The Intelligent Questioner

See also Courageous Followership Blog


Book Excerpt – Wise Leaders Value Intelligent Disobedience

Intelligent Disobedience does not imply that the authority figure is acting immorally, though that case certainly occurs. The individual with formal authority may simply be wrong for a variety of reasons. There are many other well- intentioned reasons that a person with authority may ask us to do something that […]


Book Excerpt – What is Intelligent Disobedience?

What exactly is Intelligent Disobedience? I had the same question when I first heard the term. These are two words that don’t usually fit together. We know what obedience is: following orders or rules or established ways of doing things. Obeying usually keeps life running smoothly. Disobedience is a contrary […]


If I Had Known Then what I Know Now

US 1936 Olympics gold medal backstroke champion, Adolph Kiefer, the son of German immigrants, died this week at 98 years old. As the US Navy’s chief swim instructor in WWII he is credited with saving thousands of lives by teaching sailors a survival form of the backstroke. He broke world […]


Tortured Souls

In the May/June issue of Foreign Affairs magazine, Army Major General (Retired) Antonio Taguba and Marine Lt Colonel (Retired) Scott Cooper review two memoirs about torture that the authors of the memoirs participated in while assigned to the Mid-East in the “war on terror.” These memoirs are relevant reads for […]


Leading & Following in Law Enforcement

The principles of courageous followership have found their way into many aspects of our culture. In California, for example, The Police Officer Standards of Training have for many years included The Courageous Follower in the year long sergeant level training program. View on amazon.com There is now a new arrival […]


Bright Spots Amid “The Carnage”

A peaceful but seismic change of government occurred this weekend in Washington. The newly sworn in President chose to describe the national landscape as one of “carnage” that was difficult for many to recognize. In the midst of the uncertain course of this presidency it is important to not lose […]


Bringing light to the world

At each stage of mankind’s history there has been darkness caused by natural phenomena or by the misuse of power by humans. In the winter solstice that we now enter in the Northern hemisphere, each culture has evolved its rituals and celebrations to counter the physical darkness and its accompanying […]


On David Swanson’s Disobey or Die

There is a clear distinction between Intelligent Disobedience and Civil Disobedience; the former may lead to the latter, but not necessarily. Intelligent Disobedience is resistance to specific orders that would produce harm; it may be done quietly though firmly. Civil Disobedience is publicly visible action to disrupt and bring attention […]


Reflections on a Young Writer in Paris

I read with interest in today’s Washington Post about the famous Parisian bookstore, Shakespeare and Company, a magnet for great American authors of the 20th century. While not rising to the level of its famed literati, I too frequented the bookstore during my 1964 sojourn in Paris. Just as the […]