments made it a challenge, and Patty often had to be both mother and father.  The kids grew up strong, independent, and wise in the ways of the world…I was proud of my children, extraordinarily so. And what I felt for Patty I could…

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The power of conviction

By Jeff Schloesser | May 2, 2021 |

Let’s talk about moral courage: standing firm in your beliefs, or what I call the willingness “to bet your stars or bars” for an idea, a conviction, or an action, normally that involves others, especially those we lead. We speak of the “courage of convictions,” which means that moral courage requires conviction, a sense of right and wrong, ideals, and most important, the willingness to sacrifice one’s personal reputation for a greater good. But as we used to say in the Army, that briefs well, but doing it is really hard. So how do we develop moral courage in ourselves…

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Moral Courage

By Jeff Schloesser | April 25, 2021 |

If you have been following my blog trail, you remember that I believe three leadership traits reign supreme in our best leaders: competence, moral courage, and character. I discussed in earlier posts competence, and how you can think about it when gauging whether you, or anyone else, are ready for the next job, or the next step in life. In my next series of posts, I want to dive deeper into courage, especially the kind of courage I am talking about: how is it different than bravery, how do you develop it, and how to reward this kind of behavior…

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A Noble Cause

By Jeff Schloesser | April 18, 2021 |

I have been thinking a lot about this week’s announcement that the United States would pull out all of its troops from Afghanistan by 9/11 this year. I have also talked to many veterans who served there and almost everyone feels strongly about the decision: some are very much opposed, while others are all for getting out after 20 years. In my mind it’s a mistake that will hurt our national security overtime and will result in a major civil war and a human diaspora out of Afghanistan, but I ‘ll save those thoughts for a later blog. Right now,…

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YES, I am Ready!

By Jeff Schloesser | April 11, 2021 |

So how DO we know if we are ready for the next big step in life? I think it boils down to two things: Am I competent in the things I KNOW I will face, just not when – the “known unknowns” as Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld used to say? And maybe more importantly, am I agile enough to confront and deal with those challenges that are totally unexpected – the “unknown unknowns”? In the former, you can literally sit down and list the things you are sure you will need to be capable of doing, check off those…

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Am I ready?

By Jeff Schloesser | April 5, 2021 |

Have you ever wondered “Am I ready?” Maybe before a promotion, or a new job, or starting something new in your life? I have. Many, many times. In my book Marathon War, I describe how I sat out on the steps in front of the Farmhouse – the designated home for the 101St Airborne Division Commanding General, at dawn the morning I was to take command, with a cup of steaming black coffee, and thought to myself: Am I ready? This wasn’t so much self-doubt as it was mental preparation for what was ahead – some of which I could…

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