The state of ethical conduct is abysmal. Few battalion commanders can afford integrity in a zero defects environment. Telling the truth ends careers quicker than making stupid mistakes or getting caught doing something wrong. I have seen many good officers slide into ethical compromise. - Army Research Institute's (ARI's) command climate assessment, quoted in General Dennis J. Reimer, Chief of Staff, U.S. Army, "Leadership for the 21st Century: Empowerment, Environment and the Golden Rule" - 1996 Military Review Article
Leaders create command climate. Positive leadership can eliminate micro-management, careerism, integrity violations and the zero defects mind-set. These attitudes are an unfortunate side effect of the turmoil created by the downsizing of our Army. These attitudes have appeared in the past-but we defeated them. We will do so again. - General Dennis J. Reimer, Chief of Staff, U.S. Army, "Leadership for the 21st Century: Empowerment, Environment and the Golden Rule" - 1996 Military Review Article
Major General James Utino once said that morale exists when "a soldier thinks that his army is the best in the world, his regiment is the best in the army, his company is the best in the regiment, his squad the best in the company, and that he himself is the best damned soldier in the outfit." Our job as leaders is to foster that attitude and morale. - General Dennis J. Reimer, Chief of Staff, U.S. Army, "Leadership for the 21st Century: Empowerment, Environment and the Golden Rule" - 1996 Military Review Article
The soldiers probed endlessly for weaknesses among their leaders, but they responded to an officer who was assured enough in his authority to be willing to explain why such and such a thing must be done. Professionalism also commanded respect. The soldiers admired an officer who knew his business, who established a clear understanding of what he expected in terms of discipline and performance, who marched at their head into danger, and yet never subjected them to unnecessary fatigue or threatened to throw away their lives for no useful purpose. - Christopher Duffy, The Military Experience in the Age of Reason, 1987
Only the strongest-minded generals could make headway against the euphoria and lassitude which now engulfed the army. In the late afternoon of the battle of Prague (6 May 1757) the Prussian hussars were Iying gorged and bloated in the captured Austrian camp. General Zieten galloped up and commanded them to launch a pursuit:
"This put Colonel Warnery in some embarrassment. He pointed to the countless knots of revellers, and the long rows of sleeping drunks. Zieten looked in the indicated direction. 'My God,' he said, 'is there anybody who is sober?' Warnery, who was a hot and fiery character, exclaimed 'Tomorrow I'll have the lads beaten within an inch of their lives!' 'No, Colonel Warnery, don't do that,' answered Zieten softly. 'Let them enjoy their rest. They have had a hard enough time today.'" (Lojewsky, J.G., Selbstbiographie des Husaren-Obersten von ...ky, 2 vols, Leipzig, 1843, II, 61-2)
Finally a crowd was assembled from all the cavalry regiments of the army and was sent after the Austrians. The Prussians no longer had the heart to kill the enemy, and they were content to round up their defenceless prisoners like sheep. - Christopher Duffy, The Military Experience in the Age of Reason, 1987
Character is the bedrock on which the whole edifice of leadership rests. It is the prime element for which every profession, every corporation, every industry searches in evaluating a member of its organization. With it, the full worth of the individual can be developed. Without it - particularly in the military profession -- failure in peace, disaster in war, or, at best, mediocrity in both will result. - Gen. Matthew B. Ridgeway
Leadership is indeed a way of life. - Norman Copeland, Psychology and the Soldier; The Art of Leadership, 1944
It ought now to be obvious that the best type of discipline will evolve from the following circumstances:
(1) When the leader knows the individuals who make up his group.
(2) When the individuals who make up the group know the leader.
(3) When the leader identifies himself with the group in every possible way.
(4) When the whole group is a team inspired by the enthusiasm of the leader.
(5) When the team has a high standard of esprit de corps.
(6) When the team is well-instructed, keen and efficient.
- Norman Copeland, Psychology and the Soldier; The Art of Leadership, 1944
Under good leadership a group is greater than the sum total of its members; and under bad leadership it is less. - Norman Copeland, Psychology and the Soldier; The Art of Leadership, 1944
Platoon Leader: "As a green second lieutenant, I got the impression somewhere that the rough, tough individuals (usually the troublemakers in the company) would necessarily be hot shots in combat ... A lot of eight balls were tolerated for that reason ... and the truth of the matter is ... your best soldiers in garrison will invariably make your best combat men ... Impress that upon your junior leaders ..." - Extracts from Combat Lessons (World War II Combat Reports) and Combat Report from Korea, [US Army] Infantry, Vol. 50, No. 2, February-March 1960.
Platoon Leader: "Every man in the squad should listen to his squad leader with the thought in mind that he may have to be the squad leader before the battle is over. - Extracts from Combat Lessons (World War II Combat Reports) and Combat Report from Korea, [US Army] Infantry, Vol. 50, No. 4, August-September 1960.
The moral effect of result upon troops must never be overlooked. - Major-General J.M. Schofield, United States Army, from the Inaugural Address to Journal of the Military Service Institute of the United States, January 11, 1879
Leadership can be developed and improved by study and training, but don't discount experience. - Gen Omar Bradley, US Army
A study of the principles of war will never provide a mathematical or intellectual formula for winning wars; but it will ensure that no single factor is omitted when one principle is being balanced against another. The decision itself is a test of leadership. Study provides the materials for inspection; the choice depends upon the genius of the commander. - Lieut.-Colonel D.K. Palit, 9th Gurkha Rifles, The Essentials of Military Knowledge, 1953
There is a vast difference between men sitting in a comfortable office with their ordinary food, sleep, etc., and the man as he is often, half crazy, temporarily insane, in battle. There are many more of the latter than most of us like to believe or think about. Very few of them are normal on account of these various circumstances. It is the man who can retain his normalcy longest that is going to win out, whose judgement is not changed or injured by fatigue and by lack of sleep, or by nervousness as to whether or not he is going to be defeated--which is perhaps more to him than life itself--the man who retains his judgement through all these things is the man who is going to be the leader. - Major General Hanson E. Ely in The [US Army] Infantry Journal, quoted in the [US] Infantry [Association] Journal, Vol. L, No.3, March 1942
Leadership and morale are not synonymous; yet they are ... inseparable ... - Lt. Col. Edward Lyman Munson, Jr., Leadership For American Army Leaders, 1942
...the task of the leader in promoting esprit de corps is to develop within each man the desire not only to do what is best for him but what is best for those who fight with him in combat against the enemy. It is esprit de corps that is the basis of unity of effort and accomplishment in battle. - Lt. Col. Edward Lyman Munson, Jr., Leadership For American Army Leaders, 1942
It is comparative easy to know what you want to do in any kind of war. Leadership consists in knowing whether you can do it--the risks you have to take. In the jungle the chief risks for the higher commander, brigadier and upwards, are administrative. He must learn to be a judge of administrative risk. - Lieutenant-General Sir William J. Slim, Commander, Fourteenth Army, quoted in Current Reports From Overseas, No. 83, The War Office, 11th April, 1945
The strength of a nation does not depend alone on its armies, ships and planes; it is also measured by its qualities for leadership, by its resources and industries, by the determination of its people, and by the strength of its friends and allies. - General George C. Marshall
No leader, however great, can long continue unless he wins victories. Without victories in battle all else is useless. To what then is success in battle due? In his great study of Marlborough Mr Winston Churchill says very truly:
"The success of a commander does not arise from following rules or models. It consists in an absolutely new comprehension of the dominant facts of the situation at the time, and all the forces at work. Every great operation of war is unique. What is wanted is a profound appreciation of the actual event. There is no surer road to disaster than to imitate the plans of bygone heroes and to fit them to novel situations".
