Robert E. Lee on Leadership : Executive Lessons in Character, Courage, and Vision
Robert E. Lee was a leader for the ages. The man heralded by Winston Churchill as "one of the noblest Americans who ever lived" inspired an out-manned, out-gunned army to achieve greatness on the battlefield. He was a brilliant strategist and a man of unyielding courage who, in the face of insurmountable odds, nearly changed forever the course of history.
"A masterpiece—the best work of its kind I have ever read. Crocker's Lee is a Lee for all leaders to study; and to work, quite deliberately, to emulate." — Major General Josiah Bunting III, superintendent of the Virginia Military Institute
In this remarkable book, you'll learn the keys to Lee's greatness as a man and a leader. You'll find a general whose standards for personal excellence was second to none, whose leadership was founded on the highest moral principles, and whose character was made of steel. You'll see how he remade a rag-tag bunch of men into one of the most impressive fighting forces history has ever known. You'll also discover other sides of Lee—the businessman who inherited the debt-ridden Arlington plantation and streamlined its operations, the teacher who took a backwater college and made it into a prestigious university, and the motivator who inspired those he led to achieve more than they ever dreamed possible. Each chapter concludes with the extraordinary lessons learned, which can be applied not only to your professional life, but also to your private life as well.
Today's business world requires leaders of uncommon excellence who can overcome the cold brutality of constant change. Robert E. Lee was such a leader. He triumphed over challenges people in business face every day. Guided by his magnificent example, so can you.
Your kind and generous considerations for myself, I bid you all an affectionate farewell. One should never underestimate what the War Between the States cost Robert E. Lee. A successful soldier, he was not used to defeat. Now he had lost his home, his career, and virtually all his worldly goods—including his carefully harbored savings and investments. Worse, he had suffered the premature death of a daughter, a daughter-in-law, two grandchildren, and countless colleagues and friends. A patriot.
Many of his subordinate generals. The worst of them would soon be given new assignments. The best of them, though they might have stumbled during the Seven Days, like the hero of the Shenandoah Valley, Stonewall Jackson, and the gallantly impulsive A. P. Hill, would be given a second chance. Most important of all, Lee knew that the Confederacy could not afford continual retreat and the loss of its capital. Even if it was not, strictly speaking, militarily important to defend Richmond, which was.
Because the numbers told a frightening story. Still, Lee divided his forces—“almost disdainfully,” in the words of historian William C. Davis—confident that McClellan, the Union’s Young Napoleon, would remain at the river. Lee sent General Jackson and 24,000 men north to harass Pope, who could field an army roughly three times that size. If Pope could be brought to battle or if McClellan’s men showed signs of moving north via the James River to assist him, Lee would rush up another 31,000.
That these object lessons of family failures and misdeeds would have left lasting scars on the boy, but in Robert E. Lee’s case, growing up under the emollient, latitudinarian Anglican tradition of the Virginia aristocracy, this never happened. Lee was not only a bright, happy, helpful, conscientious, muscular boy, he was, from the start, an exemplar of the best aristocratic traditions that had been bred into him. If he was forced into an early maturity, it only added to the luster of his.
His superior officer, General Braxton Bragg. He even joined in an attempt to get Bragg removed from command. Bragg was one of the most difficult officers in the Confederate service, and so prone to contention that he reputedly even argued with himself. But he was also a favorite of Jefferson Davis, to whom Longstreet and the other generals appealed. Davis responded by coming to Tennessee. Gathering Bragg’s generals together in Bragg’s presence, he asked them, individually, to state their case.