Patton on Leadership Summary


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Strategic Lessons For Corporate Warfare

Read “Patton on Leadership” and pick the brain of one of the most controversial World War II leaders – General George S. Patton.

About Alan Axelrod

Alan Axelrod is an author of many books on career development, history, and management, among which is the bestseller, “Elizabeth I CEO.”

"Patton on Leadership Summary"

General George S. Patton was a controversial World War II leader, from whose accomplishments on the battlefield, we can learn many tactics that can be used in the corporate world.

What could a war commander teach you, you ask?

First, Patton believed that a leader should get in the front lines daily, instead of pushing the soldiers from behind.

He also believed that a leader should only focus on managing larger divisions and stop himself from micromanaging.

In today’s world, the most important thing for a leader is to focus on the mission, without compromise, and make his people seize the opportunities.

Furthermore, Patton believed in constant action. He believed in going forward and attacking instead of defending himself.

Some have criticized him as reckless, but Patton never took uncalculated risks.

He examined the situation and knew when it was time to attack in order to reach the goal quickly.

In his own words, he said that “Any operation, reduced to its primary characteristic, consists in moving

down the road until you bump into the enemy. It may be one road, or it may be several

roads. When you have bumped, hold him at the point of contact with fire with about a

third of your command. Move the rest in a wide envelopment so that you can attack him

from his rear flank. The enveloping attack should start first. The initial nose attack starts

to move forward only when the enemy has properly reacted to the enveloping attack.

Then the direct attack can go in easily and fast.”

In business, you will sometimes feel that a problem is too big for you to handle, but instead of going into a defense position, face fear, keep the forward momentum and find a way to manage the circumstances.

Key Lessons from “Patton on Leadership”

1. The Traits of a Great Commander According to Patton 2. Morale, Discipline, and Timing 3. The Golden Rule of War

The Traits of a Great Commander According to Patton

  • Tactical aggression (loves a fight)
  • Strength of character
  • Steadiness of purpose
  • Acceptance of responsibility
  • Energy
  • Good health

Morale, Discipline, and Timing

Patton believed “that nearly 80% of his (a commander’s) mission is to arouse morale in his men”.

He also talked about discipline which, according to him “must be a habit so ingrained that it is stronger than the excitement of battle or the fear of death.”

Also, it is vital that the leader chooses the right timing to bring his plan into life since making a decision too early is just as bad as making one too late.

The Golden Rule of War

  • Speed
  • Simplicity
  • Boldness
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“Patton on Leadership” Quotes

[bctt tweet="Rehearse your spontaneity until it really does seem spontaneous." username="get12min"]

[bctt tweet=“Maximum productivity is not the same as working continuously or working to exhaustion.” username=“get12min”]

[bctt tweet=“If you want progress, you must rule out all the excuses that impede progress.” username=“get12min”]

[bctt tweet=“Leadership is often a matter of balancing timing against available resources.” username=“get12min”]

[bctt tweet=“An effective manager not only knows how to delegate tasks, but knows how to delegate leadership as well.” username=“get12min”]