the learning never stops!






Drawing: Sun Tzu, author unknown (public domain)

  1. Leadership 101 The Nick's Four Steps to Becoming a True Leader (1984) — How does a 28-year-old pilot approach crew leadership for the first time? These lessons, learned between 1984 and 1986, were later approximated by a best selling book on the subject, The 5 Levels of Leadership.
  2. Leadership Styles A Crash Course on Leadership Styles from the Cleavis Haney (1994) — By the time I became an Air Force Squadron Commander I had witnessed the art of squadron leadership from nine other flying squadron commanders but the best lesson of all came from my predecessor at the squadron I was about to lead. He was forced to retire after racking up thirteen inspector general complaints from those he was supposed to lead. As it turns out, those thirteen complaints point to thirteen leadership styles to learn from. Twenty years after the fact, I realized that many of the lessons could actually be extracted from The Leadership Secrets of Genghis Khan. Yes, that Genghis Khan. Notice that every trait has a positive and a negative side. We can be blinded by the positive so much that we forget the negative.
  3. Leadership Secrets The Stolen Leadership Secrets of Szabo the Hun (1999) — My last assignment in the Air Force was working in the legislative liaison office for the four-star general in charge of all U.S. military transportation assets, and my boss professed to have the hidden leadership secrets needed by all Air Force commanders. As it turns out, he stole those from one of the best books on leadership ever written, Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun, by Wess Roberts.
  4. Leadership Applied Leadership in the Real World (2007) — I've had several opportunities to lead civilian flight departments and each was rewarding in their own ways; but the non-leadership experiences provided even more by way of a education. Very few civilian chief pilots or directors of aviation really have any training at all and the results can be spotty. I've seen very good leaders come out of the "school of hard knocks," but also some very poor leaders. I've drawn up a composite of these into a fictional accounting. While you shouldn't approach a leadership position with the idea you are at war, Sun Tzu's The Art of War provides excellent lessons.


Man, John, The Leadership Secrets of Genghis Khan, 2009, Transworld Publishers

Maxwell, John C., The 5 Levels of Leadership, 2011 © John C. Maxwell, Center Street Hachette Book Group

Roberts, Wess, PhD, The Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun, 1985 © Wess Roberts, First Trade Edition 1990, Reissued 2009 by Grand Central Publishing

Tzu, Sun, The Art of War (in the public domain, the author lived between 544 BC and 496 BC.)

Revision: 20170101