Major General Craig B. Whelden, Established Author, Speaks on “Memento Mori” in the Modern World

Whelden is a motivational speaker on leadership and life lessons and is the author of, “LEADERSHIP: The Art of Inspiring People to Be Their Best”

LOS ANGELES, CA, UNITED STATES, November 8, 2019 / — As the story goes, a Roman General was returning from a victorious battle. Behind him on his chariot was his slave. As they entered the gates of Rome—among the adulation of the adoring citizens—his slave leaned forward and whispered into his ear, “Memento Mori” or in Latin, “Remember, you are mortal.”

General John Kelly’s recent revelation that as he left the Trump Administration, he advised the President “not to backfill him with a ‘Yes Man’ or risk impeachment” is testament to the frailties of power when surrounding yourself with people who will not tell you the truth. Nobody is there to tell the Emperor he is naked.

Any institution – governmental or otherwise – risks the abuse of power when a leader becomes swept up in his own self-admiration and no one around him will tell him the truth. We have seen ample evidence of this in the #MeToo movement and, it has—sadly—occasionally been an issue with senior leaders in the U.S. military, notwithstanding the high regard of the American public.

After becoming a General Officer over 20 years ago, I adopted a habit I had witnessed other use, then and since. Quarterly, I gathered my staff to ensure they understood that I would never intentionally cross an ethical or legal boundary. Circumstances would often pull us in that direction because people just wanted to “help the General” and it was necessary for all of us to be aware of these risks.

I told them they were all charged with keeping me, and our entire team, inside those boundaries. If in doubt, say something. I then turned the meeting over to the attending ethics attorney who ensured everyone knew where those boundaries were.

President Trump would be well advised to do the same – if it’s not already too late.


Major General Craig Whelden, U.S. Army (Retired) served 30 years in an Army uniform followed by another nine as a member of the Senior Executive Service for the Marine Corps. He is a motivational speaker on leadership and life lessons and is the author of a #1 International Best-Selling book, LEADERSHIP: The Art of Inspiring People to Be Their Best.

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Source: EIN Presswire