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Patton on Leadership: Strategic Lessons for Corporate Warfare

Patton on Leadership: Strategic Lessons for Corporate Warfare

4.8 6
by Alan Axelrod, William A. Cohen (Foreword by), George Steinbrenner (Preface by)

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Why should we remember General George S. Patton today? What can we learn from him? Unlike George Washington or Abraham Lincoln who seem to occupy a realm beyond that of mere mortals, Patton had great strengths and accomplished remarkable results while at the same time, he had to work to overcome his human imperfections, making him much more approachable as an


Why should we remember General George S. Patton today? What can we learn from him? Unlike George Washington or Abraham Lincoln who seem to occupy a realm beyond that of mere mortals, Patton had great strengths and accomplished remarkable results while at the same time, he had to work to overcome his human imperfections, making him much more approachable as an exemplar. His mantra, "Speed, simplicity and boldness," worked not only in the harsh environment of World War II but it is also an appropriate motto for the Internet Age. In both situations the risks are high, the workplace conditions difficult and the unknown is great. Anyone who directs a company or supervises others could benefit by being able to "think like Patton." So says author Alan Axelrod.

When he arrived to take command of the Third Army, Patton found utterly defeated troops. He transformed this demoralized force into an army capable of crushing the Nazis' dreaded "Desert Fox," General Erwin Rommel. He drove the Third Army--437,860 men at its pinnacle--across France and into Germany at a breakneck pace. Under Patton's command, the Third Army destroyed more of the enemy and liberated more towns than any other unit in the entire history of U.S. warfare, with the least cost in lives and resources. At every step in his triumphant career, Patton set an inspiring example, instilled confidence and acted decisively. He excelled under relentless pressure and against daunting odds- and throughout it all he had to work hard to overcome a personal enemy, dyslexia.

Based on the General's own writings, remarks, and career record, author Alan Axelrod, who specializes in both military history and management topics, presents 185 succinct lessons in leadership, Patton-style.

This fascinating guide to business victory and personal excellence features a Foreword by William A. Cohen, Ph.D., Major General, USAFR, Retired; and a Preface by George Steinbrenner, principal owner of the New York Yankees. It will be available nationwide on Veteran's Day--which happens to be Patton's birthday. A percentage of the net proceeds from this book and from the audiobook will be donated to build the National World War II Memorial.

"In the Third Army, we knew what General Patton expected us to do, and we believed that if we did it, we would win. That's what generalship is about."
From General Omar N. Bradley, A Soldier's Story

Editorial Reviews

Orange County Register
Patton's first rule of commanding is to act as if you are in charge, because you are. As the anecdotes and documented stories in the book reveal, Patton timed his words and actions to make it clear he was in charge. A four star-read.
William A. Cohen
Successful leaders do what unsuccessful leaders simply won't do. And in so doing, they frequently achieve the impossible.
Wall Street Journal
George Steinbrenner
I consider General George S. Patton, with all his controvesey, idiosyncrasies, and unpredictability, to be perhaps the greatest of them all.---"the ultimate warrior".
Wall Street Journal
Library Journal
Axelrod (What Every American Should Know About American History) takes the leadership wisdom of one of America's greatest and most colorful combat generals and applies it to contemporary civilian corporate organizations. Organized around George S. Patton's quotations and writings, this is an attempt to apply the general's wartime leadership style to peacetime corporate America, covering principles such as how to develop and project a leadership image, communicate effectively across an organization, establish clear priorities, build a winning team, sustain maximum performance against all odds, and instill loyalty and inspire achievement. Beginning with a high-level history of Patton's life, the author then strives to relate Patton's leadership style to typical business situations, but the effort is many times far-fetched and filled with jargon and clich s. The selections designed to sound like Patton actually sound like narrator Bruce Winant's attempt to sound like actor George C. Scott trying to sound like Patton and will likely send listeners to the hard copy. While the advice is helpful, there is little new here compared with the already saturated leadership genre, and it cannot stand the time-tested solidity of classics from Stephen Covey or Peter Drucker. Consider only on demand in smaller public libraries.--Dale Farris, Groves, TX Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\

Product Details

Prentice Hall Press
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.88(w) x 8.48(h) x 1.05(d)

What People are Saying About This

Rutherford B. Johnson
From Rutherford B. Johnson, Commander, Georgia Chapter, George S. Patton, Jr. Historical Society

What can a civilian corporate leader learn from the combat tactics of General George S. Patton, Jr.? Find out by reading Alan Axelrod's Patton on Leadership. He takes the leadership wisdom of one of America's greatest and most colorful combat Generals and applies it to contemporary civilian corporate organizations. Organized around Patton's quotations and writings, each being related to specific corporate situations, Axelrod presents an in-depth understanding into the General's leadership style and demonstrates that Patton's 'genius was being able to capitalize on his own intuitive notion of leadership.' This book provides a perceptive insight of a leadership methodology that may be a valuable asset to many corporate executives.

Melvin R. Goodes
From Melvin R. Goodes, Chairman and CEO, Warner-Lambert Company

In the three years from 1942 to 1945, Patton won a war on the mantra of 'Speed, Simplicity and Boldness.' In the three years from 1995 to 1998, using that same mantra, Warner-Lambert went from a company described as 'amongst the walking dead of the pharmaceutical industry' to an enterprise ranked with the world's top 50 firms in market value. Patton on Leadership provides leaders at every level with deep insights into what shaped Patton's unique leadership style and how he inspired people to victory in the most dire of circumstances.

