My family is on vacation at the beautiful Outer Banks of North Carolina this week… so a little late and I’ll keep this short!
As usual, I’ve been doing a lot of reading while sitting up on the beach. One book in particular that has really been informative is a book by H.W. Crocker 111 entitled Robert E. Lee on Leadership. Being a native Virginian as was General Lee and a student of American History— particularly the War Between the States— I was interested in what Crocker had to say about Lee and his leadership style.
Whatever your feelings about the war, as a coach or business leader, you’ll find this book to be an invaluable tool for dissecting the brilliance of a great military strategist and his leadership qualities. If you’re a coach who’s at a perennial “underdog” school, you’ll find Lee’s tactics in fighting a much larger Union army to be applicable to how you might want to plan your attack going into games this fall.
As a leader, no army was ever more loyal or fought harder for their commander than did the soldiers of the Army of Northern Virginia. It was the leadership style that Lee exhibited which motivated these men to fight so hard for him. Even after the signing of the surrender papers at Appomattox, Lee’s men cheered him as he returned to their camp.
What I liked best is that at the end of each chapter, there are “key points” summarizing the qualities that Lee displayed in different battles during the war. These are lessons learned which can be applied not only to our professional lives but to our private lives as well. It’s a must read for any coach who’s looking to learn and grow.