Dwight Eisenhower
Leadership Case Study

Dwight Eisenhower Leadership Case Study is a part of Leadership Stories, a series of biographies of great leaders in history that have impacted the world in a huge way.

Dwight Eisenhower Leadership
Who was He?

Dwight D Eisenhower was a World War II Allied Forces Supreme Commander in Europe who commanded the Allied Forces in the invasion against the Nazis. It was his superb leadership, planning and commanding ability that contributed to the success of the World War II

He is also the 34rd President of the United States, sitting in that position from January 20, 1953 – January 20, 1961.

A Short History

Eisenhower was born in Texas in Oct 14, 1890, 3rd of seven sons in the family. His parents were of German, Swiss and English ancestry.

In 1909, he graduated from Abilene High School and took his first job as a night foreman. He applied for the Naval Academy but was rejected due to his age. The Kansas Senator recommended him for Military Academy in 1911. He graduated in 1915.

During World War I, he served as the #3 leader of the new tank corps. He was promoted to Major after the war and was posted to Maryland where he stayed there till 1922.

When America started to take action against the Axis Forces during World War II, Eisenhower was assigned to help create war plans against Japan and Germany. Because of his outstanding administrative and organizational ability, he was promoted to senior command very quickly.

In December 20, 1944, he was promoted to the General of the Army. He exhibited outstanding leadership and diplomacy abilities during this appointment, winning the respect of the men under him as well as his ally, Winston Churchill.

After the war he stepped up to Presidency in 1953 – 1961. During his term, he had many notable achievements like the Interstate Highway System, the Eisenhower doctrine and more.

His first health issue came in September 1955 when he had a heart attack that caused him to be hospitalized for several weeks. Eventually, Eisenhower died of congestive heart failure on March 28, 1969 in Washington D.C. He would hand over the Presidency to John F Kennedy.

Awards and Honours

Here are some of the awards that Eisenhower has won:

1. National Defense Service Medal
2. Army of Occupation Medal
3. World War II Victory Medal
4. Argentine Order of the Liberator San Martin, Great Cross
5. French Legion of Honor
6. Civitan International’s World Citizenship Award

And over 50 other awards…

Dwight Eisenhower
Leadership Lessons

1. Planning is part of success
Eisenhower saw the inadequacy of planning when experiencing real war; because war is chaotic and unpredictable and nothing ever goes according to plan. Despite that knowing that, he never underestimated the importance of planning and preparation. 

If you plan to succeed in what you do, planning has to be done. Plan for schedules, deadlines and contingencies and you will always be focused and purposeful in your execution. Your followers are also far more likely to trust and respect you because of your clear plans. 

2. Lead by persuasion
Eisenhower won the respect of his subordinates and allies because of the diplomatic nature of his leadership. He would lead by persuasion instead of by using his position to force people to perform things out of fear.

But remember that persuasion is always the best form of leadership. Instead of having your followers think that they're just doing what they're told, persuasion implies ownership. They follow you because they WANT to, not because they HAVE to. 

That's a great skill to learn as a leader. Your followers will achieve the objectives with you coupled with their passion and responsibility and you will reap far better results. 

Related Books on
Dwight Eisenhower Leadership

Best Quotes from
Dwight Eisenhower Leadership

A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.

An intellectual is a man who takes more words than necessary to tell more than he knows.

Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you're a thousand miles from the corn field.

History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid.

Humility must always be the portion of any man who receives acclaim earned in the blood of his followers and the sacrifices of his friends.

I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.

I have one yardstick by which I test every major problem - and that yardstick is: Is it good for America?

I would rather try to persuade a man to go along, because once I have persuaded him, he will stick. If I scare him, he will stay just as long as he is scared, and then he is gone.

If a problem cannot be solved, enlarge it.

In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.


Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.

Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it.

Only our individual faith in freedom can keep us free.

Only strength can cooperate. Weakness can only beg.

Our real problem, then, is not our strength today; it is rather the vital necessity of action today to ensure our strength tomorrow.

Peace and justice are two sides of the same coin.

Pessimism never won any battle.

Politics is a profession; a serious, complicated and, in its true sense, a noble one.

The clearest way to show what the rule of law means to us in everyday life is to recall what has happened when there is no rule of law.

The history of free men is never really written by chance but by choice; their choice!

The spirit of man is more important than mere physical strength, and the spiritual fiber of a nation than its wealth.

The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office.

There is no victory at bargain basement prices.

We will bankrupt ourselves in the vain search for absolute security.

What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight - it's the size of the fight in the dog.

Whatever America hopes to bring to pass in the world must first come to pass in the heart of America.

'Worry' is a word that I don't allow myself to use.

You don't lead by hitting people over the head - that's assault, not leadership.

Video on
Dwight Eisenhower Leadership

This is a speech given by Dwight D Eisenhower:

Other Links

Wikipedia: A highly detailed account of Eisenhower's life
Eisenhower.Archives.org:The Eisenhower Presidential Library

Other Military Leaders

» Napoleon
Napoleon was one of the greatest conquerors in the history of the modern world. Napoleon’s rise came in a time of chaos, during the French Revolution.

» Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan is one of history’s greatest conquerors. During his reign, he conquered more land than any other ruler in history would, having his territory reach twice the size of the Roman Empire.

» Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Churchill was a British political leader known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the World War II. He was the one that gave hope to a hopeless nation during the darkest days of World War II, and instrumental in turning the tides of battle against the Axis Forces in Europe.

» Dwight D Eisenhower
Dwight D Eisenhower was a World War II Allied Forces Supreme Commander in Europe who commanded the Allied Forces in the invasion against the Nazis. It was his superb leadership, planning and commanding ability that contributed to the success of the World War II.

» Alexander The Great
Alexander was one of history’s greatest conquerors. Born as an heir to the Macedonian King, his great ambition led him to destroy the greatest army in his time, the Persian Empire. At its height, Alexander’s empire stretched all the way from modern day Italy to the Himalaya.

» George S Patton
George Smith Patton, Jr. was a United States Army officer best known for his leadership as a general during World War II. In WWII, he successfully defeated Nazi Germany on many battle fronts through his unique blitzkrieg military strategies.

» Hannibal Barca
Hannibal Barca was a military commander of the Carthage army. He led a famous campaign in the second Punic War against the Roman army, remaining undefeated until the very gates of Rome. His most famous military accomplishment was the battle of Cannae, where he defeated a Roman army size double of his.

» Sun Tzu
Sun Tzu was an ancient military commander and strategist from China. He is most known for his work, Sun Tzu’s Art of War. Till date, his works are being used in military warfare and business management.

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