Which was/is the biggest flaw in a leader?

Which is the biggest flaw in a leader?

  • Indecisiveness

    Votes: 77 64.2%
  • Stupidity

    Votes: 20 16.7%
  • Lack of courage

    Votes: 4 3.3%
  • Something else

    Votes: 19 15.8%

  • Total voters
    120

Elennsar

Colonel
Joined
May 14, 2008
Location
California
Agreed. I don't think his post Chickamauga performance is a good example of that, however.

Bragg had a plan - a bad plan perhaps, but a plan - and tried to implement it.

I'm counting not following directly up on the heels of the fleeing AotC as "during the battle" - the "after the battle" is after Thomas has pulled out and the army has to move to a new spot to find bluecoats.

Others may disagree, but that's the division I'm making for purposes of defending him in the immediate post-battle situation and agreeing that he failed during the battle.

A great obstacle he faced is that he was short on manpower to seriously threaten Rosecrans.

Sure, sometimes keeping the scare up is more important - but it is understandable to feel as he did with your fangs drawn.

http://civilwartalk.com/forums/civi...g-failed-miserably-after-chickamauga-but.html

In my opinion, that "...there was a stronger reason for his delay in immediate pursuit. Bragg believed he could capture Chattanooga without a fight." was a legitimate decision in terms of decisiveness and the intelligence available.

It turned out to be erroneous, but it made sense from what Bragg had to work with.
 

Severon

Cadet
Joined
Sep 17, 2009
Location
Good ol' Texas
I would have to agree with you. Although I, with my own views, will disagree with you on Chickamauga. However, I do not want to fight about it.
 

Elennsar

Colonel
Joined
May 14, 2008
Location
California
I presume that we agree in a general sense that Bragg fell short and the details are just that, details.

Defensible mistakes are not the same as good generalship.
 

captainrlm

Sergeant
Joined
Jun 10, 2009
Location
Northern Kentucky
Good point and I probably should have used a phrase like "poor decision making" instead but I simply took the wording from the quote I had found.

I have really enjoyed this thread - some good discussion and points have been made.

There were very few stupid(lacking intelligence) generals leading any of the armies in the CW.
 
Joined
Jan 12, 2010
Location
Memmingen, Germany
I had a Flight Chief (Platoon Sergeant) way back when I was a young Air Force Security Police Airman (Private)who always told me; "In a dangerous situation, make a decision and make it fast. We´ll worry later if it was right or wrong but just make a decision and execute it!" I never forgot those words and it still gets me in trouble today with some bosses. I don´t care much, though. If I have make the call, I´ll do it and worry about the consequences later. I just wish more people would understand those words.
 

Severon

Cadet
Joined
Sep 17, 2009
Location
Good ol' Texas
As I have been in an ROTC program for three years, I have learned to make decisions on the fly. It has to happen or people don't get it done. However, before you just open your mouth, gauge what comes out of it first. If it is going to have severe consequences for you, don't do it. I have been known to take 5-10 minutes on a decision, which is pretty fast. However, any longer than that and you are indecisive. Bragg may have either made his decisions too fast or too slow but either way, for most of his career, he was indecisive.
 

TerryB

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Dec 7, 2008
Location
Nashville TN
I just read 1776 by David McCullough, and on page 254, it quoted a letter from General Charles Lee, and the quote caught my attention.

Here is the text: "lament with you that fatal indecision of mind which in war is a much greater disqualification thatn stupidity or even want of person courage. Accident may put a decisive blunder in the right, but eternal defeat and miscarriage must attend the men of hte best parts if cursed with indecision."

So, what do members here feel is the biggest flaw in a leader - indecisiveness, stupidity or lack of personal courage?
How ironic, since Charles Lee could be accused of all three flaws at Monmouth, and of divided loyalties because he seems to have given his captors way too much inside scoop on what Washington was up to.
 

5fish

Captain
Joined
Aug 26, 2007
Location
Central Florida
Of all people Charles Lee to bring up the notion of what qualities are need in a leader......The back stabber he was...

Indecisiveness is the big killer in leadership....Stupidity can be fatal in Diplomacy....But leadership is about making decision in a timely matter rightly or wrongly because indecision kills.....
 

footeghost

Corporal
Joined
Feb 27, 2009
Location
ca
Insecurity of results (Indecisiveness) I want to be with a guy other soldiers talk about and respect and follow. Some will have truly earned it, the soldiers know. Belief, confidence,lead by example produces confidence and leads to victories. The personal pressance carried by the best Generals had to be a sight. The line By Msr. de Saxxe below a contemperary of John Churchill (Marlbourough), and Eugene of Savoy the best then, true today I think. Ben
 

K Hale

Colonel
Annual Winner
Joined
Aug 10, 2009
Location
Texas
I was reading on another board that if Washington had been killed early in the Revolution, we would be probably be talking today about how incompetent he was. Instead, he was only inexperienced, and he learned and grew.

Of course, some never got the chance to learn and grow.
 

captainrlm

Sergeant
Joined
Jun 10, 2009
Location
Northern Kentucky
If Washington had gotten killed, we'd have lost the war and we'd all be speaking English.

Oh wait :smile:

"Inexperience" is actually another element to consider. I wish I'd thought to include it on the poll (See US Grant at Belmont, Sherman when he was in Louisville, Lee in West Viriginia, for some Civil War examples of inexperience in command roles during war. Those men were not young at the time, but were still in new situations.)
 
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