Top positive review
9 people found this helpful
Try on These Muddy Boots!
on September 4, 2007
I have been reading Muddy Boots Leadership by John Chapman, Major, USA (Ret.). This is an excellent little book. And I say little, because it is only 167 pages. That's because Mr. Chapman does not mess around. In quick, striking paragraphs he distills and dispenses leadership tips and tricks. He discusses expectations and disappointments from the perspective of those leading and those led. He gives specific do's and don'ts. On the side of each page are short, profound quotes from famous leaders past and present. For example, there is this by Gen. Colin Powell, "There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure." And showing he is not afraid to use wisdom from unconventional sources, Mr. Chapman shares a quote from Che Guevara, "Words that do not match deeds are not important."
There is much to take away from this book. For me, the idea that seems to shine from cover to cover is that great leaders, if they work at being a leader, can make themselves. They can make themselves by being committed to the mission of their unit or business. They can make themselves by giving genuine concern to those they are leading. Mr. Chapman, at one point says, "Five minutes checking on the guards in a freezing rain at midnight is worth a year of payday speeches." Definitely some wisdom there, and you know what? In your day-to-day job, or within your family, can you think of a similar application? Can you go down and check on those forklift drivers working in the heat? Leaders make themselves by having personal integrity. They make themselves by being professional and knowing their job or mission, but they remain human and never fail to wear their heart on their sleeve. There is more, but I think you can see where this excellent book will lead the reader.
Let me close by saying that I can't find any fault in this book. I've read many books on the subject of leadership, but I'm hardly an expert. But in my own little world of day-to-day leadership with those that I work around, I have seen these principles in action, and I have put them into action. They work. And don't be fooled by the fact that this book is written from a military perspective. As the back blurb makes note of, "The leadership lessons learned and relearned by military leaders are applicable to a wide variety of organizations, both civil and military." I believe good leadership filters down to the family level, and I have seen that in action as well. Finally, had Major Chapman ever been my leader, I would have gladly followed.