Principle 10: Moral responsibility cannot be escaped
The person is a sum of his or her deeds. You cannot use your profession as a shield from responsibility for your actions. Taekwondo leaders are responsible for their own actions and, as leaders, for the actions of those under them.
Admiral Stockdale uses these principles of leadership as a basis to describe some of the basic duties of leaders:
- First, they are moralists. Taekwondo leaders set an example of morality and teach their students to be morally sound. One weapon criminals use is the manipulation of a victim's shame of a past action. A clear conscience is a person's only protection.
- Second, leaders must be jurists. Sometimes Taekwondo leaders must base their decisions solely on their ideas of fairness and their strength of character. Their judgments may be unpopular but they must never be unfair. A leader never makes a rule that cannot be obeyed.
- Third, leaders are teachers. This takes wisdom and discipline. It requires both the sensitivity to perceive philosophic disarray in your students and the knowledge of how to put things in order. In times of trouble, people cling to those they can trust. For many students, their Taekwondo instructor is the person they look to when they need help facing a problem. To develop new Taekwondo leaders, we must pass on our knowledge and experiences.
- Fourth, leaders are stewards. It requires knowledge, character, and heart to boost the confidence of students and show them the way.
- Lastly, leaders are philosophers. A Taekwondo leader must be able to explain to students the lack of moral economy in the universe. He or she must face fear with courage and failure with emotional stability. They must know a little about everything and be a little of everything.
Admiral Stockdale says that control of tragedy is the job of a leader. The final test of how well a leader performs is not how well he or she "hangs in there" when the light at the end of the tunnel is expected, but rather his or her persistence when there is not a possibility that the light will ever show up. The true meld of a leader is not how he or she performs routine operations, but how well he or she performs when everything has "gone to hell." A Taekwondo instructor never lets problems in his or her life interfere with the quality of his or her teaching. The following are some more of Admiral Stockdale's thoughts on leadership: