Quotes - Leadership (page 6)

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Great military leaders have always possessed undaunted courage. History abounds with stories of leaders who have dared to do those things which their opponents never would dream they would. - General Alexander M. Patch


The characteristic which higher command always looks for in any officer is honesty. Honesty in thought, word, and deed. Second to honesty and courage of purpose, I would place an unselfish attitude as the greatest attribute of a leader. Place the care and protection of the men first; share their hardships without complaint and when the real test comes you will find that they possess a genuine respect and admiration for you. To do otherwise means failure at the crucial moment when the support of your men is essential to the success of the battle. - General Alexander M. Patch


In such times as these, the Army must be well trained, well equipped and well led by men of courage and of vision if it is to provide security of the quality and degree which the situation required. - General Maxwell D. Taylor


The general must know how to get his men their rations and every other kind of stores needed for war. He must have imagination to originate plans- practical sense and energy to carry them through. He must be: observant, untiring, shrewd, kindly and cruel, simple, and crafty, a watchman and a robber, lavish and miserly, generous and stingy, rash and conservative. All these and many other qualities both natural and acquired he must have. He should also, as a matter of course, know his tactics; for a disorderly mob is no more an army than a heap of building materials is a house. - Socrates


God gave men dominion over the beasts and not over his fellow men unless they submit of their own free will. - Napoleon


Man for man one division is as good as another. They vary only in the skill and leadership of their commanders. - General Omar N. Bradley


On occasion a hobnailed kick can advance a faltering skirmish line far better than a stirring appeal to a man's higher nature. - R.M. Sandusky


No speech of admonition can be so fine that it will at once make those who hear it good men if they are not good already; it would surely not make archers good if they had not had practice in shooting, neither could it make lancers good, nor horsemen; it cannot even make men able to endure bodily labour, unless they had been trained to it before. - Cyrus the Great


There are no bad troops. There are only bad leaders. - Brigadier General S.L.A. Marshall


If soldiers are punished before they have grown attached to you, they will not prove submissive; and unless submissive, they will be practically useless. If, when the soldiers have become attached to you, punishments are not enforced, they will still be useless.
Therefore soldiers must be treated in the first instance with humanity, but kept under control by means of iron discipline. This is a certain road to victory. If in training soldiers, commands are habitually enforced, the army will be well disciplined. If the general shows confidence in his men but always insists on his orders being obeyed, the gain will be mutual. - Sun Tzu


Regard your soldiers as your children, and they will follow you into the deepest valleys; look upon them as your own beloved sons, and they will stand by you even unto death.
If, however, you are indulgent, but unable to make your authority felt; kind-hearted but unable to enforce your commands; and incapable, moreover, of quelling disorder, then your soldiers must be likened to spoilt children; they are useless for any practical purpose. - Sun Tzu


Carefully study the well-being of your men, and do not overtax them. Concentrate your energy and hoard your strength. Keep your army continually on the move and devise unfathomable plans. - Sun Tzu


The highest and noblest motivation is not a guarantee of success; in most cases of higher leadership opportunity seems to have played the greater role in the development of a leader. Napoleon, explaining his career, has affirmed that a "man is only a man, he can do nothing unless circumstances are in his favor." - Captain M. Rioux, RCA


When one treats people with benevolence, justice, and righteousness, and reposes confidence in them, the army will be united in mind and all will be happy to serve their leaders. - Chang Yu, fl. 1000


Those who appreciate true valour should in their daily intercourse set gentleness first and aim to win the love and esteem of others. If you affect valour and act with violence, the world will in the end detest you and look upon you as wild beasts. Of this you should take heed. - Emperor Meiji: Rescript to Soldiers and Sailors, 4 January 1883


Hereafter, if you should observe an occasion to give your officers and friends a little more praise than is their due, and confess more fault than you can justly be charged with, you will only become the sooner for it, a great captain. Criticizing and censuring almost everyone you have to do with, will diminish friends, increase enemies, and thereby hurt your affairs. - Benjamin Franklin: Letter to John Paul Jones, 1780


Command and control of armed forces is an art, a creative activity based on character, ability, and mental power ... Mission-oriented command and control is the first and foremost command and control principle in the army, of relevance in war even more than in peace. It affords the subordinate leader freedom of action in the execution of his mission, the extent depending on the type of mission to be accomplished. - Leadership Manual of the Bundeswehr


"The spirit of an army lives in its officers," wrote Ruchel; for the moral of the rank and file is the moral of its leaders. - Captain J.F.C. Fuller, Training Soldiers for War, 1914


Prestige is the basis of discipline, "for we shall not lead our men by force or by fear, but solely by the prestige which we hold." - from "L'Ame du Soldat," quoted in Captain J.F.C. Fuller, Training Soldiers for War, 1914


