George S. Patton is one of history’s most celebrated and well-remembered American generals. Countless books and movies have been made about his life, many of which chronicle his leadership styles.
So what were his leadership characteristics? How did General George Patton lead throughout his military and personal life?
That’s what we’re here to look at today. Read on to learn about the key General George Patton leadership traits that made him a victorious general.
Command: Patton wasn’t afraid to reprimand men for keeping them in line. As such, Patton almost always spoke his mind.
Management: kept his communication lines open whenever plans had to come into place. He would get everyone’s consensus whenever that was possible.
Life: Integrity was a big priority for General Patton, which went hand-in-hand with his preaching of honor. Honorable men should tell the truth and refrain from judging others.
Success: To illustrate his preparedness and strong will, Patton always preached a positive mindset and remained optimistic. He remained confident in his abilities and backed them up by being a dependable military figure.
Who Was General George S. Patton?
General George Smith Patton Jr. was a U.S. Army officer who fought in World War II. He is famous for his authoritarian, disciplinary, and self-sacrificial leadership while commanding troops in the European and Mediterranean theaters.
Patton’s brash and tough persona still makes him a talked-about military figure even decades after the end of World War II. His troops often called him “Old Blood-and-Guts” due to his hard-nosed style.
Born in 1885 in California, George Patton attended the fabled West Point Academy and eventually fought in World War I. He endured various injuries throughout the war but survived the conflict.
Patton was a major proponent of tank warfare, which he would translate to his leadership role during World War II. He took part in significant conflicts in the war, including Casablanca and the liberation of France.
He died in 1945 following a car crash, but his legacy as tough but practical general life. Despite his intensity and temperaments, George Patton remained an excellent leader.
General George Patton’s Leadership Traits
We can look at General George Patton’s four main leadership traits when discussing his style. These are the principles of command, management, life, and success. Let’s break those down here:
The first, and possibly the most important, principle that George Patton followed was a command. He always preached the establishment of a robust and commanding presence.
Seeing as his larger-than-life persona endures to this day, this shouldn’t be a surprise. That’s not to say his accomplishments were achieved by himself, as he often delegated tasks to those around him with excellent results.
Delegation requires accountability, and Patton always made sure his men were accountable for their actions to provide success. No one, not even himself, should consider themselves irreplaceable.
Patton wasn’t afraid to reprimand men for keeping them in line. As such, Patton almost always spoke his mind.
Being a great leader to Patton wasn’t always just about command, as managing hundreds or thousands of troops required more unique skills. For starters, he always collected facts before making any decisions.
To make these informed decisions, Patton always got input from those around him. He didn’t just let his men do what they wanted, as he always tried to participate in all the ins and outs of his operations.
In other words, he was an active participant in the planning and execution of his strategies. Patton always kept his priorities straight and put those in his mind when leading his men.
General Patton kept his communication lines open whenever plans had to come into place. He would get everyone’s consensus whenever that was possible.
Outside of leading his men, General Patton prioritized taking care of himself. He was a known athlete during college, so he always preached about staying fit and mentally active.
He was a known Christian and preached the bible as much as possible. As a man of faith, he emphasized spirituality and kept a strong sense of character.
Integrity was a big priority for General Patton, which went hand-in-hand with his preaching of honor. Honorable men should tell the truth and refrain from judging others.
It’s no secret that General Patton experienced a lot of military success throughout his career. Even though he won many accolades and turned the tide of battles, he knew how to handle his success.
Patton held a lot of pride in his appearance but was always prepared for any role he was given. During his career, he discovered that training and preparation were key and exemplified it through his work.
To illustrate his preparedness and strong will, Patton always preached a positive mindset and remained optimistic. He remained confident in his abilities and backed them up by being a dependable military figure.
What Can We Learn From George Patton’s Leadership Style?
General George Patton is known as someone who instilled confidence and vigor in his men. His leadership style showed in his troops, who executed his ambitious plans, plans that the military often saw as impossible.
As regular citizens, a key takeaway from Patton’s leadership style is his strong vision and ability to block out detractors. His confidence in himself and his strategies spoke to his genuine belief in himself.
Confidence in oneself translates to more pronounced outcomes. This leads to greater trust among colleagues. This eventually leads to success.
Most of us aren’t as bold or cunning as George Patton. However, his leadership qualities are replicable and relevant to most leadership positions.
Understanding Patton’s Leadership Style
When looking at some of the key General George Patton leadership traits, it’s easy to see why he gained such acclaim. Use this guide to help you understand Patton’s leadership traits and how to apply them to your life!