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During World War II, Gen. George Patton often prepared troops for battle with a rousing motivational speech later portrayed in his movie biography. It began with the famous statement, “I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other dumb bastard die for his country.”
Then he went on to rally his troops in a very structured way:
He reminded them of who they were. He said they were Americans, and that Americans always want to be the best and win.
He told them they were a team who would fight together.
He assured them they would have the courage to go into battle and win because of who they were.
He set out a simple goal: not to hold their positions, but to advance.
He expressed confidence in their abilities to get the job done.
Think about those steps when it’s time to inspire your team to rise to a challenge. You’ll find gold in them.
—Adapted from Patton on Leadership, Alan Axelrod, Prentice Hall.
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