General George C. Marshall is universally recognized as a paragon of leadership. Marshall’s effectiveness as the leader of the U.S. Army during World War II, the State Department during the early post-war era, and the Defense Department during the Korean War are well known and documented. As a result of his many accomplishments, a number of researchers and historians have explored traits and factors that underlie Marshall’s success. While many of these efforts provide insight into Marshall’s leadership style, none employ original data (interviews) specifically focused on leadership, management, and character. This paper is based on interviews conducted in 1998 of the last remaining Marshall subordinates. These individuals—Brigadier General Erle Cocke, Jr., General Andrew J. Goodpaster, General Walter T. Kerwin, Ambassador George F. Kennan, and Mr. H. Merrill Pasco—were interviewed specifically pertaining to Marshall’s management and leadership approach. The findings, depicted in this article, outline and map Marshall’s effectiveness in both personal and organizational leadership.
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Demartino, Richard and Clarcq, Jack and Palanski, Michael, George C. Marshall: An Enduring Model of Leadership Effectiveness (October 26, 2011). Journal of Character & Leadership Integration, Vol. 2, No. 1, p. 17, Fall 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1949855
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