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George Reed

George Reed

A retired U.S. Army Colonel, George Reed is an associate professor in the Department of Leadership Studies within the School of Leadership and Education Sciences at the University of San Diego.

Archive: George Reed

Prior success is a powerful narcotic

Sometimes it takes a clear threat to organizational survival to prompt a new way of doing business that is responsive to changes outside of the company. As we have seen with General Motors before the bankruptcy, sometimes even that is not enough...

By George Reed | November 16, 2010; 10:02 AM ET | Comments (1)

Is Don Draper a leader? Maybe. A good leader? No.

Draper seems to have an astounding ability to ignore the consequences of his behavior. A lack of moral imagination and stunted sense of right and wrong seems to insulate him from the implications of his actions. He knowingly advertises for harmful products, lives a life built upon a foundation of deceit, and...

By George Reed | October 18, 2010; 09:39 AM ET | Comments (0)

Balancing process and progress

When fostering change from within an organization, one must be careful to maintain pressure without provoking an allergic response from those...

By George Reed | September 14, 2010; 09:21 AM ET | Comments (0)

Treading on non-negotiables

Our founding fathers understood that a standing military represented a potential danger to liberty and therefore sought to minimize its power.

By George Reed | June 24, 2010; 12:54 PM ET | Comments (0)

Don't fight the fossils

It is ironic that universities -- incubators of big ideas -- can be themselves so seemingly impervious to change.

By George Reed | May 25, 2010; 06:24 AM ET | Comments (5)

The magic of fellowship

Soldiers do not fight and die for abstract concepts, but will go to extraordinary lengths for their buddies.

By George Reed | January 4, 2010; 02:29 PM ET | Comments (0)

Acts of optimism

Sometimes we find ourselves in a time and place not of our own choosing where our gift meets the world's need.

By George Reed | December 29, 2009; 06:55 AM ET | Comments (1)

More than a recruiting slogan

Tragedies like the one at Fort Hood test the character and resilience of organizations and their leaders. What we see now shows the meaning of "Army Strong."

By George Reed | November 9, 2009; 06:58 AM ET | Comments (0)

A priority, not an expense

In the military, leadership development is not viewed merely as an expense to be justified and contained, or reserved for a few "high potentials."

By George Reed | November 3, 2009; 11:31 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Pedestal Problem

By exalting singular public figures, we ordinary people tend to distance ourselves from the idea of leadership, not realizing we ourselves are capable of it.

By George Reed | October 12, 2009; 10:06 PM ET | Comments (2)

A Question of Purpose

We have seen plenty of piracy, now where is the stewardship? Is it even possible to change the culture to a more sustainable perspective?

By George Reed | September 14, 2009; 03:18 PM ET | Comments (1)

A Culture of "Busyness"

Good leaders create other leaders. Think about what it says to the next generation when leaders model workaholic tendencies.

By George Reed | August 11, 2009; 07:32 AM ET | Comments (2)

Loose Lips Sink Political Ships

For senior leaders, there is no such thing as a casual conversation, especially when you are in front of the camera.

By George Reed | August 5, 2009; 02:19 PM ET | Comments (0)

Transgressions vs. Contributions

An examination of our most respected historical leaders reveals some extraordinary flaws, especially when it comes to marital fidelity. Regrettable as they were, such infidelities did not erase their contributions.

By George Reed | June 30, 2009; 03:00 PM ET | Comments (7)

Transition Is Not Failure

Transition is not equivalent to failure and the needs of the organization trump the desires of the individual.

By George Reed | May 26, 2009; 04:32 PM ET | Comments (0)

Intellectual Awakening

Academic programs may not consistently produce good leaders, but organizations that study, argue about, and struggle with leadership development are inherently better organizations than those that do not.

By George Reed | April 21, 2009; 06:32 AM ET | Comments (3)

No "Savior Leader" Here

It would be ridiculous to put the failure of GM at the feet of Mr. Wagoner or any other individual CEO, and, if there are no substantive changes in the GM system, we'll likely be examining his successor's failure in short order.

By George Reed | March 31, 2009; 09:42 AM ET | Comments (0)

Uncommon Leadership

Leaders should share the hardships of their comrades and see to the needs of their followers before attending to their own. Such selfless leadership unfortunately seems to be a rarity in many organizations today.

By George Reed | March 15, 2009; 09:58 PM ET | Comments (0)

"Master and Commander" Lessons

I agree with Gen. Walt Ulmer that we can learn everything we need to know about small-unit leadership from Patrick O'Brien's novels, represented on-screen by "Master and Commander."

By George Reed | February 17, 2009; 11:39 AM ET | Comments (3)

A General's Advice

In large organizations, people can become numbers on a spreadsheet, especially during downsizings, but such depersonalization does not engender loyalty and commitment from employees.

By George Reed | February 9, 2009; 10:37 AM ET | Comments (0)

Lessons From Churchill

Churchill's famous speech had tenacity and a pugnacious spirit that struck a deep chord in the people; likewise, Obama needs to be both hopeful and realistic.

By George Reed | January 21, 2009; 11:44 AM ET | Comments (0)

After The Euphoria?

He's a great communicator, yes, but we don't yet know if he can effectively build teams or manage the complex systems of government.

By George Reed | January 12, 2009; 11:18 AM ET | Comments (6)

The Quiet Leaders

While celebrating great public figures like President-Elect Obama and General Petraeus, we should recognize that some of the best leaders toil in obscurity and would be embarrassed by our praise.

By George Reed | December 30, 2008; 04:03 PM ET | Comments (1)

Turn It Into an Opportunity

Incidents of misconduct threaten public confidence, but they are also an opportunity to reinforce important principles and demonstrate character.

By George Reed | December 15, 2008; 01:05 PM ET | Comments (0)

Urgency Required

After failing to innovate, the Big Three need to harness a sense of urgency.

By George Reed | December 8, 2008; 02:35 PM ET | Comments (1)

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