Welcome!! My name is Paul Lappen. I am in my early 50s, single, and live in Connecticut USA. This blog will consist of book reviews, written by me, on a wide variety of subjects. I specialize, as much as possible, in small press and self-published books, to give them whatever tiny bit of publicity help that I can. Other than that, I am willing to review nearly any genre, except poetry, romance, elementary-school children's books and (really bloody) horror.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Cigars, Whiskey and Winning: Leadership Lessons From General Ulysses S. Grant

Cigars, Whiskey and Winning: Leadership Lessons From General Ulysses S. Grant, Al Kaltman, Prentice Hall Press, 1998

A person might think that the life of General (later President) Ulysses S. Grant is an unlikely place to find leadership lessons applicable to the modern age. That is what this book attempts to do.

Did you know that Grant was born Hiram Ulysses Grant? The Congressman who appointed him for West Point filled out the application for Ulysses S. Grant. When he tried to correct the error, the clerk at West Point said that the application could not be changed. Rule number one: try to keep bureaucrats out of your organization.

People need meaningful work. Interviews reveal more than resumes. You have to earn your stripes. Turn mistakes into training opportunities. It's not important who gets the credit. See for yourself what's happening. Committees study good ideas to death.

Know when to listen to your subordinates. Know when to disobey orders. There isn't only one right way. Know when not to hold a staff meeting. Ask the right questions. Sooner or later, everyone gets sick. Take responsibility for your actions. You can't succeed if they don't. How to pick the right person for the job. Know when something smells fishy. Never act in anger, regardless of the provocation. Unfortunately, President Grant was not able to put into practice the leadership lessons of General Grant.

This is a really good history/management book. Each leadership lesson is illustrated by an example from Grant's own memoirs. It is very much worth reading.

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