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Posted December 19, 2011
Grey Eminence does a great job describing Fox Connor's mentorship of Generals Marshall, Patton, and Eisenhower. Ed Cox lays out several key interactions that were instrumental in moving the career's of these men forward.
What is truly great about the book is its unbiased look at a brand of mentorship that could be construed as nepotism. Arguably, it was Marshall's, Patton's and Eisenhower's competence that brought them to Conner's attention but Conner cut bureaucratic corners to ensure his men were taken care of.
Our Army today is a meritocracy based on an egalitarian model. It is certainly not perfect but in most cases, everyone gets a chance to succeed. Is that the right course? Do Conner's actions fit within that model? If they do not, then what of the outstanding success of Marshall, Patton and Eisenhower? I think this book begins an important debate about mentorship and success in a business where failure is at the cost of lives.