George Reed, associate dean of the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, was one of a handful of scholars invited to Washington, D.C. by Army Chief of Staff General Ray Odierno to work with recently promoted brigadier generals. The Army Senior Leader Development Program is euphemistically called the “charm school” by some who attend, but it is a developmental event designed to prepare them for the significant transition that Army officers make as they move to the highest levels of responsibility.
The topic of Reed’s half-day session conducted on March 27 was titled Leadership, Power, and Ethics. “The guidance was broad,” he said. “They simply asked me to speak about the corrupting influence of power, and how the high levels of authoritative power they wield influences how others interact with them.” After a presentation that related some behavioral science research on the topic the participants engaged in an extended facilitated discussion that was joined by some of the Army’s highest ranking officers including General Dennis Via, Commander of the U.S. Army Material Command. “That was a real treat for me,” said Reed, “because General Via and I served together as paratroopers at Fort Bragg, N.C., and were classmates at the U.S. Army War College. He is a soldier I hold in very high regard.”
The task was not new to Reed who served as an Army officer for 27 years before joining the faculty at the University of San Diego in 2007. Before that he was the Director of Command and Leadership Studies at the U.S. Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pa. He continues to study military leadership and is often asked to lecture on topics of interest to military organizations.
Reed was complimentary of the event and those who participated. “General Officers are a universally impressive group. They have all deployed to Afghanistan or Iraq multiple times and they carry immense responsibility. It was an honor to work with them and to have the opportunity to thank them for their continuing service to our nation.” He added, “the invitation to address this important group is a reflection of the increasing reputation of the instruction and scholarship on the subject of leadership at the University of San Diego.”
– Inside USD Staff