One of my favorite leadership stories involves General Dwight D. Eisenhower during World War II. Eisenhower tried to schedule his days as the Supreme Commander so that he could spend the mornings in meetings and around his headquarters dealing with the challenges of the largest military undertaking in the history of the world. But he would then free up his schedule in the afternoons so that he could visit as many of the units that were under his command as was possible. The brilliance of his leadership can be perceived from the following anecdote.
Eisenhower was a man of his times, and as such he was a smoker, as were many of the soldiers in his command (cigarettes were issued to troops on a regular basis in those days.) A practice that Eisenhower undertook at the time was to not bring any cigarettes with him as he would go about and talk to the troops. This created a challenge for him that he would solve by bumming cigarettes off of the soldiers. This did two things for the soldiers; 1) the soldiers realized that General Eisenhower was human and they were more than happy to be the man that gave the Commanding General a cigarette, and 2) they would then later share this story with other soldiers and friends and families in letters, building the reputation of the General as a leader that was liked and respected by the troops.
General Eisenhower received something far more valuable than the cigarettes, and that was feedback from the troops. While they were talking with Eisenhower the soldiers would willingly share their perspective of the war. Were they getting the proper equipment and clothing? Was the morale of the soldiers high and were they ready for the upcoming travails they were going to face? What Eisenhower was doing was keeping his finger on the pulse of his organization and learning from those on the ground what was working and what was not working – a great example of LeadershipFlow in action from a great leader.
As you read this, what are your thoughts on General Eisenhower’s leadership and this anecdote? What aspects of leadership does it invoke in you? What stories of leadership do you have to share? Please share with us your LeadershipFlow Tidbits for future blogs.@croftedwards
The Cornerstone of Effective Marketing Is Understanding Your Niche
Find Your Why, Before You Give
How Will Asset Managers Find Ways to Distribute Going Forward?
Get Real: Stepping off the Hamster Wheel of Life
The Culture Perception Gaps Between Executives and Employees
Get Naked With Your Money: Wrinkles, Bulges And All!
Do This To Complete Your Vital Activities Each Day
Traditional Retailers Are Failing And It’s Not Amazon’s Fault
Why Following Someone Else’s Plan Never Works
Drive Towards Having Great Money Habits
Advisor23 hours ago
Cybersecurity and Privacy: Tips for People with Substantial Wealth
Brand Strategy23 hours ago
A Different Way To Think About Leverage
Equities23 hours ago
What You Need to Know about Investing in Healthcare AI
Markets1 day ago
The Fed’s Next Move May Be No Move at All
Markets2 days ago
Why The Next Recession Will Be Different
Equities2 days ago
What You’re Not Hearing About the China Trade War
Development2 days ago
The Best Practice Management Idea of the Year
Advisor3 days ago
Homer Simpson vs Mr. Burns