The Leadership Genius of George Washington

One of the finest examples in all history of advice on how to be a leader is in a letter by George Washington in response to a request from Col. (later General ) William Woodford at the beginning of Revolutionary War. Woodford asks Washington's ’s advice on how to conduct himself to be most effective as a leader of men. The essentials for a code of command are contained within his answer.
“ The best general advice I can give is to be strict in your discipline, that is, to require nothing unreasonable of your officers and men, but see that whatever is required be punctually complied with. Reward and punish every man according to his merit, without partiality or prejudice; hear his complaints, if well founded, redress them, if otherwise, discourage them in order to prevent frivolous ones. Discourage vice in every shape, and impress upon the mind of everyman from the first to the lowest, of the importance of our cause, and what it is they are contending for. Forever keep in view the necessity of guarding against surprise. Be plain and precise in your orders, and keep copies of them to refer too, that no mistakes may happen. Be easy and condescending in your deportment to your officers, but not too familiar, lest you subject yourself to a want of that respect, which is necessary to support a proper command. These, Sir, I have presumed to give as the great outlines for your conduct.” George Washington


Retired V P of Merrill Lynch, Ph. D in economics. taught economic principles courses part time at U. of Maryland , published book entitled, "Beyond the Cherry Tree: The leadership wisdom of George Washington."  For sale on  It's a how to book helping people become more productive by using the ethical principles of our Founding Fathers ( and Mothers) in particular George Washington. Retired Vice President at Merrill Lynch. In management helped develop many young leaders...

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