Genuine leaders never have to draw attention to how good their quality of leadership is.
Likewise terrible leaders almost always have crutches they lean on to hoist themselves upon to look like they’re leading.
This weekend was a case study in both.
After ending the somewhat mystical trip *President Biden made to NATO this week he decided to pay the troops a “surprise visit.”
He immediately gave a bizarre speech to men and women in uniform, broke all military protocol and insulted them in the mess hall, and issued a proclamation about regime change.
Meanwhile a former uniformed Captain in the US Army was busy in another struggle to pursue excellence, chase improvement, and to conduct one’s self with such discipline and effort that they literally slept that night with no regret.
Biden told the troops he leads that “When they go to Ukraine soon, and some of them had already been there, that they were going to see women stand in the middle of… er in front of a damn tank… and say ‘I’m not leavin’, I’m holding’ my ground… they’re incredible.”
Aside from the fact that our policy is that we are not sending our troops into Ukraine, it’s likely he pulled the rest of that made up imaginary scenario from stuff he saw on TV and or was from a dream that was caused by some undigested beef from the night before.
The other leader, when a camera was on him early in the week, had taken the moment to acknowledge the effort of those he labored against. “They were really tough,” he admitted. He then proceeded to give 100% of the credit to the people he leads, “but my guys, they worked so hard, and they’ve grown up so much in the past 10-12 days, and I just couldn’t be prouder. I kept thinking to myself ‘Holy Mackerel! I get to lead these guys.”
After Biden’s speech it was time to eat and upon entering the mess hall, he wandered over to a table, saw a box of pizza, proclaimed “hey look the pizza’s here.” He then opened it, his shaky grip waving a piece back and forth he lifted it to his lips and scarfed it. The only problem being that in the military the officers eat last and the higher the rank the longer you wait. And as the commander in chief no one out-ranked him. The shock and dismay by the troops in the room was captured on video and in pictures that flooded social media.
Meanwhile as the other leader was preparing his young men for their next challenge, the most serious they had faced yet, they were effusive to the camera about their leader’s example to them. They spoke of his personal commitment to helping them become better men in all of life—not merely the pursuit of their established goal. And to a man each of them said that the success in their present challenge was driven by a desire to honor him, for his lifetime of pouring out that good example to generations of men.
Before boarding Air Force One to return to the United States, speaking on Polish soil, Biden free formed this proclamation, “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power." It was a reference to Putin and openly disputed current policy. But even if it is or was in the process of becoming policy one would think it pretty stupid to openly say it. Especially so when the named paranoid dictator already suspects it to be the aim of the US.
Meanwhile the other leader, former United States Army Captain, and the winningest coach in college basketball’s history, Mike Krzyzewski, when asked his strategy to defeating Michigan State, Texas Tech, and Arkansas in back to back difficult tests in this year’s March Madness, would only talk publicly about the need to respect their opponent and to use grit and smarts to out play them.
The fact of the matter is that “Coach K” has on every occasion his team has won the national championship given all the credit to his players. And in every major loss on the national stage he’s shoulder all of the blame and responsibility for not preparing them well enough.
With Biden every tiny success comes from his own genius, his storied toughness, his impressive ability to do things that no one else has ever seemingly done. (Even if most of them never happened.)
And in the middle of one of the most miserable administrations we the American people have lived through he blames everyone except the very policies he’s put in place that has created the national malaise he ushered in.
Sadly we are losing the humble faithful soldiers like Mike Krzyzewski on the national stage. His enduring excellence has produced 15 ACC Tournament Championships, 13 Final Fours, 11 Coach of the year honors, 9 Gold Medals and 5 national championships with one more shot dangling before him.
Instead we’re stuck with a man who’s been in politics roughly the same length of time that the Coach has been coaching and as his own former boss would say should never be “underestimated when it comes to the ability to ‘mess’ things up.”
Character, humility, and service to others.
I know which of these two men I want my sons to emulate.