Don't let adverse facts stand in the way of a good decision. - Gen. Colin Powell
If the leader is filled with high ambition and if he pursues his aims with audacity and strength of will, he will reach them in spite of all obstacles. - Carl von Clausewitz
In command and leadership many qualities, attributes and techniques are required -- including drive, force, judgement, perception and others. But nothing can replace the inspiration and lift that comes from commending a job well done. - Maj. Gen. Aubrey S. 'Red' Newman, 1981
No man is a leader until his appointment is ratified in the minds and hearts of his men. - Anonymous, 1948
Leadership is that mixture of example, persuasion and compulsion which makes men do what you want them to do. I would say that it is a projection of personality. It is the most personal thing in the world, because it is just plain you. - Field Marshall Slim
The loneliness of command can also reveal a more ingrained, deep-rooted weakness in soldiers' make-up. Psychologists such as Prof. N. Dixon suggest that the military offers a safe haven to individuals prone to anxieties such as fear of failure, need for approval and deafness to unpalatable information. Not until the position of ultimate responsibility is reached are such weaknesses exposed. Moreover, the problems can be compounded by the military's recourse to collective decision-making. 'Group-think,' according to Dixon, can actually accentuate the weaknesses in a commander. It can serve to rationalise away items of disturbing information and create an illusion of invulnerability. - Major A. Foster, RA, The Mind of the Soldier; His Most Important Weapon?, Australian Defence Force Journal, No. 91, November/December 1991
Determined leadership is vital throughout all echelons of command. Nowhere is it more important than in the higher ranks.
Generals who become depressed when things are not going well, who lack the "drive" to get things done, and who lack the resolution, the robust mentality and the moral courage to see their plan through to the end--are useless. They are, in fact, worse than useless--they are a menace--since any sign of wavering or hesitation has immediate repercussions down the scale when the issue hangs in the balance. No battle is ever lost till the general in command thinks it so. ...
If your enemy stands to fight and is decisively defeated in the ensuing battle, everything is added unto you. - Memoirs of Field-Marshal Montgomery, The; 1958
If you want to talk to men, it doesn't matter whether they are private soldiers or staff officers, if you want to talk to them as a soldier, and not as a politician, there are only two things necessary. The first is to have something to say that is worth saying, to know what you want to say: and the second, and terribly important thing, is to believe in yourself. Don't go and tell men something you don't believe yourself, because they'll spot it and if they don't spot it at the time, they'll find out. Then you're finished. - Gen. Sir William Slim (Viscount Slim)
For a soldier, leadership is that power to inspire soldiers in battle, or unforeseen crisis, where others fail; the quality possessed by the individual, of whatever rank, whose courage lifts lesser men with the certainty that all will go well as long as he is there. - Lord Lovat
You cannot be disciplined in great things and undisciplined in small things. There is only one sort of discipline - perfect discipline. Discipline is based on:-
Pride in the profession of arms.
Meticulous attention to detail.
Mutual Respect and Confidence.
Discipline can only be obtained when leaders are as imbued with the sense of their lawful obligations to their men and to their country that they cannot tolerate negligence. - George S Patton
Rank is only given you in the Army to enable you to better serve those below you and those above you. Rank is not given for you to exercise your idiosyncrasies. - Gen. Bruce C. Clarke
. . . 't isn't the best drill, though drill is nearly everything, that hauls a Regiment through Hell and out on the other side. It's the man who knows how to handle men - goat-men, swine-men, dog-men, and so on. - from "Only a Subaltern," Rudyard Kipling, The Man Who Would be King and other stories, 1994
He who dedicates himself to a profession, which demands staking one's life in a common cause, he who takes on at the same time the responsibility to send others on orders to their deaths, must maintain for himself a moral conviction and direction, which cannot be measured by ordinary standards. - William I, German Emperor, 1888
No man is a leader until his appointment is ratified in the minds and hearts of his men. - Anonymous, 1948