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Robert E. Lee on Leadership : Executive Lessons in Character, Courage, and Vision Paperback – August 24, 2000

114 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

General Lee eluded the Union army for three years and cunningly thwarted his foe by applying successful leadership and military acumen, winning many battles but losing the war. However, his reputation and legacy remain intact, suggesting leadership principles that could successfully be applied today. In very readable prose, Crocker, an executive editor at Regency Publishing and author of articles in the National Review, American Spectator, and Human Events, reviews Lee's career not only in the military but as a farmer and college president (the school now known as Washington and Lee University). At the end of each chapter, he provides a section called "Lee's Lessons"Aleadership principles based on Lee's Christian lifestyle, his education (at West Point), and his character. Thought-provoking ideas for today's present and future leaders; for business collections and larger public libraries.ASteven J. Mayover, Free Lib. of Philadelphia
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"A masterpiece—the best work of its kind I have ever read. Crocker's Lee is a Lee for all leaders to study; and to work, quite deliberately, to emulate."
— Major General Josiah Bunting III, superintendent of the Virginia Military Institute
"A splendid and inspiring book, Robert E. Lee on Leadership offers enormously valuable lessons for all of us today, and should be required reading in the White House, the State Department, and the Pentagon, at least."
— Caspar Weinberger, former Secretary of Defense, chairman of Forbes magazine
"As Harry Crocker reminds us, the principles that guided Robert e. Lee were grounded in the finest traditions of American values. Robert E. Lee on Leadership is a timely and valuable reflection on character, and on the personal and spiritual convictions that make for great leaders."
— S. Patrick Presley, director of Federal Government Affairs, British Petroleum
"A moving and illuminating look at Lee the man, so that thoughtful people can learn from him how to succeed in the business of life."
— Dinesh D'Souza, author of Ronald Reagan: How an Ordinary Man Became an Extraordinary Leader
"Harry Crocker has provided a great service by reminding us through this moving and tightly written biography that winning isn't the only thing: faithfulness and honor live in our memories after the guns are silent."
— Marvin Olasky, author of the bestselling Renewing American Compassion and The American Leadership Tradition

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Product Details

  • Series: On Leadership
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Forum; 3 edition (August 24, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761525548
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761525547
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #171,082 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 26, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Crocker's easy writing style made this book a breeze to read, yet it was full of the information necessary to get his point across completely. Lee was a model leader, and a model gentleman, and the two are related. I heartily recommend this book to anyone who wants to know the secret to getting ahead while staying true to your principles.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 23, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The strength of this book are the leadership lessons that transcend their historical context. Lee's personal and professional challenges are succinctly illustrated through Crocker's insight and intellect. Today's leaders will benefit from this work as well as be challenged by the ethics and morality of Lee's life. Regardless of your views on the Civil War or comprehensive knowledge of it, you will enjoy and be educated by the thought provoking decisions Lee made and how he made them.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By KBM on March 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Not at all a Marble Man, Robert E. Lee was a true leader. This book does him justice and puts his leadership skills and abilities into a modern context useful for anyone in a leadership role. It's much more a character study than a business book. The author clearly is a great fan of the great man.

Business lessons are nicely extrapolated from both true historical events and how Lee handled adversaries in blue, adversaries on his staff, and adverse events in the field. Lee's brilliance at taking risks and making the most out of less is strongly shown-- especially in The Seven Days Battles and during Chancellorsville-- his finest hour.

The author is particularly harsh on General Longstreet at Gettysburg, suggesting most strongly that Longstreet was insubordinate, disobedient to orders, and undermined Lee's strategies during that cataclysmic struggle. This is a very readable and approachable introduction to Lee for the modern reader and a pleasant review for students of the Civil War who don't mind Lee's lessons put into a more modern frame.

While Lee is the great spirit of the "Lost Cause", his greatness or lack of it is not due to his victories or defeats, but rather on the very elegant and superb quality of his character. War often brings lesser men to the forefront of history and thrusts gargantuan tasks and responsibilities upon them. But it also gives superb men their moments-- often at great cost to themselves and others. Without Lee, one could make the argument that the Confederate cause would have failed long before it actually did.

The idea that "the man and the hour have met", popular during the inauguration of Jefferson Davis, is far more appropriate for Lee and his elevation to command of the Army of Northern Virginia.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By William English on September 13, 1999
Format: Hardcover
An absolutely fascinating treatment of perhaps the greatest American of the 19th Century. An understated evaluation of the personal qualities that made General Lee the dominant figure of the Civil War era. Having read a number of how-to-do-it books on management over many years, I rate this as the most practical and interesting of all. I did major in history, so my perspective is not that of an MBA whizzkid. This book has substance.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By R. Setliff on March 25, 2005
Format: Paperback
~Robert E. Lee on Leadership: Executive Lessons in Character, Courage and Vision~ is in the words of former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, "A splendid and inspiring book." The author H.W. Crocker III sketches an extraordinary little book profiling the extraordinary character and courage of the South's esteemed General Robert E. Lee. This timely piece chronicles the man Robert E. Lee, his spiritual convictions and extraordinary character forged amidst great hardship. The Lee family may have had aristocratic roots, but Lee embraced the esteem of the family name with humbleness instead of pomp and splendor. The great Confederate general is renowned by southroners, Union sympathizers, and Europeans alike. The esteemed Lord Acton sought dialogue with Lee after the war. President Theodore Roosevelt said affectionately that Lee was "the very greatest of all the great captains that the English-speaking peoples have brought forth." British Prime Minister Winston Churchill observed, "His noble presence and gentle, kindly manner were sustained by religious faith and an exalted character."

Lee was an astute student, and excelled at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He served with honor as scout and engineer in the U.S.-Mexican War making a reputation for himself. He developed a little business acumen trying to manage his plantation at Arlington. Lee was great because he was unassuming and was a gentleman of Christian piety. He learned from his mistakes-and yes he made mistakes. Lee was a brilliant strategist and considering the lowly status of his underdog army, he defied the odds. Lee in humility credited providence for his successes. Lee was also great because he surrounded himself by great men, as Crocker highlights in the chapter entitled Lee's Lieutenants.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Walt Sirmans on October 23, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This selection is not a typical "how-to" or recipe for leadership success. The focus on Robert E. Lee's character offers tremendous insight and encouragement for one's own leadership aspirations. I would recommend this book to anyone, regardless of your interest in the Civil War.
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