Attitude (Part 1 of 3)

Hal Moore on Leadership

In early 2021 in Hal Moore’s files, I found a detailed initial outline of what would later grow into the “Hal Moore on Leadership” book. This series of posts pulls from that outline – mostly short paragraphs or bullets.

For more detail, check out the book (click on the image to go to Amazon). The focus of Moore’s life after retirement from the military was on helping and mentoring others along the path to becoming great leaders. 

Consider yourself a winner.

A leader sets the tone and attitude of his troops.  Therefore, it is essential to exude self-confidence and the unwavering commitment to be the best and accept no less.  Some people are born self-assured, and it is important to stay confident in our abilities to shape the future, make the right decisions and succeed.  For those who struggle with finding their identity, now is the time to take stock of your strengths and focus on being a winner.  The first person you need to lead is YOURSELF.  If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will.  Accept the reality that you can create the future, and you can make your dreams happen – you need to DO IT!  When I graduated from West Point, I did not consider myself a SURVIVOR (explain that you weren’t tops in your class and that you had struggled through).  That’s negative.  I was a WINNER. I had defeated every challenge.  I never doubted that I would do so. 

 Be positive.  If you think you might lose, then you have already lost. 

A leader must have and display the WILL TO PREVAIL by his actions, words, tone of voice, appearance, demeanor, countenance, and look in his eyes.  A leader must exhibit his determination to prevail no matter what the odds or how difficult the situation.  They must never give off any hint or evidence that they are uncertain about a positive outcome.  When confronted with a challenging problem, they must take a POSITIVE attitude, face up to the facts, and deal with them.  They must find something they are confident about and build on it.  As you meet and defeat new challenges, use those victories to boost your confidence.  Tackle your weaknesses as challenges and turn them around.  A leader must exhibit his determination to prevail no matter what the odds or how difficult the situation. 

 A leader can contaminate his unit with pessimism.  Before the 7th Division attack on Triangle Hill near Kumhwa, Korea, in October 1952, one of the Battalion commanders whose unit was to attack told me that he was very apprehensive about accomplishing his mission.  I thought to myself he would not get it done with that attitude and would get a lot of his men killed.  As it turned out, I was right, and he was relieved of his command. 

Solve problems, don’t complain.

Don’t complain to your boss.  He wants solutions.  Not problems. 

Reading List (links to Amazon)

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