General Tony Zinna was on The Leonard Lopate Show Tuesday promoting his new book Leading the Charge.

Now, there’s a haircut you can set your watch to. The man is thoughtful and well-spoken. He says what he means and means what he says – Orwell would be proud. Listening to him was a pleasure.

Particularly poignant were the last four minutes of the interview when he speaks of the lack of long-term thinking and information overload.

His advice to future leaders:

  1. be super competent, never stop learning
  2. take care of your people and the people you serve
  3. have a personal code based on a value and ethical system you can be proud of

That’s good advice, sans proselytizing.

We are doomed without personal morality and our consumerist techno-culture doesn’t exactly stress responsibility and mindfulness. The best a person or organization can do is seek knowledge, pay attention to (and take care of) others, and be honest with oneself.

When asked if the new generation has a personal code Zinni replies that it’s hard because the institutions that used to provide such a foundation (family, faith, and schools were his examples) aren’t.

It is hard, but I think our morality is evolving with everything else. We’re scraping off the facade of institutions and reclaiming the values upon which they were built. We’ll find our way.

Technology Leading the Charge