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More Hesselbein on Leadership by Frances Hesselbein

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In Service to the Common Good

In 1998, General Dennis Reimer, chief of staff of the U.S. Army, and General Timothy Maude, deputy chief of staff for personnel, invited me to the Pentagon to speak on leadership and diversity to the officers responsible for Army personnel. After I spoke, we had a spirited dialogue, and then a general said, “I am responsible for recruitment. We aren’t getting the number of new recruits we require. If you were in charge, what would you do?”

I took “in charge” broadly and replied, “Tomorrow morning, I would institute national and community service for every 18-year-old man and woman in the United States. They would serve 18 months or two years. They could serve in one of the five branches of the military, or communities ...

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