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Eisenhower on Leadership: Ike's Enduring Lessons in Total Victory Management

Alan Axelrod

Retail Price: $27.95
LS Price: $22.35
You Save: $5.60 (20%)

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Format: Paperback, 304pp.
ISBN: 9780470626917
Publisher: Jossey-Bass
Pub. Date: May 26, 2006

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Item No: 9780470626917

Description and Reviews
From The Publisher:

"Dwight David Eisenhower never led a single soldier into battle. Before World War II, he had never even heard a shot fired in anger. His only 'combat wound' was the bad knee, weakened by a West Point football injury, that he twisted helping to push a jeep out of the Normandy mud. Yet it was Ike Eisenhower who, as supreme Allied commander in Europe, was responsible for leading the greatest military enterprise in history."
—From the Author's Introduction

Eisenhower's task was not to lead men into battle, but to lead the generals who led men into battle. The skills that Ike possessed to manage the challenges of the strategic battleground— coordinating, prioritizing, judging, and cajoling others toward a common goal—are the same skills CEOs need today to lead large and complex enterprises.

Based on the findings in recently released archive papers and letters, as well as extensive library and historical resources, Alan Axelrod offers a compelling profile of the remarkable leadership discipline of a general often called a "military CEO." In fascinating detail, Axelrod reveals that Ike was more than a great military leader; he was also a great executive who could—and did—write a reassuring letter to the mother of a solider one moment¿and make decisions impacting millions of lives the next.

Follow Ike's path as Supreme Commander from the invasion of North Africa to victory in Europe and learn the lessons of great leadership along the way, including:
  • The nature of leadership
  • Managing detail without sacrificing the "Big Picture"
  • Ensuring follow-through to execution
  • Building a team
  • Converting conflict into common cause
  • Getting the facts and making plans
  • Mentoring, motivating, and inspiring
History buffs and business executives alike will find Eisenhower on Leadership a remarkable story of the man who embodies the qualities of selfless service—and who helped accomplish history's greatest mission.


"Bravo! Alan Axelrod has masterfully researched how Eisenhower brilliantly employed a ragged coalition and competing egos to defeat Hitler and Mussolini. Today's executives must also produce great results and enduring relationships under stressful circumstances, and Eisenhower provides truthful lessons to address many of our current organizational challenges. I have already used some of the book's instruction in my consulting."
—Gus Lee, author, Courage: The Backbone of Leadership

"Even more profound than Ike's brilliance as a coalition commander was his influence in shaping modern leadership principles for officers in armies of a democracy. Without question, Ike had no equal in stroking, cajoling, and ultimately successfully managing such prickly alliance personalities like Churchill, Montgomery, de Gaulle, Admiral Darlan, and Italian Marshall Badoglio. . . .Yet Ike also knew what it took to lead soldiers and build cohesive units at the tactical level; he was passionate about leadership and leader development."
—From the Afterword by Lieutenant General Daniel Christman, USA (ret.)

"Alan Axelrod, one of the nation's top authorities on leadership, has produced an indispensable, highly readable book. The team of Eisenhower and Axelrod brings the power of the past to us, for application in our own lives. Eisenhower is one of the most important yet surprisingly underestimated and underexamined leaders of the twentieth century. Axelrod is uniquely able to discern and distill the leadership principles that propelled Ike from service as an aide-de-camp to Douglas MacArthur, to the heights of power and responsibility along with Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, George C. Marshall, and George S. Patton, eventually surpassing even the legendary MacArthur."
—James Strock, author, Theodore Roosevelt on Leadership

"Eisenhower described the purpose and function of the leadership department at the US Military Academy to, in his words, 'awaken the majority of Cadets to the necessity for handling human problems on a human basis,' and he charged us to 'frequently call in for consultation experts both from other schools and from among persons who have made an outstanding success in industrial and economic life.' Axelrod's book truly represents an encapsulation of Eisenhower's leadership legacy for leadership libraries, on and off the Academy."
—Colonel Thomas A. Kolditz, PhD, professor and head, Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership, United States Military Academy

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About the Author

Alan Axelrod is author of numerous business and management books, including two BusinessWeek best-sellers: Patton on Leadership and Elizabeth I, CEO. He is a popular speaker on leadership and has delivered speeches at venues as diverse as the Florida City and County Management Association in Orlando and the Excellence in Government Conference in Washington, D.C. He has been featured in Fortune, BusinessWeek, and Inc. and is a frequent guest on news programs.

Table of Contents
Foreword by Peter Georgescuv
Introduction: The Soldier as CEO1
1Time of Trial: Ike and America Enter the War15
2From African Victory to Sicilian Conquest71
3Supreme Commander129
4From Crisis to Victory239
Afterword by Lieutenant General Daniel Christman, USA (ret.)280
The Author285

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