With admiration, I was reviewing General David Patraeus’ “Rules for Living” in preparation for a future blog post.  Literally three days later Patraeus self-disclosed his adultery situation.  Talk about taking the wind out of your sails—Pull that one out of the pipeline!

But then I pondered, how very relevant to publish this now.  Let me explain why.

Patraeus, like so many others, reminds us all about the permanence of leadership lessons in spite of the person.  Leadership lessons do not lose their efficacy just because a person fails to live up to them.  Leadership lessons do not fail; we fail.  I’ve noticed it has something to do with the human condition.

If leadership principles are true (and they are), then they are true because of their inherent correctness.  They are not true just because one person demonstrates them.  Rather, the person who lives out their truths does so precisely because the leadership principles are correct.

When someone fails in his or her leadership, that individual failure, no matter how abhorrent, does not negate the leadership principles.  The leadership principles remain true.  It is always the individual who intentionally chooses to maintain fidelity to them or not.  The leadership principles do not choose to be correct—they are correct intrinsically.

I have read all of Patraeus’ “Rules for Living.”  They are excellent.  In tomorrow’s post, I will share my favorites.

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About James Meadows

Currently I serve as a training team manager for Tyco Integrated Security at a customer-care center in Kansas City. Additionally, I am a business consultant, a freelance corporate writer, an Assembly of God ordained minister, a Civil Air Patrol chaplain, and a blogger. I believe we are living in the most fascinating times of human history. To maximize the opportunities these times present, I have a passionate interest in leadership development and organizational success, both of which I view as inextricably linked.

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