10 Points for Managers by Louis L. Wilson Jr., Former CMDR in Chief-Pacific Air Forces

10 Points for Managers

Below, I am sharing the 10 Points for Managers. Download your FREE copy for your desktop here.


When I was in the Army, a Mentor sent me a list of 10 Points of Advice for Mangers. They were written by the late Louis Locke Wilson Jr., former General and the former Commander in Chief of the Pacific Air Forces.


My Mentor said he has them on his desktop and reads them every day. I can’t say I read them every day, but I have them on the desktop of my computer. It helps me focus when I glance up and know they are there.


  1. Be tough. Set your standards high and insist that your people measure up. Have the courage to correct, and, if necessary, chastise those who fail to do so. Discipline those who won’t conform. In the long run your people will be happier. Almost certainly moral will be higher, your outfit better, and your people prouder. Good outfits have tough commanders – not arbitrary or unfair or cruel – just tough. Get out from behind your desk, and see for yourself what’s going on. Your place of business as a Manager is where the action is. Leave your footprints all over the place. Your subordinates will see that you’re interested in their problems, working conditions, and welfare. Many of your people problems will go away if you practice this point.
  2. Search out the problems – they are there. If you think there are no problems in your organization, you are ignorant. Again, they are there. The trick is to find them. Foster an environment that encourages people to bring problems to you. If you shun problems you are not fit to command.
  3. Find the critical path to success – Then, get personally involved on a priority basis. Let your influence be felt on the make/break issues in your organization. Avoid the “activity trap” – don’t spend your valuable time on inconsequential or trivial matters. Weigh in where it counts. Be the master of your fate – don’t leave it to chance.
  4. Be sensitive. Listen to your people. Communicate. Be perceptive. Recognize that communications are shared perceptions. Empathize. Learn to recognize problems. Seek ideas. Be innovative. Listen, listen, listen.
  5. Don’t take things for granted. Don’t assume things wrong have been fixed – look for yourself. Neither assume they will stay fixed. The probability is high that “fixed” problems will recur. Recheck the fix.
  6. Don’t alibi – just fix it. Remember you and your outfit can never be perfect. People will make mistakes. Don’t be defensive about things that are wrong. Nothing is more disgusting than the individual who can do no wrong and has an alibi for any and everything that goes awry.
  7. Don’t procrastinate. Don’t put off those hard decisions because you’re not willing to make them today. It won’t be easier tomorrow. This doesn’t mean to make precipitous or unreasoned decisions just to be prompt. But once you have arrived at what you believe is correct, get on with it.
  8. Don’t stymie progress.
  9. Don’t tolerate incompetence. Once a person has demonstrated that he is too lazy or too disinterested, or unable because of aptitude to get the job done, you must have the courage to terminate his assignment. You cannot afford to do less. On the other hand, when your people are doing good work, recognize it and encourage them. Certainly, they will do even better.
  10. Be honest. Managers don’t quibble. Tell it like it is. Insist that your people do likewise. They set their patterns based on your example. Absolutely nothing can be more disastrous than garbled information, half-truths, and falsifications. Make sure your people know how you stand on this matter. Encourage them to come to you if they have doubts or are troubled about veracity in the outfit. You must create an atmosphere of trust and confidence. And be honest with yourself – don’t gimmick reports and figures or use cunning ways just to make things look good. If you do, you are a loser before you start.


A Managers job is to lead. This requires hard work, enthusiasm for the job, and sensitivity to what’s going on around you. Set your standards high, be involved, listen, know what the problems are, remove the weak, promote the strong – and to do this well. You’ve got to be tough to be a success.


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