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Patton’s motivational gold

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers

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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