I'm still surprised when I hear people say, "He / She is a born leader." People are not born leaders, they are developed. We all have the potential to lead. Nathaniel Greene is one example of a leader rising from a most unlikely place. Greene was working on his dad's farm when he took charge of his Father's foundry after his death. He enlisted in the militia when the revolutionary war broke out. He quickly rose to prominence as one of Washington's most trusted general's, and figured in several strategic battles that lead to the surrender of the British.
Greene 1742 -1786, enlisted as a private in the Rhode Island militia. Although he did not hold a prominent position he studied and learned much on his way to becoming a military expert in strategy. In response to his courage and leadership during the battle of Breed's hill in Boston, he was promoted from private to Brigadier General. After the battle he was to have said, "I wish we could sell them another hill at the same price." He earned Washington's trust by accepting and excelling at any task. Nathaniel Greene even took charge of supplying Washington's army at Valley Forge when food was scarce and the soldiers had no clothes or shoes.
Greene reportedly became Washington's best general. Washington depended on Greene as a fine strategist. He excelled in tactics and maneuvering his forces to outwit the enemy. He had great common sense. The south was facing a critical and dangerous point when General Horatio Gates was unable to hold the British. Alexander Hamilton hoped to convince congress to replace Gen. Horatio Gates in the south, "For God's sake, let the replacement be Nathaniel Greene." Greene took charge of the south only to lose at the battle of Cowpens and Eutan springs although General Cornwallis lost many more men than Greene. After his loss at Guilford's court house he said, "I am determined to carry the war into South Carolina." He joined with General Francis Marion's ( The Swamp Fox ) guerilla fighters and captured key fort's. He avoided pitched battles and instead relied on rapidity of maneuvers to strike at the weakness of the British lines, in many cases striking at their points of communication. Although he lost several battles, he won the campaign. He forced Cornwallis to Yorktown for reinforcements and brought the final showdown.
Many outstanding leaders stood out during the revolutionary war. Names like Washington, Franklin, Adams, and Jefferson are familiar around the household, but few military leaders stood out like Greene. There are countless cities, counties, and parks named in honor of Nathaniel Greene. Monuments, statues, Coast Guard cutters and even a nuclear submarine are named in his honor. Not all cases of leadership require a revolutionary war for a leader to distinguish themselves. A leader sometimes comes to the forefront similar to my friend and top leader Orrin Woodward, who recognizes that today we are losing our freedoms inch by inch. A leader who stands ready like Greene says it best, " Permit me, then, to recommend from the sincerity of my heart, ready at all times to bleed in my country's cause, a declaration of independence; and call upon the world, and great God who governs it, to witness the necessity, propriety and rectitude thereof... Let us, therefore, act like men inspired with a resolution that nothing but the frowns of Heaven shall conquer us. " God Bless, George Guzzardo