“No good decision was ever made in a swivel chair:” Indispensable leadership advice from U.S. Army Gen. Patton


This 1943 photo shows Lieutenant Colonel Lyle Bernard, Colorado, 30th Infantry Regiment., a prominent figure in the second daring amphibious landing behind enemy lines on Sicily’s north coast, discusses military strategy with Lieutenant General George S. Patton. (U.S. National Archives)

WASHINGTON — Without question, U.S. Army General George Patton’s leadership principles are just as relevant today as they were nearly 80 years ago on the battlefield.

Patton, commander of the 7th Army in the Mediterranean and European theaters of World War II, motivated troops with not only his leadership style but also his rhetoric.

U.S. Army veteran Charles Province compiles and implements some of Patton’s no-nonsense one-liners in his book “Patton’s One-Minute Messages: Tactical Leadership Skills for Business Managers.

Province begins each page with a powerful and effective quote from “Ol’ Blood and Guts” and supplements each thought with an explanation of  Patton’s approach and how to apply this style to a business environment.

In honor of all the transitioning veterans out there, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite Patton quotes highlighted in Province’s book.


“Do everything you ask of those you command.”


Sgt. Maj. Scott T. Pile speaks to 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit Marines and sailors embarked aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island parked pierside at Naval Base San Diego. (Gunnery Sgt. Scott Dunn/U.S. Marine Corps)

“A pint of sweat will save a gallon of blood.”

marines water training

Marines participate in advanced water survival training on Aug. 4, 2016 at Camp Lejeune. (Lance Cpl. Hernan Vidana/U.S. Marine Corps photo)

“Genius comes from the ability to pay attention to the smallest detail.”


The Blue Angels, Marine Corps’ C-130 Hercules, affectionately known as “Fat Albert,” flies over the Silent Drill Platoon at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., March 4. (Staff Sgt. Oscar L. Olive/U.S. Marine Corps)

“As long as man exists, there will be war.”


U.S. Marines observe explosives detonated from a safe distance on a demolitions range at Crow Valley in the Philippines.
(Staff Sgt. Joseph DiGirolamo/U.S. Marine Corps photo)

“Do your duty as you see it and damn the consequences.”

marine grenade

A Marine with throws a training grenade during a live-fire and movement grenade training exercise at Arta Range, Djibouti, Feb. 18, 2014. (Staff Sgt. Staci Miller/U.S. Air Force photo)

“You’re never beaten until you admit it.”

marine water survival

Sgt. William Wickett, 2nd Radio Battalion, performs a rescue drill during the Marine Corps Instructor of Water Survival Course at Marine Corps Base Camp Johnson. (Staff Sgt. Mark Fayloga/U.S. Marine Corps)

“Do more than is required of you.”

marine night

Marines with the 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, wait on a C-130 Hercules prior to taking part in night jump training over Yokota Air Base, Japan, Nov. 21, 2013. (Osakabe Yasuo/U.S. Air Force photo)

“Know what you know, and know what you don’t know.”


Lance Cpl. Steven Hoggand, a machine gunner and section leader with 7th Marines, directs his Marines’ fire while suppressing an enemy position during platoon attack drills. (Cpl. Seth Starr/U.S. Marine Corps photo)

“No good decision was ever made in a swivel chair.”

marine gunner huey

Lance Cpl. Chris Eichelberger, a Huey door gunner with a Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 169, unloads on a target at the Chocolate Mountain Aerial Gunnery Range on Oct. 2, 2013. (Cpl. Zachary Scanlon/U.S. Marine Corps photo)

“Take calculated risks.”

8408611264 f6216a2007 o No good decision was ever made in a swivel chair: Indispensable leadership advice from U.S. Army Gen. Patton

Sgt. Michael Murphy, a reconnaissance Marine with Force Reconnaissance Company, II Marine Expeditionary Force, poses as he jumps out of a CH-53 Super Stallion helicopter. (Cpl. Jeff Drew/U.S. Marine Corps)


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