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Exploring Leadership in the News with Steven Pearlstein and Raju Narisetti

Bob Schoultz
Naval/Academic leader

Bob Schoultz

Captain Bob Schoultz (U.S. Navy, Ret.) directs the Master of Science in Global Leadership at the University of San Diego's School of Business Administration.

The return of Joltin' Joe

Certainly his competence, coolness under pressure, humility, and the self-less teamwork of his crew contribute to why the public admires Captain Sullenberger. I believe, however, there is not only a hunger for leadership, there is also a hunger for unpretentious heroes, people who are not self-aggrandizing, who represents quiet competence and dependability and who display the virtue of taking one's responsibilities and commitments seriously, and do things right for their own sake and not for self-promotion or reward.

Capt Sullenberger and his crew were trained to do what they did, and when the chips were down, they delivered. In so doing, they saved a lot of lives and became new heroes in America. To me they represent the archetype of the quietly competent and reliable hero, who does his or her work well, meets and takes care of commitments without a lot of grand standing. And when the chips are down, this hero delivers.

This morning, I was listening to my favorite oldies station and heard Simon and Garfunkel, in a song from the 60s ("Mrs. Robinson"), sing "...Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio, a nation turns its lonely eyes to you....Joltin' Joe has left and gone away."

In the confusion and turmoil of America in the late 60s, I believe Simon and Garfunkel were noting that America missed and was looking for that humble, yet proud, quietly competent hero who could always be depended on -- someone who was not seeking glory or other worldly rewards, just the opportunity to do their job very well.

For my parents' generation, one of those heroes was Joe DiMaggio. From time to time though, someone new steps up to the plate and into the imagination of the American public to be our new Joe DiMaggio. 'Joltin' Joe' may have gone away, but we have Capt Sullenberger and his crew, and other unpretentious heroes like them. It's good to see America honor them.

By Bob Schoultz

 |  October 22, 2009; 10:21 AM ET
Category:  Crisis leadership Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Thank you Ira - I look forward to looking at the excerpt. And I must say I appreciate a response that addresses the content of what I've posted, without personally attacking me, or starting with the assumption that anyone who would write what I had written must be a reprobate, idiot or both. Thanks Bob Schoultz

Posted by: schoultz | October 24, 2009 9:14 PM
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Captain Schoultz, I appreciate your spotlighting the nearly forgotten virtue of humility. In fact, I published a book not long ago where I also used Mr. DiMaggio as an example of a humble hero.

(Here's an excerpt from the book:

My continued hope is that the challenging times in which we live will cause more people to reflect on the merits of humble, effective leadership.

Thanks for your article.

Ira Williams

Posted by: IraWill | October 22, 2009 6:34 PM
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