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Patton on Leadership Paperback – September 1, 2001

4.6 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Axelrod (What Every American Should Know About American History) takes the leadership wisdom of one of America's greatest and most colorful combat generals and applies it to contemporary civilian corporate organizations. Organized around George S. Patton's quotations and writings, this is an attempt to apply the general's wartime leadership style to peacetime corporate America, covering principles such as how to develop and project a leadership image, communicate effectively across an organization, establish clear priorities, build a winning team, sustain maximum performance against all odds, and instill loyalty and inspire achievement. Beginning with a high-level history of Patton's life, the author then strives to relate Patton's leadership style to typical business situations, but the effort is many times far-fetched and filled with jargon and clich?s. The selections designed to sound like Patton actually sound like narrator Bruce Winant's attempt to sound like actor George C. Scott trying to sound like Patton and will likely send listeners to the hard copy. While the advice is helpful, there is little new here compared with the already saturated leadership genre, and it cannot stand the time-tested solidity of classics from Stephen Covey or Peter Drucker. Consider only on demand in smaller public libraries.ADale Farris, Groves, TX
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"A four star-read." -- (Orange County Register, Santa Ana, CA July 23, 2001)

"This book belongs in the library of any one who wants to win at business or war." -- (Military Review March - April 2001, reviewed by MAJ Robert G. Smith, USA, Germantown, Maryland)

Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall Press; 1 edition (August 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0735202974
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735202979
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #255,799 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 16, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Frankly, I had some reservations as I began to read this book. By now I have become weary of so many books with gimmicky concepts (eg Chicken Soup for Dummies, Caligula on Management) and was pleased to find that Axelrod has skillfully correlated Patton's expressed ideas on leadership with key issues in the contemporary business world. Many of those ideas probably reflect the influence of Sun Tzu and von Clausewitz whom Patton no doubt studied while a student at V.M.I. (for one year) and then the U.S. Military Academy at West Point from which he graduated. In any event, this is a well-written book with solid substance. After a Foreword and Introduction, Axelrod organizes 183 "Strategic Lessons" within ten chapters:
1. What He Did and Who He Was (Patton's Achievement and Background)
2. "A Commander Will Command" (On the Dimensions of Leadership)
3. "Always Attack, Never Surrender" (On Developing a Winning Attitude)
4. "How Do We Know That?" (On Fact Finding, Preparation, and Planning)
5. "Speed -- Simplicity -- Boldness" (On Execution and Opportunity)
6. "The Soldier Is the Army" (On Training, Mentoring, Motivating, and Inspiring)
7. "Letters of Instruction" ((On Communication and Coordination)
8. "Only One Direction -- Forward" (On Creating Efficiency)
9. "Success Is How High You Can Bounce When You Hit Bottom" (On Courage and Character)
10. "Audacity" (On Managing the Impossible)
I provide the chapter titles and subtitles to suggest the specific areas in which Axelrod examines Patton's ideas. Patton remains one of the 20th century's best-known and least-understood military leaders. Mention his name and most people immediately conjure an image of George C.
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Format: Paperback
General George S. Patton, Jr., was a legend in his own time. While known for his coarse language, he was also respected as a brilliant tactician and terrific motivator. Those who served with him weren't just "in the war" or "in the army," they were Patton's men. This hard-driving leader instilled confidence, acted decisively, and excelled under relentless pressure. His army moved at unprecedented speed, always on the attack and not on the defensive.
Patton did not write extensively; he was challenged by dyslexia. But he said a lot, was often quoted, and was written about. Historians have a rich treasure of who this unusual man was and the impact he had on others . . . and ultimately on the world. His approach to his work was clear and direct, making him an excellent case study and role model. Role model? A man who spat profanity in almost every sentence? Ah, look beyond the rough exterior that actually endeared him to his men. Look at how Patton thought, his philosophies. That's where the lessons are.
This book delivers 183 of those lessons in short, tight, bite-size pieces. This is a book you can read cover-to-cover or refer to as an inspirational resource. Each lesson is constructed as a Patton quote, with Axelrod's interpretation of the meaning, the purpose, and the impact of the words. The flavor throughout the book is how Patton's military style and experience applies to management and leadership of today's business organization. Or any organization, for that matter.
The beginning of the book includes an enlightening biographical profile of Patton to understand the context of the man. The volume concludes with some recommended reading and a helpful index.
As a reviewer, I'm tempted to start listing some of the titles of those 183 lessons.
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Format: Hardcover
When people think of George Patton, they tend to think of the larger than life character portrayed in the movie. While colorful, Patton was above all a superb manager who knew how to motivate people to accomplish the seemingly impossible. This book takes what made Patton a successful manager and analyzes it in detail so that the average person can apply to his or her own field of endeavor. I suggest you read the book and then, after each section, close it and think about how what you've just read can be applied to your own situation. Patton's intense focus on what he wanted to accomplish, and his no nonsense way of communicating his vision, are valuable lessons for managers in any field. Few can emulate Patton, but we can all learn from him.
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Format: Paperback
I had seen this book in an airport bookstore, but wasn't sold until I saw Patton: the movie on TV and was entranced by George C. Scott's portrayal of the WWII General.

General George S. Patton commanded the Third Army in Europe during WWII. Although I had never realized it before, Patton really managed a giant corporation, an army of over 400,000 soldiers which built almost 2500 bridges, shipped over 2,000,000 tons of supplies, and inflicted hundreds of thousands of casualties on the enemy.

After a short preface by George Steinbrenner (Red Sox fans will start on pg. 3), Axelrod begins with a short description of Patton's history and life philosophy. Patton was certainly a fascinating character, with compelling qualities and outrageous flaws.

The format of the book proceeds as follows: Axelrod uses a quote or anecdote from Patton's life to convey and support Patton's philosophy on leadership. Although the subjects are grouped together (Chapter 3:Always attack. Never Surrender and Chapter 5:Speed-simplicity-boldness), the book does not refer back to any previous section.

Fans of the movie will recognize many parts of the book, but those who know nothing about Patton will also find it an easy yet exciting read. I found it to be quite valuable.

This book is certainly not a whitewash of Patton's career, but Axelrod does a fantastic job of sifting through his life and finding the kernels of Patton's success. I recommend this book to anybody interested in leadership (coaches), those in business, and those with an interest in military affairs.
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