The Indestructible Leader
By Susan Steffen-Kraft
Under his leadership, the Revolutionaries succeeded eventually in wresting control from the tyrant King George despite the fact that the Continental army was ill-equipped and outnumbered. The army might have rebelled under anyone else, but General Washington with his moral strength, his presence which was charismatic to say the least, and his political knowledge and maneuvering kept the army intact and under control.
After the war, he was asked to head the Constitutional Convention and his presence was needed there also. He could have become a dictator but choose not to. In fact, he handed military control to the United States Congress which in itself speaks to his high moral character which is sorely lacking today among most of our politicians. It is one of the few times in history that someone declined power when it was practically handed to them on a silver platter and chose to walk away.
His Awards and Honors as follows:
1. Congressional Gold Medal
2. Thanks of Congress
3. General of the Armies of the United States
4. The first President of the United States
Some George Washington quotes on Leadership:
“Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company.”
“Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence.”
“Discipline is the soul of an army. It makes small numbers formidable; procures success to the weak, and esteem to all.”
“Friendship is a plant of slow growth and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation.”
“It is better to be alone than in bad company.”
“It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.”
“Nothing can be more hurtful to the service, than the neglect of discipline; for that discipline, more than numbers, gives one army the superiority over another.”
“Truth will ultimately prevail where there are pains to bring it to light.”
“We should not look back unless it is to derive useful lessons from past errors, and for the purpose of profiting by dearly bought experience.”
“Worry is the interest paid by those who borrow trouble.”
In his wisdom, he also eschewed party politics. Would today that the wisdom of what he told us was manifested in our politicians of the United States Government! In the video below you will hear his warning.
Sources: www.foxnews.com/story/2010/05/10/glenn-beck-founders-fridays-george-washington.html, www.mountvernon.org/george-washington/french-indian-war, http://www.americanfounding.blogspot.com/2008/07/leadership-qualities-of-george.htm, http://gwpapers.virginia.edu/history/articles/george-washington-genius-in-leadership/, The Bulletproof George Washington by David Barton
In his early 20's he was an aide to Gen. Braddock of the British army. The general was a very proud man who felt he could win against the Indians fighting the style the British always fought in Europe by directly marching against an enemy that hid behind trees and rocks. That did not work out so well at what was called the Battle at the Monongahela. Washington had warned the British that the Indians fought ambush style in true guerrilla warfare. The British were mowed down and were powerless against the attack.
George Washington wrote to his family the next day after the battle and said, "I don't know why I'm still here. It must be the hand of Providence that had preserved me. I've got bullet holes in my hat, through my clothing. I've had two horses shot out from under me."
Despite losing 977 British soldiers, Governor Dinwiddie hailed George Washington as a hero and gave him the ranking of Colonel and that gave him command of 1,200 men in the Virginia regiment.
Fifteen years after the battle, a great old and respected chief approached Washington and a close friend of his who were travelling towards the western territories and exploring uninhabited regions. The chief had heard that George Washington was coming that way and wanted to personally meet Mr. Washington. Near a junction of the Great Kanawha and Ohio river, they met and through an interpreter, the chief spoke to George Washington.
"I am a chief and ruler over my tribes My influence extends to the waters of the great lakes and to the far blue mountains. I have traveled a long weary path to see the young warrior of the great battle. On the day when white man's blood mixed with the streams of our forest I first saw this chief (Washington). I called to my young men and told them "mark yon tall and daring warrior? He is not part of the red-coat tribe and he has the Indian's wisdom and he and his warriors fight as we do. He himself is alone, exposed so quick, let your aim be certain and he will die. Our rifles were leveled, rifles which, but for you, knew not how to miss; twas all in vain for a power mightier far than we shielded you. You were under a special guardianship from the Great Spirit so we stopped firing at you. I am old and shall be soon with my father; but, I must speak a prophecy. Listen! The Great Spirit protects that man (And he pointed to George Washington) and guides his destiny. He will become the chief of nations, and a people yet unborn will hail him as the founder of a mighty empire. I come to pay homage to the man who is a particular favorite of Heaven and who cannot ever die in battle." This I somewhat paraphrased for easier reading, but the idea and most words are there.