Henry L. Sobel
From 1st Lt. Henry L. Sobel, U.S. Army (Ret.) 01010072

As Sergeant (and Manager) of the Second Armored Division Officers' Club in Ft. Benning, Georgia, I frequently had personal contact with General Patton. Alan Axelrod is right on target with his description of the General and the comparison to corporate warfare. I recommend reading it.

Al Kaltman
From Al Kaltman, Author, Cigars, Whiskey & Winning: Leadership Lessons from General Ulysses S. Grant

Patton is the personification of leadership projected through the force of personality. Patton on Leadership provides valuable insights into the precepts of this celebrated twentieth century warrior.

C. R. Koop
From C.R. "Jack" Koop, Chairman & CEO (Ret.), Leo Burnett Co, Inc.

The most powerful truth I learned from combat in WWII and Korea is that you simply cannot be a successful leader - and thus will not prevail - without 'integrity, integrity, and integrity.' Leaders in business, as well as in the military, will find Patton on Leadership exceptionally helpful.

William K. Burke
From William A. Burke, major General, (Ret.) U.S.A.

I have no doubt but that the leadership skills and personal attitude practiced by general Patton can be used effectively in both corporate and government managerial positions. Current and future leaders would do well to master those skills and to practice the vital requisites of honesty and integrity for which General Patton was noted and without which, leadership is highly suspect.

Karl Malden
From Karl Malden, Actor, Renowned for his portrayal of General Omar Bradley in the movie Patton

Never thought you could compare General Patton with corporate management. But this book does and does it well.

Charles M. Province
From Charles M. Province, President/Founder The George S. Patton, Jr. Historical Society

Mr. Axelrod has written an excellent book about Patton's leadership skills, his approach to winning, his personal attitude, and his methods for results. These are lessons that can be learned and applied in the business community with great ease. If your library does not contain Patton On Leadership: Strategic Lessons for Corporate Warfare, by Alan Axelrod, then your library is not complete. Buy this book, study it, and follow its teachings. You will be a better manager for it.

Meet the Author

Alan Axelrod is a renowned historian and business writer. He was the co author of the New York Times bestseller What Every American Should Know About American History as well as the BusinessWeek bestsellers Patton on Leadership and Elizabeth I, CEO. He has written extensively on the Civil War.

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Patton on Leadership: Strategic Lessons for Corporate Warfare 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
General George S. Patton, Jr., was a legend in his own time. While known for his coarse language, he was also respected as a brilliant tactician and terrific motivator. Those who served with him weren't just 'in the war' or 'in the army,' they were Patton's men. This hard-driving leader instilled confidence, acted decisively, and excelled under relentless pressure. His army moved at unprecedented speed, always on the attack and not on the defensive. Patton did not write extensively; he was challenged by dyslexia. But he said a lot, was often quoted, and was written about. Historians have a rich treasure of who this unusual man was and the impact he had on others . . . and ultimately on the world. His approach to his work was clear and direct, making him an excellent case study and role model. Role model? A man who spat profanity in almost every sentence? Ah, look beyond the rough exterior that actually endeared him to his men. Look at how Patton thought, his philosophies. That's where the lessons are. This book delivers 183 of those lessons in short, tight, bite-size pieces. This is a book you can read cover-to-cover or refer to as an inspirational resource. Each lesson is constructed as a Patton quote, with Axelrod's interpretation of the meaning, the purpose, and the impact of the words. The flavor throughout the book is how Patton's military style and experience applies to management and leadership of today's business organization. Or any organization, for that matter. The beginning of the book includes an enlightening biographical profile of Patton to understand the context of the man. The volume concludes with some recommended reading and a helpful index. As a reviewer, I'm tempted to start listing some of the titles of those 183 lessons. I'll resist, because it will be too difficult to present a representative sample. Every page of this book is filled with concise, valuable insights. Thought-provoking as well as inspiring, Patton on Leadership should be read-and applied-by leaders at all levels. Invest a few dollars and some of your reading time. You'll get a good return on your investment with this book.
Bulletbob More than 1 year ago
After reading this book, I bought it for my children. Success or failure in any organization, military or civilian, is always the leadership. My in-brief to new personnel: Your job is to do my job; my job is to ensure conditions exist so you can do my job.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book reveals the brilliant, coarse and own view of Patton's leadership lessons applied to set objectives, goals and to be an effective coach and mentor in business. As Patton saw it, a leader cannot lead by remote control,ensconced in an office. An on-site presence is always called for, the object being not only to see the situation for yourself, but to be seen by the people you lead.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Most of the world views General George S. Patton as an egotistical, vane, power hungry, bloodthirsty warmonger. What he really was was probably the greatest motivator, planner, organizer, tactician and stategist the US Army has ever produced. Through a lifetime of study and application, Patton amassed a core set of practices and techniques that successfully and smoothly transform into the business world. Mr. Axelrod reviews these precepts and expands on their application to real-world business needs. Any business manager would be well advised to study these methods to become a more effective leader, and realize what the General always viewed as the final objective: To Win!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book condenses the essential Patton into easily digestible and rememberable pieces. A must read for the corporate soldier of today.