While reading Masters and Commanders – How Four Titans Won the War in the West, 1941-1945 by Andrew Roberts, I was struck by the author’s observations of how General Marshall was selected by President Franklin Roosevelt to lead our nation’s military in World War II. The fact that Marshall often and forcefully, even bluntly disagreed with Roosevelt led to his selection. The president was apparently astute enough to know that he did not need a “yes man” in such a key position at such a critical point in our nation’s history.
Those in key leadership positions with school safety responsibility should consider this. Setting forth a tone that different viewpoints are not only welcome but expected can help an organization spot and avert approaching disaster. History offers valuable lessons for those who are open to them.