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George Washington, builder of business

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers

Not too many people think of George Washington as a business leader.

In truth, the father of our country strove to make his Virginia home, Mount Vernon, the most modern, diversified, efficient and profitable plantation possible. He not only ramped up his farming operation phenomenally over five years (his annual grain production alone grew from 257 bushels to 6,241), but he also built entirely new enterprises, including fisheries and a distillery.

He did it through leadership encapsulated in these elements:

Expertise. Washington kept abreast of the latest theories and techniques. He also used his expertise to improve efficiency. The automated milling machinery he installed in 1791 reduced the labor requirement from five men to three. People today who suggest that leaders don’t need a thorough grounding in their subjects are simply wrong.

Innovation. The two-story, round threshing barn Washington designed was t...(register to read more)

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