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PDF Beyond the Cherry Tree: the Leadership Wisdom of George Washington

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Who cares if you are the owner? Nothing should be beneath you. How can you possibly expect those you put in leadership positions to act as real leaders when you yourself are not leading by example? At the onset of the Revolutionary War, Cornwallis was regarded as one of the most effective military minds in the world. He had a reputation for success. In fact, Washington had a very elaborate network of spies in place shuttling intelligence all over the colonies in an effort to stay one step ahead of the British.

He sent one of his subordinates out to do it for him. History tells the rest of the story. At the end of the day, you have to make sure you are giving your competitors credit where credit is due. If they are on your radar then they are there for a reason. Competitive intelligence and a sense of humility are your weapons today. I guarantee, if given the opportunity, they would all do things differently starting with their attitude toward their competition.


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As big a fan of The General as I am, I always try and keep some perspective on things. Washington accomplished much over his career. When you listen to many of these stories, you will time and time again hear the names of a list of supporting characters who are almost equally famous. Washington was a master networker and had a talent for ingratiating himself with like minds. Surrounding yourself with the right people will always give you a better shot at achieving your goals.

If you are lucky enough to be a person that others find to be such a person, then you should by all means put that to good use. Create your own Rat Pack and you will all succeed. Realistically, this list should speak for itself. However, I think the big takeaway really is that good leadership leads to success.

There are some people that excel in just about anything they do in life. Others pick a focus and stick with it their whole careers. Oh, and Happy Birthday General Washington! And thanks for the wisdom. It is good and amazing that our courts still hold the Consitution up as the governing document. Sadly, two men froze to death at one of the stops along the way. About half-way to Trenton, we were surprised to meet a small band of American soldiers approaching us. It turned out they were a small party there to provoke the Hessians. Their tactic was to hit the enemy and then run.

I was shocked and angry that any of our men would go there without orders, and worried that these soldiers would have the Hessians up in arms and ready for battle. Luckily, this was not the case. After they were attacked by this small group, they relaxed their guard and went back to bed. About am, one of their junior officers assembled a team of horses to take the cannon and men out on picket duty to guard against any surprise attack, but Rahl ordered them to stand down.

Early on the morning of December A fierce wind was blowing directly at our back, and into the Hessians' eyes. When they looked toward us, the wind bit at their eyes, forcing them to tear up. Their vision was distorted, which put them at a considerable disadvantage.

120 George Washington Quotes To Celebrate His Place In History

Colonel Rahl bravely tried to rally his troops, but the Hessians did not stand a chance. The Hessian soldiers only knew how to fight in drill formation, but every time they tried to form up, our cannon swept the streets. One of our sharpshooters shot Rahl in the lungs, and he died shortly thereafter. The note warning of the Americans' advance was still in his coat-pocket.

Labels: Battle of Trenton , George Washington. Troops were deserting and even General George Washington was beginning to doubt the patriots' chance of success. The Americans went from feeling utter despair to believing they could not lose. The British attitude changed from feeling invincible to believing they could not win. Click on the ads! Citizen Soldiers. Prisoners of War We captured a very large number of [Hessian] prisoners [after the Battle of Trenton]. What should we do with them?

beyond the cherry tree the leadership wisdom of george washington Manual

Many of my soldiers wanted to punish them, even execute them, for the atrocities they had committed upon American citizens—raping, plundering and pillaging our citizens on a massive scale both in New York and as they had pursued us across New Jersey. I insisted, however, that we treat these prisoners leniently. It was the compassionate thing to do.

As they had surrendered to us, I felt that we were now responsible for their lives. One of the causes we were fighting for was that all men, as human beings, were entitled to be treated with respect and dignity. I thought that the Hessians, in future battles, would be more apt to surrender than fight us to the death. Furthermore, most of the German soldiers were not here of their own free will. Their rulers had rented them out as mercenaries and pocketed the rent monies.

In future difficult situations, many might desert over to our side. I also hoped that my treatment of the prisoners would entice those Hessians still under arms to follow my example and not massacre our wounded or prisoners.

Beyond the Cherry Tree: the Leadership Wisdom of George Washington

Perhaps the leaders of today would do well to adopt General Washington's attitude and treat people with respect and dignity? Copyright James Hodges, Ph. Wednesday, December 9, Leading up to Trenton. During this time, American morale was low. Despairing that the cause of independence had been lost, many men had deserted. Even General Washington was beginning to lose hope. By mid-December , only five months after the Declaration of Independence had been signed, it seemed as though our fight for freedom was all but lost.

The overwhelmingly powerful British Army had repeatedly beaten us in New York, and then had driven us from pillar to post all across New Jersey. Now we were on the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware River. The British and their hired mercenaries, the Hessians, were camped just across the river — very close to our capital, Philadelphia.

From the beginning, soldiers had been discouraged to the point of utter despair, as was our entire fledgling country. Our soldiers and civilians alike were ready to give up our vision quest for freedom and independence. The British had offered amnesty to all those who would re-swear allegiance to the crown. Many citizens had already signed oaths of re-allegiance to the British and many more planned to, believing that future resistance was hopeless. Our cause appeared lost. The Continental Army—our only hope for freedom from British tyranny—had been defeated in New York City that summer and fall of by overwhelmingly superior forces.

We were kicked from pillar to post as we retreated all across New Jersey toward Pennsylvania. Our men were freezing, as they were half-naked and wearing worn out summer clothes. They were hungry. All were miserable. Many had no shoes. You could trace the progress of our army by the bloody footprints left behind on the snow and ice. A large number of our men had been killed or wounded in battle, many others had died from diseases or were very ill, and others had deserted by merely walking home undetected. Despair had gripped my soldiers. Their enlistments would expire in about two weeks on January 1, As I walked among them, I heard many of them say that they could hardly wait to go home.

If they left, then our cause was lost. We would have no army. The existence of our Continental Army was all that gave legitimacy to our struggle for independence. I had to keep it in the field! Panic had also spread throughout our citizenry. Many had signed oaths of re-allegiance to the King. These were the blackest of days. If we sat idle here on the Pennsylvania shore or retreat further west, we would be safe—but only temporarily.

The British would again pursue us in the spring. I refused to let the flame of freedom flicker out. We must strike a blow against them to boost our morale — but where, when and how? Fortunately for us, in early December the British and their Hessian mercenaries decided to go into winter quarters. This was normal procedure for European armies. They established isolated outposts all across New Jersey to subjugate the citizens.

One outpost, manned by their Hessian mercenaries, was at Trenton just across the river from us. This presented a potential target too good to resist. It was relatively weakly manned by about 1, soldiers. I gathered my staff and we discussed the risks of attacking there. Normally, we would not risk all on one venture but here we had no choice. We were in a do or die situation. We decided to take everything we had across the river and attack at dawn the morning after Christmas. Newer Posts Home.