General Patton is a figure in American history (and, to be perfectly honest, in world history) that is often portrayed as a warrior's warrior. He was unrelenting in his pursuit of victory, loved by his troops, and feared by his enemies. But behind the machismo persona that follows his legacy, Steve Bondy found the man's philosophy behind leadership — much of which can still easily be applied to anyone who finds themselves leading a team today. One quote from Patton was “A piece of spaghetti or a military unit can only be led from the front end”. As Bondy sees it, leading from the front is just as relevant in the workplace:
I once had a member of my team get into a bit of a bind. I knew the higher ups might want his head on a pole. When that happens, the thing to do is step up, and be out front. The leader is more exposed that way, but if you are not prepared to risk yourself for the people you lead, then how will you ever win their loyalty and trust?
The final piece of advice from Patton that Bondy shares is “[i]f a man has done his best, what else is there?” — a good lesson for any manager feeling the pressures of failing projects. If all of your team members are working as hard as they can, you shouldn't find fault in their effort. By acknowledging the individual successes in your team (even during the failure of a project) you build a stronger, more cohesive and dedicated group of people.