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Ozzy

Skills to be Taught

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It can be safely assumed that the battle exploits of successful leaders are studied at the United States Military Academy at West Point in order to identify positive traits, skills and attributes as deserving of emulation by future leaders. What traits and skills do you believe Ulysses S. Grant possessed that should be taught to cadets and officer-candidates?

To start the conversation, here is one that I believe we can all agree upon: Persistence. Because there is no failure until one gives up the attempt. U.S. Grant was noted for aggressive, dogged, determined pursuit of goals. And if a roadblock was encountered in his chosen path, General Grant quickly scrutinized the situation and determined upon greater exertion; a detour; or an entirely new route, to reach his goal.

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I had an interest in such a question on Grant years ago. I was researching US Grant and the Battle of Belmont, MO. fought on November 7th, 1861. I have not been able to get a definitive answer, but at one point, post WW 1, that the Staff at West Point tried to put together basically, a class or study on what makes a great and successful General. What traits are shared, what attributes, what brain power, what cognitive gift do they have and can it be taught to others. I do not think it went anywhere, but the attempt to try and understand US Grant as a Commander was done. What I saw in Grant was how he would listen to others. Get their views on a subject, attack, retreat, move and how to move-- then take a break, come back, and using all he heard give a succinct order that all had part in. Another was ability to write an order that was to the point and easy to understand. That he would rise at dawn, work all day, writing orders etc., then in the evening eat something and sit around the campfire and listen to jokes and bantering, he loved it. His War Secretary was asked what made Grant successful. His answer, "success?, we followed Grant because he was successful." He just did it---  

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CSuniforms, Thanks for your contribution. As regards U.S. Grant's acknowledged ability to "write terse, concise orders," that is just one of many desired skills that can be taught to young leaders. [Whereas "the ability to ride a horse," so important in Grant's day, is a skill no longer deemed necessary... most of the time.]

 

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