Thursday, November 20, 2003

Schwarzkopf: It starts with character

General from first Iraq war here

By Perry Schaible
Enquirer contributor


SHARONVILLE - There are two secrets to leadership in the 21st century, retired Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf told a crowd of 520 Wednesday at the Sharonville Convention Center: When placed in command, take charge and do what's right.

Schwarzkopf spoke for 40 minutes on "Leadership in Difficult Times," the same topic addressed by former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani in Oxford on Monday.

"Leadership is to inspire people to willingly do that which they normally would not do," said Schwarzkopf, standing in front of a red, white and blue backdrop.

"The single most important component of this thing called leadership is character."

While answering questions, the former four-star general called for a need for cultural sensitivity in Iraq to help understand why certain actions are taken.

He shared his most difficult decision as a leader - when he signed the order to start military action as commander of Operation Desert Storm in Iraq more than a decade ago.

Sponsor was the Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with all five Chamber leadership groups in Butler County. Proceeds from the $125-a-person program will be divided among the chambers in Fairfield, Hamilton, Middletown, Oxford and West Chester, said Nancy Wiley, event coordinator.

The speech was "exactly what I expected," said Chris Schaede of Liberty Township, who called it inspiring.

Schwarzkopf closed his speech with these words: We "must be willing to take charge and do what's right and we will prevail."

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