Nov 29, 2022
Today’s episode is the second in a 3-part series on leadership,
featuring guests Brig Gen Robert “Gwyn” Armfield, USAF (Ret.),
former OCF executive director Lt Gen Bruce Fister, USAF (Ret.), and
current OCF executive director Col Scott Fisher, USAF (Ret.). The
topic that’ll be discussed is failure and how to deal with it as a
leader in the high-stakes military profession. As my guest Bruce
Fister points out, “We’re all going to fail at one point … But you
have to deal with it because otherwise no one is going to learn
Some of the aspects of failure that Bruce, Gwynn, and Scott
touch upon include how leaders can create a culture of trust by
“being real” about their failures, the importance of setting up
those you lead for success—and the space to fail, how smart leaders
understand their strengths and weaknesses and rely on others for
help, and what can happen when you act too quickly in
decision-making without taking it to prayer.
If you would like to share your own story, complete the form on
OCF’s “Be a Guest” webpage. Alternatively, if
you have an idea for a guest or topic I should consider for a
future episode of the show, send an email to email@example.com.
Here are a few questions to ponder in your personal time, with a
small group, or with a mentor:
- What keeps us from facing our failures—let alone dealing with
and learning from them? How can honesty about failures as a leader
create a culture of trust with those you lead?
- Do you believe that you could never rise up to the level of
your leaders because they have never failed, and you have? Examine
the lives of King David, the Apostle Peter, and others in the Bible
who have failed, but were used by God as leaders. Still true of
- The panelists underscore that young leaders learn how to make
good decisions because someone allowed them to make bad decisions
and learn from them. Do you do that as a leader? What steps could
you take to create space for others to fail and learn from it?
- The Book of James instructs us to be “quick to listen, slow to
speak, slow to wrath” (1:19). Think of a time when those attributes
were absent either from another leader or in your own leadership.
How would you handle that situation now?
- How does communicating with God in prayer and developing a
biblical eternal perspective and spiritual resilience make it
possible to learn from and move on in the military profession when
it comes to injury and death?
- “Listen to God, seek what He would have us do, and obey
whatever that is.” Why are those so often regarded as last resort
when it comes to decisions in life, and especially so as Christian