"A present ungraciously given is ungraciously received; an order badly given is badly executed ." ["L'Ame du Soldat"]
"The crisp, calculated, and forceful way of giving an order should produce a forceful way of executing it." ["L'Ame du Soldat"]
In giving an order we should first consider the object; secondly, calculate the means; for it is worse than useless to give an order, either in the field or on training, which cannot be carried out, for such an order simply creates confusion. Thirdly, once an order has been given, leave the method of its execution to the recipient, for, if he is not man enough to carry it out, he should never have been placed in a position to receive orders at all. - Captain J.F.C. Fuller, Training Soldiers for War, 1914


How can the ability to lead depend on the ability to follow? You might as well say that the ability to float depends on the ability to sink. - L.J. Peter and R. Hull, The Peter Principle, 1969


"It was indeed seldom that [Southern] officers were guilty of cowardice upon the field of battle; but they were often in the wrong place, fighting as common soldiers, when they should have been directing others." - Lt. General T.J. (Stonewall) Jackson


Leadership presupposes two things:-- A leader, and men capable of being led. A stag cannot lead an army of lions; a lion cannot persuade an army of stags to follow. What then is required? A lion leading lions. In other words, the qualities of leader and led are very similar.
The chief of these qualities are:--
        (1)     Knowledge.
        (2)     Skill.
        (3)     Determination.
        (4)     Endurance.
        (5)     Courage.
        (6)     Cunning.
        (7)     Imagination.
        (8)     Confidence.
No one is greater than the other, but the first of all is knowledge. - Brevet Colonel J.F.C. Fuller, D.S.O., "Moral, Instruction and Leadership," Journal of the Royal United Services Institution, Vol. LXV, February to November, 1920


Are you a good leader? Are you worthy to lead men? Have you considered what war may require of you? Have you confidence in your men? Have your men faith in you?--are some of the questions you must ask yourselves, and until you can answer them in the affirmative you cannot claim to be aa leader. - Brevet Colonel J.F.C. Fuller, D.S.O., "Moral, Instruction and Leadership," Journal of the Royal United Services Institution, Vol. LXV, February to November, 1920


"He'll never make a good soldier" should not be heard from the confident leader. Seemingly incompetent men should be a challenge to one's ability. They should be studied more closely and the best method of handling them discovered. In every man there is much that may be made useful for military purposes. - "Discipline and Personality," by Sergt.-Major E.J. Simon, R.C.R., Canadian Defence Quarterly, Vol. II, No. 3, April, 1925


Men demand a reasonable degree of justice. They expect a leader to be fair and understanding. A single act of glaring injustice will injure his prestige and influence. Men must trust their leader in order to follow him. - "The Human Element in War," by Major-General Charles P. Summerall, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, Journal of the Royal United Services Institution, Vol. LXXII, February to November, 1927


Genghis Khan said of one of his officers--"No man is more valiant, no man has rarer gifts, but as the longest marches do not tire him, as he feels neither hunger nor thirst, he believes that his soldiers do not suffer from such things. That is why he is not fitted for high command. A general should think of hunger and thirst, as he may understand the suffering of those under him, and he should husband the strength of his men and beasts. - "Leadership and Morale," by Wing Commander S.G. Tackaberry, RCAF, Canadian Defence Quarterly, Vol. XV, No. 1, October 1937


An officer should, at all times, be dignified in his conduct. Dignity is nothing more than the avoidance of coarse behaviour. It requires the control of one's emotions. To be profane, boisterous, or "loud-mouthed" is to be coarse. An officer who makes a spectacle of himself by being loud, or by losing his temper on slight provocation, quickly loses the respect of his men. - "Military Leadership," The Infantry School Mailing List, Vol XXVI, July 1943


An officer is expected and required to present a smart appearance, and to maintain his clothing and equipment in a clean, neat, and serviceable condition. He must conform strictly to regulations, so that he may establish the standard for the enlisted men of his organization. His carriage should be upright, and he should show life and energy in his actions and movements. - "Military Leadership," The Infantry School Mailing List, Vol XXVI, July 1943


How many commanders have we produced who, like General Sir Horace Smith-Dorrien, could stand alone wrapped in a British Warm at a cross-roads to watch a brigade of infantry go by? It may have looked like wasted time to the staff but his sole question to a passing young company commander (who did not realize that he was being addressed by his Army Chief) "How are your men's feet?" went through the whole division like fire and, in consequence, there were 80,000 men who would have died for him. Such is the value of personality in leadership. There was no large staff car; no A.D.C.; no fur collar; but there was a fighting general who understood men. - "Personality in Leadership," by Major T.V. Scudmore, V.D., F.R.G.S, The British Columbia Regiment, Canadian Defence Quarterly, Vol. XI, No. 2, January 1934


Leadership is the courage to admit mistakes, the vision to welcome change, the enthusiasm to motivate others, and the confidence to stay out of step when everyone else is marching to the wrong tune. - E. M. Estes


Confidence and pride in leaders must be bred by the leaders themselves. - Lt.-Col. J.G. Shillington, D.S.O., 1950


An army is a fighting weapon moulded by discipline and controlled by leaders; the essence of the army is discipline. - Montgomery


Commissions will not make you leaders; they will merely make you officers ... you can become leaders if you possess the proper attributes. - Maj Christian Bach


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