Anger Is Not A Virtue In Leadership

I can tell you from experience that this post from “Task and Purpose” is pretty spot on concerning leadership through anger. During a conversation with one of my junior Sergeants years ago, I became aware that I was actually “doing it right” in regards to the method of leadership and discipline that I used. He told me that my men were not concerned about be screamed at by me if they screwed up. Their concern was in disappointing me. My expectations were simple. Best effort and constant improvement. I am not a perfectionist, but I expected everyone to strive for it. I was very fortunate in my first unit because I had some awesome SSG’s, SFC’s, and Master Sergeants to learn leadership from and come to emulate. Their manner of leadership became my style of leadership once I became an NCO.


One of the finest men I have ever had the privelege to serve under was (then) SSgt Ernest Chaney. I never ever heard the man raise his voice in anger, not even once. Yet I never questioned his authority nor his orders.
One of the great pleasures of life that I had later was re-connecting with him and telling him what I thought of him as a person and an NCO. It did not surprise me one bit when he told me he’d retired as a Sergeant Major.

That’s Sergeant Major Chaney on the left. I love that motherfucker. Follow him to hell? In a heartbeat.

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11 Responses to Anger Is Not A Virtue In Leadership

  1. Tsquared says:

    Early in my military career it was Gunny Clackum. I was in a Joint unit and had the luck of being the only Air Force guy in a shop with a Marine NCOIC. I was promptly re-trained to the proper way (Marine way) of doing things.

  2. Dave says:

    Anger is not a virtue in leadership and yet you support Trump. Go figure.

    • Wirecutter says:

      It beat the shit out of the alternative.
      If you’ve been reading my blog for any period of time you’ll know that while I voted for Trump (for the reason stated above) I did not support him.

    • Timbo says:

      What makes you associate “anger in leadership”, with Trump?
      Quite bluntly, you need to turn off your TV set.
      After many years of observation, I am really blown away at what a tool it is for those in charge. People that watch tv on a regular basis will believe whatever they are told.

    • Andrew says:

      Yeah, so true. We all should have voted for that level-headed Hillary, or the mellow Sanders, or the totally sane Stein.

      Oh, wait.

      Hillary, also known as “Shrillery”, has had lots of books written about her mercurial temper and her screaming rages at everyone within her sight when she’s on her ass about something.

      Bernie is a screaming commie spittle-shooter.

      And Stein is just buf-guck crazy (now she’s challenging the validity of the Electoral College. Wonder who is funding that? (Cough, cough, Hillary, cough.)

      Trump is very verbal and very confrontational, but I have never seen him ‘angry,’ Pissed, miffed, gerfed, yeah. Holding a grudge, well, if you were him, wouldn’t you? But screaming angry like some other candidate? No.

      His own ex-employees (ex-employees usually being a good source of dirt) have praised him for being even-handed and fair. Hell, even his on-screen boss-portrayal was far nicer than most of my ex-bosses (and I somehow got two desk-flippers.)

      According to sources throughout her career, Hillary didn’t like peons who worked for her to look at her, talk to her, question her or, the ultimate sin, give her bad news (like, you just lost.)

      So, Trump is “Mr. Anger”? Nah, not so much. And at least he hasn’t tossed Israel under the bus, played blacks against everyone, destroyed the economy, fought more wars and started more dumb shit than any other president while earning the Nobel Peace Prize (before he did anything.) So, dude, give Trump a chance, whydontcha?

  3. why says:

    Management is often confused with leadership. Just because someone is “in charge” doesn’t mean they are a leader. Management “tells” people what to do, leadership shows (through their actions, words, and attitude)

    If you ever wonder if you or someone is a leader, look behind them/you…….if people are following (officially or non-officially, but willingly), you’ve found a leader.

  4. Unclezip says:

    When I got my stripes, and my own howitzer, I was paired up with SSGT Acevedo who had immigrated from Niciraugua for the sole pupose of joining the U.S. Army. Great guy, fantastic leader, and could drink like a fish. He taught me more in the field than anyone I worked with. He sponsored me into the NCO Academy, and stood by me for every stripe I earned. I lost track of him after he went back home to fight the rebels.

  5. RHT447 says:

    You can run your unit with a whip. The problem is that soon no one will do any more than is necessary to avoid the whip.

    My example was CSM Houston. We served together in the California State Military Reserve. We were both ex-U.S. Army. He retired out as an SFC, having lost three fingers on his right hand in an effort to toss back a grenade in Viet Nam. He was our Bn CSM, I was a 1lt. in command of Co. C. He was an outstanding instructor with the patience of Jobe. Never heard him raise his voice or utter a single curse, but the iron in his words could cut you off at the ankles. I learned more about soldering from him than anyone else I met in uniform.

  6. Sanders says:

    SFC Cather – he turned our rifle platoon into the top rifle platoon in the 8th Infantry Division. He was hard but fair, and he would go to the floor with the Old Man for any one of us, if we were in the right.

    Every one of us would have followed him through the gates of hell and back.

    The saddest day of my time in the Army was when he was transferred back to the states. His replacement was the exact polar opposite of the man, in every way – even physically. We called him “The Fly”. He’d throw his mother under the bus if he thought it would advance his career.

  7. Robert says:

    “Every one of us would have followed him through the gates of hell and back.”

    I gotta add Petty Officer First Class Fesler; he woulda been at the front, leading the way. Tried to explain that to someone recently and found myself gettin’ choked up.

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