CEO recommends reading War As I Knew It for the lessons it teaches in leadership and earning respect.
by George S. Patton Jr.
Bantam Books, 1989
"General George S. Patton would remind himself during critical decisions, Do not take counsel of your fears. There's a tremendous amount of wisdom in that because if you listen to your fears, you won't get anything accomplished.
"When the funding was almost in place to start ChemDesign, a key player backed out. I felt like throwing in the towel. There were nights I didn't sleep. I repeated to myself, Do not take counsel of your fears. I got on a plane to Cleveland, met with the investor, and persuaded him to rejoin the deal. Eventually I raised the $12 million I needed.
"Patton's autobiography is really about leadership principles. Employees expect their leader to be strong and well dressed. Patton had that pearl-handled revolver and those polished boots. Sometimes you see people who think managing means being buddy-buddy: dress sloppy, act sloppy, and be one of the troops. That doesn't work because you lose respect and you can't lead without the respect of your subordinates.
"Patton also led by example. He was a very spartan leader. He exposed himself to personal danger and the miseries of fighting at the front.The soldiers adored him for it. They would have followed him to hell."