Monty’s List of 7 Necessary Leadership Qualities


Marion Doss on Flickr

Bernard Montgomery was born in 1887 and was one of nine children born to the Reverend Henry Montgomery and his wife Maud. He was initially raised in Northern Ireland and had a difficult childhood. He attended St. Paul’s academy in Britain and eventually went on to study at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst. He served in combat and was wounded in action during World War I. During those days he became known as a savvy planner and strategist.

But it was during the 2nd World War that “Monty” truly made his mark. He became a Lieutenant General in charge of the 8th Army in Egypt. He struck a great blow to German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel at the 2nd battle of El Alamein and was promoted to full General. In conjunction with the American General George Patton, Montgomery helped to launch the assault and advance on Italy. Montgomery eventually would also become the ground forces commander during the D-Day invasion of Normandy. His aid in counterattacking the German offensive at the Battle of the Bulge helped to repel the German thrust and began the final push to crush Hitler’s forces.

He was not without his critics and he certainly made some tactical mistakes. Yet Bernard Montgomery is one of Britain’s favored sons.

Taken from his Memoirs, here is a list of what Monty believed to be seven necessary qualities for a military leader. I would suggest they would stand well for any leader, and certainly spiritual leaders who realize they are ultimately in a spiritual battle.

1. The Leader Must Avoid Getting Swamped In Detail.

2. The Leader Must Not Be Petty.

3. The Leader Must Not Be Pompous. 

4. The Leader Must Know How To Select People To Fit The Task.

5. The Leader Must Trust Others To Do A Job Without The Leader’s Meddling.

6. The Leader Must Be Capable Of Clear Decisions.

7. The Leader Must Inspire Confidence. 

What are your thoughts on this list?

This list is also recorded in J. Oswald Sanders book entitled, Spiritual Leadership. This is a Christian classic for any leader.

A Memorial Day Story: A Soldier’s Hideaway

MN-AC753_BIRKMA_G_20130522164515Today we remember those who fought and those who died to keep us free.

I love stories that bring to life those heroic acts. Sometimes the hero is not only the soldier in uniform, but the citizen who provided aid. Such is the case of Roger Birkman. During WWII, American pilots made many bombing runs between England and Germany before the Normandy invasion. Roger Birkman piloted a B-17 and was returning from a mission when his plane was shot down by German artillery over Belgium. All ten members of the crew parachuted out of the failing aircraft and found themselves on the ground in enemy territory. Belgium farmers immediately came to Birkman’s rescue and initiated a process of hiding him from the German occupiers. In particular, one couple, Georges and Marie Smet, sheltered Birkman until after D-Day.

Upon reflection Roger Birkman stated, “They saved my life and their house made me invisible.”

That too is an act of heroism. This was a dangerous act on behalf of a foreigner. This is a story of salvation and friendship. This is the story of an American hero and a Belgium hero who worked together to help procure freedom for many. Here is the rest of the story as recorded in the Wall Street Journal. It is worth reading and reflecting upon during this special day.

P.S. Roger Birkman is an organizational psychologist and the creator of the Birkman Assessment Method. This is a well used and profitable tool for the discovery of personal and team strengths towards leadership.