Leadership in War: Lessons from Those Who Made History – by Andrew Roberts
I find a learn So much about leadership from history and military figures who led people through conflict. I thoroughly enjoyed Leadership in War. I’m also very much looking forward to the forthcoming audiobook by Andrew Roberts and General David Petraeus called Conflict: the evolution of warfare from 1945 to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It comes out in October 2023, and I’ve pre-ordered the book.
This book made me stop and reflect a lot about leadership lessons for us today from some of these famous figures, because they were by no means perfect, and they all had their faults and character traits, which, at times, led to their success and other times almost to their downfall. No one is perfect and life is a competitive endeavour where you have to be your best and to be a team player as General David Petraeus reminded me. Events form you and rely on good fortune and timing for it to become a success rather than a disaster.
Taking us from the French Revolution to the Cold War and the Falklands, Andrew Roberts presents us with a bracingly honest and insightful look at nine major figures in modern history: Napoleon Bonaparte, Horatio Nelson, Winston Churchill, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, George C. Marshall, Charles de Gaulle, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Margaret Thatcher.
Each of these leaders fundamentally shaped the outcome of the war their nation was embroiled in. How were they alike, and in what ways did they differ? Was their war leadership unique, or did these leaders have something in common, traits and techniques that transcend time and place and can be applied to the fundamental nature of conflict?
Meticulously researched and compellingly written, Leadership in War presents listeners with fresh, complex portraits of leaders who approached war with different tactics and different weapons, but with the common goal of success in the face of battle. Both inspiring and cautionary, these portraits offer important lessons on leadership in times of struggle. With his trademark verve and incisive observation, Roberts reveals the qualities that doom even the most promising leaders to failure and the qualities that lead to victory.