Friday, August 22, 2014

Leadership according to General George Patton

Are you a leader or a manager?    If you google this question you will get more than 87 million hits.   It is an interesting question though.   I came across an article this week in Inc. Magazine titled “The General Patton Approach to Leadership and Success.”  In it the author of the article summarizes George Patton’s leadership principles from a Patton biography published in 1979 by one of Patton’s staff officers, Porter B Williamson

I won’t list them all but here are a few to think about:
  • ·         Say what you mean and mean what you say.
  • ·         An active mind cannot exist in an inactive body.
  • ·         There is no power in a bushel of blubber.
  • ·         Talk to the troops.
  • ·         Know what you know and know what you don’t know.
  • ·         Never fight a battle when nothing is gained by winning.

And here are my two favorites:
  • ·         Never make a decision too early or too late.
  • ·         Revenge belongs to God.

I find myself faced today with a difficult decision regarding a client.   Difficult decisions are always, well, difficult.   But the path to success is paved with difficult decisions regardless of how you define success.   I never have really considered the concept of the timing of a decision.  “Never make a decision too early or too late” is a talent that I must work on.  

I read another article recently, also in Inc. Magazine, that listed the 7 Habits of People with Remarkable Mental  Toughness.  Being a great leader and mental toughness go hand in hand.   A quote from that article that has stuck with me is - Successful people (leaders) are great at overcoming fear in order to do what they need to do. (Of course, that doesn't mean they aren't scared--that does mean they're brave. Big difference.) 

I am interested in how you define leadership and success.   Send me an email at with your thoughts.   Also follow me on twitter at @sperrycpa.   

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Happy Anniversary Brenda & Jack - August 16, 1974

Another example of how time flies by.   My sister and her husband Jack are celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary today.   August 16, 1974 seems just like yesterday.   On August 15, 1974 all the men that were in the wedding party went to the lake and got sunburned.   I got to tag along even though I was just 16.  You should see the pictures.   We are all red faced.   Brenda still likes to remind Jack of that.

I was telling someone this week that I measure the passage of time by the presidents.   By the time that the next president serves 8 years, assuming they are reelected, I will be 65 years old.   Obama is in his 6 year. Wow how fast the past 6 years have gone by. I know, some of you don't think so but please don't politicize my rambling about the passage of time.

I have a good friend, Ken, who is my age.   He helped me move some furniture two weeks ago today.   The following Thursday he had to go in for a stress test.  He failed.  He had to have quadruple bypass surgery last Tuesday.   I went to see him yesterday.   The lesson I learned this week is that I don't want to have open heart surgery.   My how time passes by quickly.

I have decided that I am going to stop letting the little things make me so angry.   It is not Godly.   It is not healthy and it just gives the advantage to the person or situation that made you angry in the first place.  I don't want to give the advantage to anyone and I don't want to have open heart surgery.   My how time passes by so quickly.

I am going to Sandye's brother's youngest son's birthday party this afternoon.  Matt's son is turning three.  Matt was born on December 19, 1977.  He will be 37 this year.   I remember the day Matt was born.  I had just completed the first semester of my second year at the University of Arkansas.  December 19 was the day I got home for Christmas break.  My how time passes by so very quickly.

If I stay healthy, I could live another 30-40 years.   The focus of the first 56 years of my life have been on education, family, making money.  All important things.   I have decided that the next 30+ years need to be spent on God, family, serving others and going to the beach.   My how time passes by so quickly.  I had better get started.