Q: Can you describe MacArthur's leadership style?|
SUMNER: General MacArthur was not a robust, hail met, backslapping -- he was
not a Patton. I never heard...anyone accuse him of using any curse words.
I mean he was very austere and many times you could accuse him of being very
aloof, but he suffered fools not at all and he was, his style of leadership I
think was emulated throughout the Army.
He was the icon of what an officer should be. He was intelligent, brilliant --
probably one of the most brilliant officers we've ever had in the Armed Forces
and he had tremendous integrity.... You know when they tried to talk him out
of the amphibious invasion up at Inchon, he was able to face down the chiefs,
he was able... because he knew he had a great ego. I mean anyone that rises to
that position has a tremendous ego. He had tremendous confidence which he was
able to project and he was able to influence, if you will, and great charisma I
mean he was just obvious.
Whenever you met him or talked to him he didn't try to impress people, I mean
it was an amazing bit of Americana really that he could do this and his
performance before the American Congress. Somebody said it made John Barrymore
look like a second rate actor. I mean the man had just this theatrical
presence about him that was just amazing and it was not a put on. It was just a
very genuine, and he was a very warm person. When I met him he was just exactly
what you think an officer should be.
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