"Character is the single most important ingredient of leadership.
Proper leadership would have prevented the wars in Kosovo and Somalia."
General H. Norman Schwarzkopf
(1934-2012) United States Army general
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Reader comments about this quote:
 -- Alan McCabe, Los Angeles      
I don't know that character is the single most important ingredient but certainly, it is indispensable. Alan, why the thumb down?
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
    The quote is good, but it's hypocritical for a person who's income is derived from taxation to talk of character.
     -- Bryan Morton, Stuart, FL     
     -- warren, olathe      
    Yes but having character and being a character are two different things. Here Stormin Norman is just being a character. Why does he not also mention Iraq and Afghanistan. Clinton waged a very successful air only war against the genocidal Serbs while his Republican critics insisted on ground troops in Kosovo. Bush was asleep at the wheel in 2001 ignoring the advice of terrorist experts and the FBI. He and his Russian speaking, classical piano playing "National Securtiy Adviser" Condi Rice were trying to resurrect a cold war with the Russsians. After all a cold war with Russia was always a winner for Republican politics and thus he and she ignored the real war that was going on with Arab terrorsts. Characters all!
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
    Character is one of the ingredients that has been missing for decades now. Right along with intelligence, morals, ethics and nobility.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    Well, if you consider integrity a part of one's 'character' than, yes, it's pretty important. Too bad almost none of our representatives have it.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    A meaningless platitude saying nothing. Character is simply the aggregate of traits that define a person or thing. Everyone possesses individual characteristics so everyone is a leader according to the general. .
     -- Jack, Green, OH     
    A great quote.It may not be the single most important ingredient but it ranks in the top 3 I would say.
     -- Me Again     
    I'll give it five but three to the author - Jack I believe we are working on the assumption of "a good character" (and don't ask me to define that) There are those with bad character that do nasty things and those with a good character that do good things - and you are right both have character. All words have an opposite and in most cases the same word can be used negatively as it can be used positively it all depends in the context of the expression - for instance something can be terribly good. An evil person can keep integrity as much as a good person can keep character - sorry, I hope that hasn't bored you all to death.
     -- RobertSRQ     
    Are you dizzy yet Waffler? I mean, with all of that spinning you must be. The Bush/Clinton/Bush team were asleep at the wheel. Why didn't Schwartzkopf mention Iraq and Afghanistan? Maybe because they were in the future. Are you going to fault him for not being Nostradamus?
     -- Anonymous     
    Dear Anonymous, how do you know when Norman wrote this?. You certainly are aware of the demotion of Richard Clarke by Condi Rice. And most certainly you know that John Ashcroft avoided perjury or making a fool of himself in front of the Senate. You do know Bush had the terrorst report in August before 911 .When asked a yes or no question as to whether he (Ashcroft) told the FBI Director to stop giving him terrorist reports he responded with the political "Of course I care about the safety of the American people." How about a yes or no man. I may have erroneously thought that Norman was writing memoirs and that he could therefore have covered all of this history, I may have been wrong, if so I am sorry. I don't believe I am spinning at all.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
    You described exactly why I said the quote is a meaningless platitude saying nothing, Robert. Character can be good or bad ...and who's to say what is meant by either one? The quote deserves no stars because it says "character is the single most important ingredient of leadership", when there is no single quality of character. It's an aggregate of all traits. It is a high-sounding platitude meaning nothing.
     -- Jack, Green, OH     
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