Military


Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst

The Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst holds as much prestige in England as West Point does in the US. It was a great honor to be the first in their speaker series at the newly established Centre for Army Leadership. I was told to expect about 80 people. 600 enlisted […]


Intelligent Disobedience at The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst

Speaking at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, where all UK Army officers are trained. 600 uniformed service members signed up for and attended my talk on Intelligent Disobedience. Terrific feedback from all ranks. The head of the Centre for Army Leadership presented me with a Sandhurst coin – a great […]


NASA and Intelligent Disobedience

NASA’s Joint Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, is managed by Cal Tech University. It is responsible for the non-human (robotic) space flights in our solar system and for advancing the earth sciences. It is an extraordinary collection of highly educated, motivated and diverse professionals. I was invited to conduct workshops […]


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 […]


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 […]


Courageous Disobedience

In my workshops on Courageous Followership we do an exercise in which participants examine from where they draw courage when they need to speak up about a sensitive subject that risks them losing the support of their senior managers. Some draw on values on which they were raised, others on […]


NASA Scientists Display Intelligent Disobedience

NASA scientists and engineers made a very tough call. They cancelled the Mars Lander mission that was scheduled for this week because of a persistent leak that would have rendered a key scientific experiment unreliable. Why do I say this was a tough call? Due to the realities of interplanetary […]