Lessons in Leadership – George S. Patton

[Number 5 in a series]

Controversial, bordering on insanity, colorful and outspoken – there are many ways to describe General George S. Patton, but his leadership ability was beyond question. In this Lesson in Leadership, we’ll let the words of General Patton speak for themselves.

No good decision was ever made in a swivel chair.

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.

Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory.

Always do everything you ask of those you command.

Lack of orders is no excuse for inaction. Anything done vigorously is better than nothing done tardily.

A leader is a man who can adapt principles to circumstances.

Moral courage is the most valuable and usually the most absent characteristic in men.

If everyone is thinking alike, someone isn’t thinking.

If a man does his best, what else is there?

Credit goes to The Art of Manliness for compiling the quotes in this article.

About Stephen Clay McGehee

Born-Again Christian, Grandfather, husband, business owner, Southerner, aspiring Southern Gentleman. Publisher of The Confederate Colonel and The Southern Agrarian blogs. President/Owner of Adjutant Workshop, Inc., Vice President - Gather The Fragments Bible Mission, Inc. (Sierra Leone, West Africa), Webmaster - Military Order of The Stars and Bars, Kentucky Colonel.
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4 Responses to Lessons in Leadership – George S. Patton

  1. A great general in battle; but also, sadly, a statist.

  2. I will have to agree with you on that. In fact, it would be difficult to find any outstanding leader in government in modern times who is not a statist. The reason is that those who are promoted to positions of high leadership are those who follow the party line. Regardless of leadership ability, one does not get promoted to a position of prominence by bucking the system. Ron Paul is one of those very rare exceptions.

    I have no qualms about learning from anyone – no matter what their beliefs are.

  3. Ronnie says:

    Old Blood and Guts went to VMI briefly and his ancestry includes the Confederacy. I agree with Mr MG that very few great leaders in recent times have not towed the statist line.
    One of my favourite leaders of General Patton’s era was Supreme Court Justice Jimmy Byrnes of SC. He is credited with the day to day excellent management of the war effort, too. Sadly he paid a price for statism as FDR shunned him for VP and chose Truman.

  4. Old Rebel says:

    I was at an SCV convention once when talk turned to the Neocon wars (which I oppose as foolhardy, unwinnable adventures). Someone made a derogatory remark about the French.

    When I pointed out that Patton spoke French, that person shut up.

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