Another book about Horatio Nelson? I've read 10, and assumed I didn't need another. But as I wiled away the time in Heathrow, I thumbed through a new one, Andrew Lambert's Nelson: Britannia's God of War. It looked fabulous; and, incidentally, I was to give a speech on Leadership in Dubai 48 hours hence. So I made the purchase, devoured the book during the subsequent 6-hour flight ... and extracted 13 Lessons. Herewith, in summary-shorthand form (directly from a Slide) ...
1. Simple-clear scheme ("Plan") (Not wildly imaginative) (Patton: "A good plan executed with vigor right now tops a 'perfect' plan executed next week.")
2. Soaring/Bold/Clear/Unequivocal/ Worthy/Noble/ Inspiring "Goal"/"Mission"/"Purpose"/"Quest"
3. "Conversation": Engagement of All Leaders
4. Leeway for Leaders: Select the Best/Dip Deep/Initiative demanded/Accountability swift/Micromanagement absent
5. Led by "Love" (per Lambert), not "Authority" (Totally identify-bond with Sailors!)
6. Instinct/Seize the Moment/"Impetuosity" (Boyd's "OODA Loops": React more quickly than opponent, destroy his "world view")
7. Vigor! (Ben Zander: leader as "Dispenser of Enthusiasm")
8. Peerless Basic Skills/Mastery of Craft (Seamanship)
9. Workaholic! ("Duty" first, second, and third)
10. Lead by Confident & Determined & Continuous & Visible Example (In Harm's Way) (Gandhi: "You must be the change you wish to see in the world"/Giuliani: Show up!)
11. Genius ("Transform the world to conform to their ideas") (Gandhi, PM Lee-Singapore), not Greatness ("Make the most of their world")
12. Luck! (Right place, right era; survived near-mortal wounds) ("Lucky Eagle" vs "Bold Eagle")
13. Others' principal shortcoming: "Admirals more frightened of losing than anxious to win"
I think that's as good a list of Leadership Traits as you're likely to find. Comments?
Note: Tom was at Heathrow when he bought the book. You have to go to amazon.co.uk to get it.
Before blogging became all the rage, Tom was posting book reviews and Observations (essentially early blog posts) to this site. You can find the archives below.
What we're talking about
on the front page.