In the great leadership book by Dwight Eisenhower titled Crusade in Europe, he devotes a good deal of attention to the subject of maintaining high morale among the troops under his command. You’ll note his number one item: Morale is the key to success! Here’s a list of other lessons learned from his experience as Supreme Allied Commander of the European Theater during WWII:
FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO HIGH MORALE
1. Morale is the greatest single factor in successful warfare.
2. The individual is the key to success.
3. Communicate correct information to counteract negative propaganda.
4. Maintaining the initiative not only keeps the enemy on the defensive, but builds morale.
5. Success in reaching a goal or series of victories builds morale and esprit de corps.
6. When the enemy is successfully attacking, calmness, firmness and optimism are essential
to win through to victory.
7. Keep the civilians informed of the progress of the war.
8. Visit the troops frequently in the field.
9. Talk to the troops about everything. Ask them if they have discovered any new trick or
gadget to use in fighting .
10. Mutual confidence, a feeling of partnership, is the essence of esprit de corps.
11. Take initiative to find out their problems. Don’t wait for them to come to you.
12. Men must feel that they are being treated equally and fairly.
13. Men must know their own accomplishments are understood and appreciated.
14. Leadership, discipline, technique, as well as numbers, equipment, mobility, supply and
maintenance are prerequisite to the existence of morale.
15. Morale will suffer unless all ranks thoroughly believe that their commanders are concerned
first and always with the welfare of the troops who do the fighting.
16. Provide recreation and furlough time. Veterans like to return to their own unit. Relieve
units from front-line duty periodically.
17. Higher commanders devote every minute of their time to tactics, logistics and morale.