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.   

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