Saturday, June 16, 2007

Eisenhower - Quiet Leader

I identify Dwight Eisenhower as a quiet leader and my admiration for him has grown in recent months as I have been searching for definition to quiet leadership. I'm not alone in my admiration.

Historian Stephan Ambrose is quoted as saying, " Eisenhower is my choice as the American of the 20th Century. Of all the men I've studied and written about, he is the brightest and the best. "

One of the quiet leader attributes that Eisenhower embraced was the use of "we" in talking. In a PBS interview Amrose said,
Eisenhower never used the word "I". It was always "we," except one time when he
wrote out the message that would be handed to the press in the event the landings failed. And there he used the personal vertical pronoun, it's my
fault, I did it. Otherwise it was always "we".

I recently listened to the book General Ike: A Personal Reminiscence, written by Eisenhower's son, John. A section of the book focused on the relationship between General George Patton and Eisenhower. There was a special relationship between the two men despite the contrast in styles. Eisenhower as a quiet, thoughtful leader, Patton was brash and frequently a source of frustration for his commander, Eisenhower. However, I respect that Eisenhower accepted and leveraged Patton's skills. Perhaps another trait of quiet leadership.

Thanks for reading. Please lead quietly.

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