George Marshall as Leader

In: Business and Management

Submitted By keenc
Words 962
Pages 4
The intent of this reflective essay is to explore leadership attributes of George Marshall as well as what external influences helped him grow in his leadership abilities. Specifically, I will be discussing the external role of a mentor, and question their influence in a leader’s life. My main interest is truly the question “Does an extraordinary leader need a mentor, and if so, in what capacity”?

We first learn about George Marshall in Leading Minds: An Anatomy of Leadership by Howard Gardner. George Marshall was a military leader and strategist from 1913 up until 1951. What categorizes George Marshall as a leadership “master” is due to his knowledge and execution of military strategy and his ability to communicate with a wide range of audiences effectively. In looking at George’s life we understand that his hero early in his career was, General John J. “Black Jack” Pershing who was the commander of U.S. Expedition Force in WWI. As fate would have it, Pershing observed a military exercise that George was supporting; and we see one of George’s leadership traits surface during their exchange. George confronted Pershing publically by defending the conditions that were deemed unsatisfactory by Pershing. Eventually, George became an aide to the General and “the two men—similar in background, temperament, strengths and deficits-gained deep and lasting affection for one another…” (Gardner, 153)” What started as an aide/support role for Marshall eventually matured into a mentor/teacher role from Pershing. If we accept the argument that Pershing was in fact a mentor to Marshall, then I might question the influence Pershing (as a mentor) had over Marshall’s overall development and growth. Let me say more. First, Marshall did not become Pershing’s aide until 1920, nearly by the time Marshall was 40 years old (born in 1880). What can we learn from this? Was a…...

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