Jan 1, 2020
Considered perhaps one of the
most influential Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in
history, Admiral Mike Mullen takes a fresh approach to the most important
issues of the 21st century—including America's global positioning
and how business trends and the economic health of the U.S.
directly impact our national security. Admiral Michael Mullen also
shares his thoughts on how
to eliminate fear, and why everyone needs to have a defined set of
principles and moral values they should never violate.
[4:25] Admiral Mullen has taken unpopular stances throughout his
42-year military career, but you have to take risks if you want to
succeed. When he took command of a small ship in 1973, half of the
people he knew said not to do it/it was too risky and the other
half said that he should do it/it’s who we are. A few months in, he
crashed the ship! It took him 11 years to recover
[7:25] Admiral Mullen gets a lot of notoriety from his position on
‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.’ When Obama won, he knew the President
required the help of the military.
[10:45] Admiral Mullen taught History and the Practice of Diplomacy at
Princeton for six years and has recently transitioned to the Naval
Academy to teach leadership.
[14:25] Admiral Mullen tries to teach young people about the
importance of defining moral values and working with core
principles. What do you stand for? You need to know.
[17:25] There are three
principles about the proper use of military force: military power
should be the last resort of the state, force should be applied in
a precise, principled way, and policy and strategy should
constantly engage one another.
[20:05] When you make a tough
decision, you need constant feedback after, to understand how that
decision is progressing and affecting the organization.
[21:05] If a leader doesn’t give
permission for their staff to fail and recover, then your team
won’t be taking much risk in the first place. How do
you eliminate fear? By empowering your people to fail.
[28:20] People are so tied
emotionally to how they’re feeling today that they put aside the
organization they care about the most, the one they spend most of
their life in, because of those feelings. Because of this, Admiral
Mullen feels people do great damage to the military and its
[32:50] Admiral Mullen would like to have a smaller army; that way if
we do have to go to war and have to draft our sons and daughters
for it, the American people along with Congress have to think very
carefully whether doing that is the right choice. It’s way too easy
to go to war today and that’s the most serious decision
a president will ever have to
[41:25] Veterans are having a
tough time getting jobs and Admiral Mullen understands why. He has
helped create veterans and throughout his career, he and his peers
spent zero time helping veterans transition from military life to
civilian life, and we need to get better at that. The transition
phase is the hardest one to go through, not just for military
personnel, but for their families, too.
[48:15] Admiral Mullen gives a shout out to an organization that he
and his wife deeply care about — TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program
- “People who will not risk cannot
the military, even when it’s going really well, it’s a dangerous
you teach, you really do have an opportunity to
we do in one place affects so many other people in the
had bosses who really encouraged me to take risks and when I fell
on my face, they took care of me.”
Admiral Michael Mullen on
Princeton University Faculty — Admiral Michael
17th Chairman of The Joint Chiefs
of Staff — Admiral Michael Mullen
Admiral Michael Mullen in The New York Times
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