Hal Moore on Leadership

Hal Moore on Leadership

Winning When Outgunned and Outmanned

Harold G. Moore and Mike Guardia

Magnum Books, Maple Grove, Minnesota, 2017, 168 pages

Book Review published on: March 16 2018

Hal Moore on Leadership recounts the leadership values that shaped Gen. Hal Moore’s success on and off the battlefield, the guidance he provided, and the lessons he learned in over thirty-two years of military service. This book, a narrative of Moore’s lifelong quest to understand, practice, and develop leadership, was published five months after his death in February 2017. The storyline follows Moore’s life from his early childhood through his quest to attend West Point, his successful military career, and his journey to help leaders both in the military and in business.

Moore’s determination to learn, develop himself, and confront leadership problems head-on benefited his soldiers, the Army, and the Nation. He strove to set a leadership example by never turning away from a problem or challenge. In the book, he provides examples of the leadership growth and knowledge he gained from both his mistakes and his successes, and he demonstrates the character of his leadership with real-life experiences. Moore provides advice to his readers using two central themes: structure and trust.

Moore valued and established structure as the first pillar in building leadership. He identifies three areas of emphasis in self-development to achieve the structure in one’s life necessary to be an effective leader. First, the development of one’s mind—seeking education, studying history, and seeking mentorship from standard bearers in one’s field of study. Second, the condition of one’s body—exercising, staying in shape, and being ready to physically perform when necessary. Last but not least, the nature of one’s spirituality—being grounded in faith and having a reference of strength to shoulder hard times. With one’s structure established, Moore then promotes a reliance on trust to pull a group together.

Establishing trust with people in one’s organization is key to building an effective team and holding an organization together. First, leaders must have trust in the people they lead; they must trust that subordinates will perform their duties well. Second, the people in the ranks must trust in their leader to perform his or her duties completely. Lastly, the people in the ranks must have trust and confidence in one another; they must trust that their peers will perform their duties well as members of the organization.

A team with a structured leader operating in an environment of mutual trust can accomplish any task. Moore’s simple formula for leadership has demonstrated proven results over the length of his successful career.

Hal Moore on Leadership highlights Moore’s leadership attributes under combat, but, more importantly, it provides the design in his development as a leader. This book should be required reading for young military leaders to help in their development of Army values, and it should also be incorporated in ethics classes as a moral guide for young business leaders. Moore validates that a proven leader can conquer both military and business challenges alike. This book provides a method to achieve personnel and institutional balance, and it is great reference material for the libraries of leaders, both young and old.

Book Review written by: Lt. Col. Ray Williams, U.S. Army, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas