May 19, 2015

Book Review: Patton on Leadership

Patton on LeadershipI would guess that most leaders – managers, executives and entrepreneurs – have watched the movie Patton which stars George C Scott. As great as the movie is, it can’t begin to touch on the leadership skills of this man; however, Alan Axelrod’s book, “Patton on Leadership” does.

While a superb commander and leader, Patton had his faults. As Retired Major General Cohen and author of the book “The Art of the Leader” stated in the foreword, some of these faults led Patton “to actions that would have terminated the career of a lesser general.” Nevertheless, Patton did what many other generals or leaders could never have accomplished – as Cohen noted – more quickly and decisively than anyone else and with less cost to human lives.

While most leaders don’t have to deal with the horrible issue of war, business, as we all know, has been compared to combat – thus a leader can learn quite a bit about leadership, by studying Patton.

In “Patton on Leadership,” Axelrod addresses 183 topics that range from the planning, preparation and achieving of goals to improving communication and teamwork, motivating others, anticipating needs, building loyalty and more. Axelrod brilliantly showcases Patton’s words or actions as they apply to these issues and provides ideas, tips and strategies from which any leader can learn – ideas and tips which may persuade one to possibly rethink his/her current approach or stance.

As mentioned, Patton had his flaws – all leaders do. Some hated him; others loved him. And it’s true that while some of his actions, unfortunately and tragically, led to the loss of many a brave soldier’s lives, they also saved many lives and also aided in the eventual end of World War II.

With that said, Patton always considered himself to be his ultimate competitor. He strived for excellence and the achievement of his mission and never stopped learning from past’s great leaders. That’s why, if you’re a leader today – taking a look at Patton and how he did the impossible may help you do the same and, in his words, keep “moving forward to victory.”

Just so you know: You can buy this book on Amazon or similar. I receive NO compensation in any form from your buying this book. I just think it’s a great book and I don’t recommend books I haven’t read and I have read this book a few times. As a funny motivational speaker who is known for having something to say, I utilize not only my own insights and strategies, but also great stories and ideas from others in my presentations that are focused on personal and professional development. If you’re a leader/executive, a manager or an entrepreneur, this book is worth the read.

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