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Service-Ability: Create a Customer Centric Culture and Achieve Competitive Advantage by Kevin Robson

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9

EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP

This reprint from an article that appeared in the Daily Mail,1 London, on Thursday 29 July 2010 reminds us of the infamous war crime of the Vietnam War: the ‘My Lai Massacre’, which was followed by the torching of the village by young American troops under the command of 25 year old Lt. William Calley. Over 500 innocent civilians were murdered, the youngest just one year old and the oldest 82 years:

‘It was with … dubious preparation that 2nd Lt Calley was airlifted into South Vietnam. By early 1968, soon after his arrival, the country was in the grip of the Tet Offensive: a massive push for victory which brought 80,000 North Vietnamese troops driving southwards, striking with unprecedented ferocity. Calley was deployed to the scene of the fiercest fighting, in Quang Ngai Province, and placed in charge of a platoon of some 50 infantrymen in Charlie Company, part of the proud 23rd Infantry (American) Division. While most of his charges despised the country and its people, Calley found he loved his new life in Vietnam. Rarely able to get a date with women in Miami, where he was regarded as a nonentity and a drifter, he found he had the pick of the prettiest “boom-boom girls” – cheap local prostitutes who touted for business around the US camps. He also relished having the power to dish out orders without rebuke – even though they were frequently ill-advised. More than once his crass misjudgments endangered his men, and when a subordinate was shot dead because ...

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