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Dalton Fury Leadership Secrets #10 Is Out

Maybe you’ve read his book, maybe not (if not, you should fix that). The former Delta commander, OIC of the first efforts to track down UBL right after 9/11, frequently posts updates about his upcoming work of fiction on his Facebook page, and once in a while he releases his “Leadership Secrets”. They’re worth reading, and by and large can apply to the civilian world as well as that of the military. Here’s the most recent one:

DF Leadership Secret #10: You Can’t Determine Your Own Success.

The men and women you lead determine this for you. If they are successful, then you are successful. Your stake holders will recognize it; your commanding officer will recognize it.

Just prior to taking command of an infantry rifle company a former battalion commander of mine sent me a personal note – “Now is the time to pay back all the people that got you where you are now, by ensuring their success”.  I kept the note under the glass on my desk at work and read it literally every day.

Years later I was in a musky safe house with a couple other special operators in a bombed-out Balkan slum when I received a message to call my boss. I reached him on the satellite phone within the hour and he passed on that I had been selected for promotion below-the-zone, essentially ahead of 95% of my peers, to the next rank. I was shocked, totally humbled, and quite embarrassed actually. I hung up the phone and tried to play it off with the guys around me, but they didn’t fool easily.

So, there I was, a fairly new Delta officer, the boss of a classified real-world mission, with the unenvious task of having to tell my men – who I barely knew at the time – that I was some hot-shot officer that some Department of the Army board decided needed to be promoted earlier than most of the other guys.

At that moment, with an early 90s era life-size poster of teeny-bopper Brittany Spears hanging on the wall, the only thing I could do was laugh at the absurdity of the situation, admit that the board members must have made a big mistake, and try to refocus the conversation back to the mission. But inside, I intuitively knew that my former battalion commander had been spot on. I mentally checked off the countless soldiers and sergeants, peer officers, and the talented and caring superiors I was so fortunate enough to have served with, to have learned from, and to have ultimately benefited from. Incidentally, I don’t recall any of those earlier influences and great Americans being former Tier I operators…which says a ton about the modern day American soldier.

Operators in Iraq: Courtesy Dalton Fury.

The website for his new fiction novel, on sale in just a couple of months, is called Black Site. You can also pick up Kill Bin Laden in stores or on line. Here’s a review of Dalton Fury’s non-fiction account of the early days after 9/11 from just a few months back.

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