Basic Managerial Skills vs Sound Military Decisions…

“There are of course those parts of the trade, or art, that can be studied, and therefore learned. There have been few great leaders who were not knowledgeable about the mechanics of the business; you cannot be an inspiring leader if you neglect the logistics that feed your men.

They will not give you their confidence if you forget to bring up the reserve ammunition, or if you leave them with no way out of an ambush, or even if you consistently schedule two columns to use the same crossroads at the same time. All of that level of operation is subject to scientific principles, and can be taught.

Any reasonably intelligent person can learn the routine of siting a battery, or even of administering a battalion. One can go very far on basic managerial skills, and one cannot do much without them.

One of the difficulties, in fact, of dealing with the question of leadership is the tendency not to distinguish between the aspects of it that relate to making sound military decisions, and the aspects that relate to leading men in battle.”

James L. Stokebury (1981) Military Leadership.


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