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Jeff Appelquist is a former Marine Corps infantry officer, practicing attorney, and corporate executive. He is the founder and president of Blue Knight Battlefield Seminars, which conducts individual leadership and team development training at the Gettysburg and Little Bighorn battlefields. Sacred Ground is his first book.
JEFF APPELQUIST is the founder and president of Blue Knight Leadership, LLC. Jeff is a former college athlete, U.S. Marine Corps infantry officer, practicing attorney, and corporate executive. He has more than twenty years experience both as an entrepreneur and small business owner and as a leader in Fortune 100 companies. He is an award-winning author, dynamic speaker, and nationally-recognized leadership expert. He is also an avid sportsman who hunts, fishes, sails, and scuba dives.
Jeff's first two books, Sacred Ground: Leadership Lessons from Gettysburg & the Little Big Horn and Wisdom Is Not Enough: Reflections on Leadership & Teams, won a dozen literary awards between them, including multiple first place prizes in the Writer's Digest International, National Indie Excellence, and Midwest Book Awards. The Great Wild West, Jeff's debut novel, is an epic tale of war and peace, love and loss, man versus nature, and the American dream.
Jeff's website is www.blueknightleadership.com, and he can be reached at email@example.com.
This book is not a typical business book. The book reads like a novel and combines historical facts and characters with important business concepts. Literally from the first page I found the book to be interesting, informative and relevant to the business issues of the day. I enjoyed the book so much that when I finished it I was actually disappointed that it wasn't longer. The author presents business topics and ideas in a meaningful, actionable, and thought provoking manner. The book is easy to enjoy and frankly one of the best business books I have read in years. You can read the book cover to cover or you can focus on particular areas of interest. If you are a business leader, and you like history this is the book for you and your whole team to read.
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Mr. Appelquist has done a superb job! As a cultural and military anthropologist I was impressed with his balanced portrayal and use of both Native and Anglo American accounts of the Battle of the Little Big Horn. The author brings a similar balance to his portrayal of two giants of American military history: Colonel Custer and General Lee. We are treated not only to their successes but to their shortcomings.
The author also does his readers an uncommon service in his detailed but available discussions about interpreting historical evidence. In some cases, he notes with honesty, there is no way to know with any certainty what happened and why. This is sensed especially in the reconstruction of Custer's movements after dispatching his final message.
The clear and evocative connections between American cultural values and military and business leadership is a delight. Mr. Appelquist expertly picks telling business successes and disasters to illustrate his advice on leadership. Advice such as "Take Care of Your People" appears in direct contradiction to some of the justifications of selfishness and aggressiveness that permeate other such books on the relationship between the military and business worlds. The advice, moreover, is firmly grounded in concrete details, not abstractions that leave the reader wondering how the author got from point A to point B.
While this book won the 2010 National Indie Excellence Award in the category of Military History, I suggest the content makes it applicable to a wide range of concerns including business leadership and ethics.
Sacred Ground must rank with the finest in the examination of leadership qualities and their application in battle situations and successful business practices. I have lived in the Gettysburg area over twenty years, spent countless hours on the Battlefield, volunteered at the National Military Park for thirteen years, and read many, many books on the Battle. This book is a work of outstanding quality.
The qualities are multi-facted - the writing style is such that it holds the interest of readers, irrespective of their level of knowledge; it is accurate in detail; provides the reader with insights otherwise easily missed; and the analyses of selected battle actions provide a breathtaking reality of the scene. The comparison of specific leadership qualities, present or absent, in military engagements and case studies of corporate success or failure gives one a fresh view of their application and universality in achieving management and/or operational goals.
It is a fascinating and unique approach to the analysis of leadership attributes and a reminder that leadership has key criteria that apply in all life situations. A book of this caliber is rare and anyone interested in history or business management will both enjoy and profit from a careful read of Sacred Ground. I was a Federal Manager in a crisis oriented program, now retired, and without doubt could have profited from this book.
James Wego Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
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