I have learned much during the years I have labored under the banner of various political and cultural organizations. I have experienced times of great joy, and times of great sadness. I have seen great victories, and I have witnessed many missed opportunities.

Never forget to honor your foot-soldiers!

Never forget to honor your foot-soldiers!

I have had the privilege of working with some of the most tireless, devoted, passionate patriots any organization could ever hope for. Personally, I get far too much credit for the Mississippi State Flag fight. Napoleon said the soldiers win battles and the generals get credit. I am glad to have my name associated with the foot-soldiers as well as the leadership – the fine men, women and youth of During my recent campaign for Governor, the troops came out once more and rallied around the Cause and we won several new victories.

All of our projects have been very difficult endeavors. During the course of it all we learned a lot of lessons that will be used in our future work to achieve higher objectives.

Overall, the cause to preserve our Southern cultural identity has met with many difficulties. Most of the ink flowing from Southern pens paints a very pessimistic picture. Many tell us we are losing the cultural war. I hear speech after speech about how apathetic our people are. Over and over again we are told that “our people” are outnumbered, outgunned, and out-financed. So what else is new?

I, for one, am not pessimistic and I certainly do not wish to blame apathy for our problems. Further, I don’t believe the greatest deficiency among the Southern organizations is a lack of manpower; or a lack of finances; or a lack of machinery. These things are important concerns, but they are not our greatest deficit. I believe the most urgent concern is the dearth of leadership. Without true leaders – without bold, audacious, passionate men of vision – our Cause will not advance very far.

While there are a few exceptions, a survey of the Southern organizations, in general, reveals a landscape void of leadership. Where are the Jackson’s, the Forrest’s, the Henry’s, the Wallace’s to lead us to victory?

In the Mississippi State Flag fight the leaders from the various Southern organizations seemed more concerned with getting credit for victory, rather than victory itself. True leaders have one objective and one only: to achieve victory. Victory is not achieved by those seeking personal glory, but by those dedicated to advancing the Cause.

The success or failure of any organization rests upon its leadership, which leads me to the central theme of today’s speech “WWJD” or “What Would Jackson Do?” I would like to put forth some leadership principles that I have observed over the years by studying men that are my heroes – Stonewall Jackson, Nathan Bedford Forrest, and other great leaders of men. Patrick Henry, another favorite, once said, “Don’t study books – study men!”

I don’t propose to lay out some scientific formula conceived by one of the so-called specialists in the field of leadership with their: 15 Laws of Leadership or 17 Easy Steps to Effective Leadership. What I want to offer is common-sense principles that are found embedded in the soul of great men.


Leadership is a very complicated study. No two men are alike. No two great leaders are alike. Yet they do share certain qualities that raise them up above the crowd. Leadership is made up of several ingredients though it is largely based on character and judgment.

  • Leadership is influence, people skills and loyalty
  • Leadership is communication and connectivity
  • Leadership is organizing, preparing, navigating
  • Leadership is timing and priority-setting
  • Leadership is optimism and hope, tempered by realism
  • Leadership is intuition, vision and victory
  • Leadership is sacrifice

And these are just some of the constituent parts. The more effective the leader, the more ingredients are found. A leader’s ability determines his effectiveness.

Some say that knowledge makes a leader; that since this man is more knowledgeable than others, he should lead. Knowledge is important but, of itself, it does not make one a leader. Others say the person out front ought to be the leader. Doing something first does not make one a true leader.

Some people are appointed to leadership, but appointment does not confer talent and skill. In fact, mere positional leadership does not work in a volunteer organization. In the corporate world position has leverage. In the military rank has power. But these factors do not apply in a volunteer group…….Let us examine some principles of great leadership.

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