Retired Army Brigadier General outlines six attributes of leadership to TROY graduates

Posted: Monday, 16 May 2016

DOTHAN - Retired Army Brig. Gen. Rodney D. Wolfe told a crowd of more than 150 Troy University graduates Sunday that there are six attributes shared by successful leaders.

Wolfe delivered the keynote speech at the Dothan Campus' spring commencement exercises, which took place Sunday afternoon at the Dothan Civic Center.

"Our country needs leaders - today, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow," Wolfe said.

The first key leadership attribute Wolfe pointed to was expertise.

"Know your job," Wolfe said. "Expertise is never ceasing to learn. You start at the apprentice level (and) hopefully you'll advance to the master level one day."

The next two attributes he discussed, ethical work behavior and trust, were tied closely together.

"Simply stated, just do what is right," Wolfe said. "Do what you say you're going to do. Rely on someone. Trust is not given freely. Trust has to be earned."

Stewardship was another attribute on his list.

"Assume responsibility," Wolfe told the crowd. "Many will say that's the prerogative of the leadership in an organization. I say, no, that's dead wrong. When you look at stewardship, it means every individual is responsible to the organization. You want the organization to grow, become more effective and more efficient."

Esprit de corps, "pride in what you're doing," is vital to good leadership, Wolfe said, presenting graduates with two different hypothetical teams - one that maintains a positive team spirit and another that mopes and complains.

"Which team do you want to be on? The answer is obvious," Wolfe said.

And finally, Wolfe told graduates that to be good leaders, they must be visionaries.

"A vision is simply a roadmap to the future," he said. "Without a plan, you'll never get to where ou're going."

Wolfe previously served as Deputy Commanding General/Assistant Commandant for the U.S. Army Aviation Center at Fort Rucker.

Brigadier General

Retired Army Brig. Gen. Rodney Wolfe addresses graduates at the Dothan Civic Center during Troy University's spring commencement exercises Sunday, May 15.