RICHMOND, Va. -- Retired Army Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf urged students at the country's first school for leadership studies Wednesday to cultivate character as well as competence.
The leader of allied forces in the Persian Gulf War, speaking at the inauguration and dedication of the Jepson School of Leadership Studies at the University of Richmond, cited a list of subjects he thinks should and should not be taught at the innovative school.
'I hope we don't teach that leadership and management are the same,' Schwarzkopf said. 'Managers manage systems, they manage finance, they manage shops, they manage equipment. I've met a lot of great managers in my time, but I've met a lot of great managers who were lousy leaders.'
Schwarzkopf said that while managers may be great at ensuring that the corporate bottom line remains in the black, they too often forget that the fundamental element of the organization is people.
'I hope that we teach here that leaders lead people, leaders lead human beings, each with hopes and dreams and ambitions just like the leader himself,' he said. 'And without these people, without these people, no matter what walk of life it is, your high-technology system, your equipment, your organizations that are managed by the managers will utterly, utterly fail.'
Schwarzkopf said character is crucial to the country's future, especially in crises.
'I hope you're going to teach ethics. I hope you're going to teach morality. I hope you're going to teach integrity. If you look at the leadership failures around the world that have occurred in the last 100 years, about 99.9 percent of all of those failures have not been competence, they have been failures in character.'
He also said leaders should expect scrutiny, and therefore should lead by example.
'People look at their leaders, and hope that their leaders are better human beings than they are,' Schwarzkopf said.
The charismatic general received a standing ovation, as several hundred students, alumni and guests braved 90-degree temperatures at the university's new Stern Plaza to dedicate the 72,000-square-foot Jepson Hall.
During the ceremony, a group circulated a flier objecting to the retired general's appearance. The Ad Hoc Committee for Enlightened Education said the choice of Schwarzkopf emphasizes authoritarian-style decision-making over other models of leadership that the school will study.
'In a way, we are fighting for the soul of the Jepson School,' said Gregory Asay, a senior from Cherry Hill, N.J.
The new school is the dream of Richmond alumnus Robert Jepson Jr. and his wife, Alice.
The millionaire businessman from Savannah, Ga., conceived of the idea six years ago and donated $20 million to establish the school.