Pat Tillman, Toxic Leadership, & The Urgent Need for Common Sense Leadership - The Debrief Podcast with Jon Becker

Written by:
Pete Blaber
February 16, 2024

Recently, I appeared on Jon Becker's Debrief podcast. We discussed critical issues  surrounding leadership, both the devastating kind and the desperately needed kind.  We unpacked the heartbreaking case of Pat Tillman, an incredible leader and a man I admired.  Pat's tragic death and the cover-up that followed are chilling examples of why toxic leadership needs to be exposed and why common sense leadership is more necessary than ever.

During the interview, I stressed the vital distinctions between harmful and healthy leadership. Toxic leadership manifests in ways we all recognize — dishonesty, micromanagement, a lack of empathy. When this happens, people get hurt. Pat Tillman stands as a devastating example of how toxic leadership can lead to catastrophic consequences. His death demands to be a lesson about creating  organizations with better accountability, better transparency, and better decision-making.

That better future can't happen without understanding and embracing common sense leadership. Now, common sense might not seem like a revolutionary concept, but I see it as core to how we get teams and organizations working the way they should. When you prioritize the well-being of the people under your command, you make better decisions. You prioritize communication, giving individuals both space and support to make choices within their area of expertise. You listen when concerns are raised, and you own mistakes like an adult.  Accountability is non-negotiable. Common sense leadership is simply how you treat people.

Pat Tillman was a prime example of a common sense leader – brave, principled, and devoted to his team. His loss remains a painful reminder of what we lack when toxic leadership goes unchecked.  But what I hope it reminds us is what we must actively cultivate.  Leaders  have to create trust, they have to lead from a place of respect, and their communication has to be truthful. They have a huge responsibility, and sometimes they make huge mistakes. That's why open communication, speaking when you see problems, demanding accountability from those in charge – all of this matters. This isn't a time to tolerate excuses, cover-ups, or abuses of power.

So watch the interview, hear more about  why these issues matter so much to me and learn more about building the kind of teams we all deserve. This is how we honor Pat Tillman. This is how we prevent more needless tragedies caused by toxic leadership. It's a conversation worth having, one that all of us need to be invested in.

Keywords: Pat Tillman, common sense leadership, toxic leadership, Pete Blaber, military leadership, Debrief podcast, leadership accountability

Common Sense Leadership Matters

Common Sense Leadership Matters

Experience the gripping account of true events that shaped the destiny of Pat Tillman and the courageous Rangers of 2nd Platoon in Afghanistan. "Common Sense Leadership Matters" takes you on an unforgettable journey, revealing a shocking truth that was hidden from the world.

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