I am back to my reading McCain's "Character is Destiny" and found myself overwhelmed with the story of Lord Nelson of the British Navy. It is amazing that as early as late 1700s, today's leadership principles were well developed and evident among one of the greatest navy leader. Here is a excerpt from the book:
...He took great care to cultivate the friendship of his subordinates, and to explain to them in detail his battle plans in advance of an operation. He emphasized to them what he intended to accomplish, and would leave much of how it would be achieved to them. Once guns were firing, he expected them to use their own initiative without waiting for his further instructions, to conform to the extent necessary to the overall line of battle he have given them, but seize opportunities where they presented themselves to destroy the enemy with the courage and daring he always showed in combat. "No captain can do very wrong," he told them, "if he places his ship alongside that of the enemy."
He inspired them to share his self-assurance by his demonstrations of confidence in them. And he saw to it that the rewards of glory and fortune won by daring and ambition were fairly shared. Most important, he did not shift the blame for mistakes and occasional failures to his subordinates, but assumed the responsibility for them himself. He gave his officers greater responsibility that they had ever possessed, and he never shirked his responsibility to them. This quality of command - daring , inspirational, confiding, and fraternal - renowned as the "Nelson Touch," forged extraordinarily strong bonds of mutual trust and affection between Nelson and his officers. It made him the greatest commander of this age....
I know I live for this stuff.. but when you read this excerpt, you have to get a chill in your bones when you think about how Lord Nelson was centuries ahead of his time. If only Jim Collins was writing Good to Great in 1805!