Some military professionals like to toss about the phrase, "Amateurs study strategy, professionals study logistics." I don't really buy this phrase, but I'm coming up with a new one of my own: "We talk about leadership because we are amateurs (and not really that good at it anyway), but we really should focus more on management." When I had the conversation with the Omani gentleman, my picture of a manager was a guy in short sleeves and a bad tie. Leadership was by far the more important and challenging skill in my mind. I was repulsed by the mention of my "managerial acumen" (a stock phrase) in an award I had received for my previous tour. Who wants to be a manager? I wanted to be a leader of Marines.
For more on this subject, see my latest post here.