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Download Lee & Grant: Profiles in Leadership from the Battlefields of Virginia epub

by Major Charles R. Bowery US Army Jr.

The legendary skills of the two greatest generals of the Civil War are profiled in a study that demonstrates the crucial value of qualities such as persistence and negotiation skills, which are relevant in modern business settings.
Download Lee & Grant: Profiles in Leadership from the Battlefields of Virginia epub
ISBN: 0814408192
ISBN13: 978-0814408193
Category: History
Subcategory: Americas
Author: Major Charles R. Bowery US Army Jr.
Language: English
Publisher: AMACOM (November 9, 2004)
Pages: 272 pages
ePUB size: 1591 kb
FB2 size: 1351 kb
Rating: 4.1
Votes: 282
Other Formats: lrf mobi txt doc

I bought this book thinking I would get two great biographies in one about two of the most fascinating leaders in history. The information that was provided on both of them was simply nothing new. What bugged me the most about this book, however, were the "lessons" a leader was supposed to learn from the mistakes and/or good decisions that each of them made.

I couldn't find a "lesson" that was ever presented with more depth than "Lee did this and showed good leadership. Do what Lee did and you'll be a good leader too."

Aacckkkkk! I found myself not concentrating on the book itself because of these simplistic statements so I finally quit reading it.

If you're looking for a good biography and comparison of Lee and Grant, this is not your book.
Wooden Purple Romeo
A recommended reading for all current and would-be leaders to learn from two different personalities facing each other on opposite sites of 'winners takes all' situation. A subtle dissection of characters, situations and events where a decision not only decides an outcome of life and death of hundreds and thousands of people like you and me, but also provides working material for historians, psychologists, military strategists and readers like you and me.
I had to read this for work as a part of leadership training. While I found it hard to get through, I did develop a new appreciaton for these two great American leaders.
Light out of Fildon
This is one of two excellent recently published books about Grant, the other being Charles Bracelen Flood's Grant and Sherman: The Friendship That Won the Civil War. In this volume, Bowery focuses almost entirely on the Overland Campaign which began with "The Battle of the Wilderness" (May 4-6, 1864), continued during "The Battle of Spotsylvania" (May 9-12, 1864), and concluded with "The Battle of Cold Harbor" (May 31-June 7, 1864).

As Bowery observes, "In a war filled with grist for leadership studies, the Overland Campaign offers a unique opportunity. It allows the study of two of history's greatest generals, playing for a straightforward but momentous prize: the survival or destruction of the United States of America. On the surface, Lee and Grant led in very different ways, but once this veneer is stripped away, a core of similarity remains. Both men were supremely self-confident, highly skilled, and unfailingly devoted to the cause for which they fought. Their achievements and mistakes make the 1864 Overland Campaign a perfect leadership study and a great source of education and inspiration for leaders in any arena."

In addition to what Bowery reveals about this campaign, he also suggests a number of lessons which are relevant to the contemporary business world. These are summarized in a reader-friendly manner at the conclusion of most chapters and then reiterated in Chapter Nine and in the Afterword. For example, after examining "Organizational Leadership Skills for Crisis Situations" in Chapter Seven:

1. "Don't let optimism or a `can do' spirit blind you to second- and third-order effects."

2. "Pay constant attention to your interpersonal relationships."

3. "Think about a participating leadership style in true crisis situations."

4. "Build redundancy into your chain of command."

Granted (no pun intended), these are not head-snapping revelations. Their relevance and value are revealed within the context of specific situations in which both Grant and Lee faced and then responded effectively (or ineffectively) to specific crises. Bowery does a brilliant job of helping his reader to view their leadership in terms of both the Big Picture and the day-by-day (sometimes hour-by-hour) situations during the war's development.

For non-scholars such as I who nonetheless have a keen interest in military history, there is a great deal to be learned about arguably the most decisive campaign during the Civil War. Of equal interest to me is Bowery's rigorous analysis of two great generals, suggesting what decision-makers in our own time can learn from Grant's and Lee's character and personality as well as from their skills as military leaders.
This is a very interesting book that uses military history to first illustrate and then teach leadership skills that are applicable to both military and business problems. In its discussion of the war situations, the two generals faced many of the same problems that other leaders face. The particular part of the Civil War being discussed is Grants moves towards Richmond during the summer of 1864.

At the beginning of the summer, Lee had leadership probems with the people under him. He had lost 15 of the top 45 leaders of his army. He was faced with elevating people to positions where they had been promoted beyond their competence. Grant had just assumed leadership over an army about which he knew little and which was troubled by perceptions of incompetence and with bickering between generals of like rank but dislike of each other.

Then the battles start, battles that have become so famous their very names ring with history: Wilderness, Spotsylvania, North Anna, Cold Harbor. Strangely enough they were all victories, of a sort, for the Confederates, but the net effect was to lose the war. Each battle, in the author's words has lessons to teach the modern leader.

Major Bowery brings a supurb writing style to this book that blends the historical with the lesson with a simple switch of paragraphs. It's a delightful book, educational and a pleasure to read.
This book should be of interest to anyone fascinated by either the Civil War or the art of leadership. First, Major Bowery gives a concise and readable explanation of the Overland Campaign, and the book can be read by the general reader for that alone. Second, and more importantly, he does an excellent job of analysing the strengths and weaknesses of Lee and Grant's leadership during that campaign. Though he does not disguise his underlying admiration for both of these generals, he is willing to voice criticism when it is fair to do so. Legendary though they may be, they were only human and both made mistakes despite their overall ability and character. Given the military background of the author, he did a surprisingly good job of showing how basic leadership principles are applicable in any context, including the civilian business world. His analysis was astute and above all, clearly written. I recommend this book highly to those interested in the art of leadership, and I hope that Major Bowery keeps writing on the subject.