Retreat and Return – and the Blessing of James Mattis

I did not retreat! I have returned!

Absence of blog for about one month due to technology not personality. Presence of blog going forward due to triumph of personality over technology.

However my next book – Professionalizing Leadership – is in its final throes. Therefore, between now and when it goes to press all posts will be short and pointed.


There is no question that America did change – its traditions and institutions less robust than even a decade ago. There is no question that America will change – its president-elect is a man of dubious character and uncertain temperament. There is, however, one thing that has not changed. America is endowed with occasional leaders who bestow on the present the best of the past. General James Mattis, who will be the next Secretary of Defense, is such a man. Try this experience-experiment. Watch five minutes of Donald Trump’s first news conference in six months, held yesterday. Then watch five minutes of James Mattis’s confirmation hearing, held today – after which no more need be said.

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