Manage Like Ulysses S. Grant - not Robert E. Lee

One of U.S. Grant's underappreciated skills that catapulted him from a nobody to supreme commander of the federal army was his penchant for specific commands documented with unmistakable written language such as "Take the hill at 39° 49' 4.80" N x -77° 13' 57.00" W and report back by 1740". Unlike Grant, the courtly Lee preferred the less direct, "Take the hill - if you can." Military historians believe that this leadership difference impacted the outcomes of key battles. Too often, our executives are reluctant to be entirely clear, let alone to issue unmistakable orders. Of course, Grant-like clarity is not always the right management method, specifically in Portland, Oregon in 2018, but it is an important tool in your toolkit. Develop it and know when to use it.

Watch: Biographer Ron Chernow Discuss U.S. Grant

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