Management Skills from Great Leaders
Dwight D. Eisenhower
When you look at examples of great leadership you can gain a significant lift by viewing the accomplishments of General and President Eisenhower. The ability to manage the entirety of the Allied forces in WWII was truly above and beyond. When you start to understand what Dwight faced and over-came, it is not only inspiring but a great model for modern managers.
Dwight D. Eisenhower had unarguably one of the longest and most taxing leadership roles in American history. For two decades, the lives of thousands, sometimes millions, of people and the fate of great nations hung on his decisions.
As Supreme Allied Commander during World War II, Eisenhower oversaw the greatest amphibious assault in history, organizing the largest air and sea armadas ever assembled and commanding 160,000 men in the momentous Operation Overlord.
After the success of that mission helped bring the war to a close, Eisenhower dreamed of going home to a happy and peaceful retirement. Instead, he went on to serve in five more globally pivotal positions: Head of the American Occupation Zone in Germany, Chief of Staff, president of Columbia University, Supreme Commander of NATO, and President of the United States of America.
In each position, Eisenhower achieved great successes and also made mistakes. But whether he was navigating setbacks or achieving triumphs, he led. A self-described “simple Kansas farm boy,” his humor and congeniality—along with that famous lopsided grin—hid a keen and curious mind, an unyielding work ethic, and an ironclad sense of self-confidence. That confidence allowed him to stand tall with the weight of the world on his shoulders and boldly make critical decisions. The word his associates most often used to describe him was trust; people trusted Ike to make the right choices and shoot straight with them. His dedication to principle and his bounding vitality could inspire people to lofty visions, while his aw-shucks humility created a feeling of friendship and intimacy even with those he had never met. These qualities and more won him the affection, loyalty, and admiration of those who served both under him and over him.
“Morale is born of loyalty, patriotism, discipline, and efficiency, all of which breed confidence in self and in comrades…Morale is at one and the same time the strongest, and the most delicate of growths. It withstands shocks, even disasters of the battlefield, but can be destroyed utterly by favoritism, neglect, or injustice.” -DE
Truly, there is much to be learned from the life of Dwight D. Eisenhower, and so every other week for the next couple months, we’ll be taking an in-depth look at the many rock-solid leadership lessons that can be gleaned from his life, particularly his time in the military…More at Leadership Lessons from General Eisenhower: How to Build Morale …
For managers and executives seeking inspiration for their leadership skills and development it might be of real value to follow this series accessed in the link above.
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