Leadership Lessons From General Eisenhower

A couple of years later his father moved them to Abilene, Kansas in which Dwight climbed up.

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After graduation from high school,”Ike” because he had been called went to work at a local creamery for a night foreman for two years; afterward Ike applied for and was appointed to the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY. Although he was an average student, he excelled in sports, particularly football. This was known as the class that the”celebrities” fell upon since 59 of its members including Ike would eventually become generals. Here are Only a few lessons that we can learn from his life of direction:Study your craft: Eisenhower was an early student of the craft of leadership that started even before he moved to West Point, but it was there that he really learned the fundamentals. Like any other cadet at the moment, he suffered his first year while being”hazed” as was the tradition. As he started his second yearhe understood that he didn’t wish to harass the new cadets since this wasn’t the way to lead young men; rather, he committed his time to football and was a star player on the varsity team until he was injured. Following graduation, Eisenhower started his career that took him through a set of missions where he could study and learn the craft of leadership. These assignments included training troops for World War I; functioning for General Fox Conner, a respected senior leader who became a mentor to Eisenhower, also attending the military’s Command and General Staff Officer School in Ft. Leavenworth where he graduated first in his class. Ultimately, at the beginning of World War II, when Eisenhower was only a colonel, he was accepted and encouraged by General Marshall to personnel assignments at the War Department and after command Allied forces in Europe as the Supreme Commander. In each of these assignments he gained valuable insights as a leader and as a professional soldier – a life of studying the craft of leadership.Pick your group wisely: such as other leaders, Eisenhower carefully picked his key subordinates after given the opportunity. He learned this important skill of leadership from General Marshall who famously maintained a tiny book of titles of promising officers whom he’d worked over the years. Although leaders rarely get to choose each of their acquaintances, Eisenhower built a team of trusted staff officers and commanders when he had been forced Allied commander in Europe. These included people whom he’d known for several years like Bradley and Patton, and likewise some British officers whom he only recently became familiar with once he was put in command. As the war progressed, he made sure to select those officers that he trusted and who had been the best professionals available for important assignments.Be steadfast in the eyesight: Eisenhower was a great conceptual thinker. Soon after his birth at the War Department in the start of World War II, General Marshall asked him what must be done in the Pacific because Eisenhower had lately served there with General MacArthur. Eisenhower wrote a short memo outlining the measures that ought to be taken, and unexpectedly this was the outline for the plan that Marshall followed. Afterwards when Eisenhower was Supreme Commander in Europe, he had a vision for the invasion in Normandy along a”broad front” of fifty miles instead of a concentrated assault combined a slimmer portion of the coast; and once the Normandy Campaign was won, he again insisted on a”broad front” strategy extending from the North Sea to the Alps in Switzerland. In both situations, he was challenged, particularly by Field Marshall Montgomery, but Eisenhower stood his ground and preserved in executing his vision. In the end, it was Eisenhower’s plans that worked, and his steadfast commitment to his vision that made him successful.Don’t tolerate incompetence: Eisenhower was a fair man, but would not tolerate incompetence. When necessary, he alleviated senior commanders who either did not do their job effectively, or worse, were just plain incompetent. Early in his command tenure in Europehe relieved the commander of the US Second Corps following the only defeat of American forces from Europe in Kasserine Pass in North Africa; he alleviated his pal and greatest combat commander, General Patton for his power by slapping some soldiers at hospitals and for improper remarks made into the media; and he relieved among his West Point classmates who had been a general officer after he drank too much one day ahead of the Normandy invasion and carelessly let some very important information be overheard by others at a restaurant. Each of them were hard decisions because Eisenhower understood they would impact people’s careers; nevertheless, he left them as a pioneer for the larger good of the company he was top.Cooperate and grad: “Cooperate and graduate” is lesson that’s hammered into the first year cadets at West Point to highlight the value of teamwork, and yet one that Eisenhower learned well. Later when he had been the Supreme Allied Commander, Eisenhower was a ferocious proponent of teamwork among the Allies from the wartime coalition. This was a challenging job made more difficult by people with huge egos such as Patton, Montgomery, Churchill and DeGaulle. Eisenhower was occasionally criticized by them, especially Americans who believed he’d become too”British;” nevertheless, without collaboration among them, the Allies wouldn’t have had an effective group. Eisenhower understood this, and as the chief, he had been the chief evangelist for teamwork.Manage up and down: All leaders need to deal with stakeholders. Whether you are a general, a CEO, or a president, you have to manage relationships with superiors as well as subordinates. Back in General Eisenhower’s case, he attentively”managed up” the connections with his military superior, General Marshall as well as the political leaders like Winston Churchill. He also had to”manage down” subordinates like Bradley, Patton, and Montgomery among others who were quite demanding of his time and funds. Some leaders forget that they have to manage relationships in both directions, but Eisenhower was none of them. Actually, this may have been his genius as a pioneer.Take care of the troops: Eisenhower never forgot the lessons he learned in his early days at West Point to look after the troops and to treat them with the utmost respect. He always made certain that they had the very best available training, commanders, and provides that he could supply them. He personally seen many of the components in his command simply to interact with troops. Among the most famous photographs of World War II shows General Eisenhower seeing the 101st Airborne Division, just before the Normandy invasion. They were visited by him since he understood that many of them would not be coming back, but also understood they had a important mission to achieve. All he could do was done, but for the visit which he made for their death airfield the day ahead of the invasion. This visit by the Supreme Commander to be with regular soldiers on the eve of conflict was symbolic of his true desire to take care of his troops whenever he could.General Eisenhower was a fantastic leader who faced incredible challenges during World War II while resulting in a joint Allied force of over two million. He met and overcame every struggle and every crisis that he struck. In a life of direction, there are lots of lessons to be learned. These seven lessons are standouts among many that General Eisenhower could offer, and they’re important lessons that can inspire leaders now.Leonard Kloeber is a writer and leadership adviser. A West Point graduate and retired colonel, he’s extensive leadership experience as business and as a military officer. He’s been a hands-on pioneer in many different organizations big and small. His book – Victory Principles, Leadership Courses from D-Day – illustrates seven bedrock leadership principles that all successful leaders use.

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