Thursday, July 28, 2011

Leaders from the Past - U.S. Grant

In the book "Americans at War" - author Stephen E. Ambrose writes a wonderful description of the US Grant.  At the time, Grant was the Commander of the Union forces attacking the Southern stronghold at Vicksburg.  Below is a profile of a successful leader of leaders.

"The campaign gave Grant an opportunity to show his skill in nearly every aspect of the soldier's trade.  For each test he proved he was prepared and capable.  His outstanding characteristic was flexibility of mind; he was always able to change his plans when confronted with a change in the situation.  His relations with all but one of his chief subordinates were excellent.  He was superb in handling troops.  If throughout the long winter of 1862-63 he was not able to keep his superiors - a crabby General in Cheif and an impatient President - completely satisfied, he did convince them that a change in commanders would be a mistake.  He solved a potentially explosive political problem with tact, delicacy, and understanding.  He was keenly aware of the vital importance of logistics and saw to it that his men were never critically short of food or without ammunition.  Though not an inspirational leader, he was steady and generated confidence and trust.  In this campaign he managed his frontal assaults capably and broke them off before they became blood baths.  His ability to maneuver large bodies of troops over great distances was truly outstanding."

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