Articles tagged with: Leadership

Responsibility and Leadership: Eisenhower and Montgomery

No one is perfect and with the hindsight of history, it is a simple matter to question a commander’s battlefield decision or a president’s strategic direction. Given the unmistakable reality of human imperfection, some of history’s greatest figures can be defined by how they accepted their own imperfections and failures. Specifically, comparing Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery’s and General Dwight Eisenhower’s comments regarding some of their greatest battles, two very different pictures of these two leaders emerge with respect to responsibility.

The Weight of George H.W. Bush’s War Decision

President Bush in Saudi Arabia

President Bush in Saudi Arabia

In most instances, the personal deliberations of presidents making the decision to send Americans to war are outside public knowledge. While there may be public speeches outlining the case for war, those public deliberations can differ widely from the president’s personal deliberations.

Through a series of diary entries and letters to family, however, the internal deliberations of President George H. W. Bush in the lead up to the first Gulf War can be explored. Not only do these documents illustrate the difficult decision Bush faced, they demonstrate a keen sense of humanity.

Lincoln and the Lure of Dictatorship

George Washington reviews troops during the Whiskey Rebellion.

George Washington reviews troops during the Whiskey Rebellion.

In the nearly 226 years since the United States Constitution was ratified, America has weathered numerous storms. From the Whiskey Rebellion to September 11, crisis after crisis has been addressed. While the powers of each of the various governmental branches have fluctuated based on the demands of the situation at hand, one reality has remained constant: true dictatorial powers have never been assumed.

This is not to say, however, that such power grabs have not been suggested.

William Clark’s Promotion

One of the many amazing aspects of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark’s journey across the continental United States is their shared command of the Corps of Discovery. On this topic, Stephen Ambrose noted that “[d]ivided command almost never works and is the bane of all military men, to whom the sanctity of the chain of command is basic and the idea of two disagreeing commanders in a critical situation is anathema.”

General Lee’s Leadership Lesson

A century and a half ago, nearly 200,000 men stood before each other with arms ready atcivil-war-gettysburg-lees-map-l Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Over the next three days, one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War would unfold south of the city as Little Round Top and Pickett’s Charge became immortalized in American history. By the end of the battle, Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Norther Virginia retreated south while nearly 8,000 men lay dead on the fields of battle.

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