24 April, 2009

Profile 30 - MAJ MAC as flown by Morris Magnuson

Firstly, the response to this blog has lead me to believe readers would like to learn more about my interviews and what I "do." So, please click here for web presentation that goes into greater detail on MAJ MAC. I hope you like it.

One of the great honors in interviewing these pilots and crew is the chance to hold, touch their historical documents and artifacts. Maybe I'm goofy, but the more I experience the wisdom of these men and their pasts, I believe the "self-help" genre can be replaced by old fashioned listening & learning.

Just today, I was flipping through the Cadet Yearbook of class 44-A and was struck by the positive, encouraging tone of the copy. Sometimes, popular media portrays leadership, command as cold, steeled and unyielding. Certainly General Patton cultivated that image (in reality, he was rather emotional, however). But the greater number of people respond to shine rather than shiners, even warriors.

To this end, I ask every veteran about who they regard as their most effective "Leaders." To a man, they are remembered as relational, expressive and positive. The "Easy's Angels" painted on the tips of 23rd FS rudders refer to Major "Easy" Miles - a particularly well-liked Group Leader who, in the words of Morrie, "Gave us a job and we all felt good doing it."

Hamilton, "Mac" McWhorter (see profile 21) stressed leadership's ability to inspire and encourage as contagious, something one would want to pass on to the next person. These are good words - right now, as a parent, I'm looking at my 3 year old and wondering how to LEAD her to stop unloading every darned drawer in the house onto the floor...

The scan below is a page out of that 44-A Yearbook...