Grey Eminence : Fox Conner and the art of mentorship
Call Number: U53.C568 C69 2011
Publication Date: 2011-01-15
To those who have heard of him, Fox Conner's name is synonymous with mentorship. He is the "grey eminence" within the Army whose influence helped to shape the careers of George Patton, George Marshall, and most notably, President Eisenhower. Most of what is known about Conner comes from stories about his relationship with Eisenhower. Despite a distinguished military career that spanned four decades, Conner's life and his service to the Army and the nation are revealed primarily through passing references in the memoirs of other great men. A study of Conner's life and his method for identifying talented subordinates and developing them for future strategic leadership positions offers contemporary readers a highly salient example to emulate. This book combines existing scholarship with long-forgotten references and unpublished original sources to achieve a more comprehensive picture of this dedicated public servant. The portrait that emerges provides a four-step model for developing strategic leaders that still holds true today. First and foremost, Conner became a master of his craft through a process of personal and professional self-development as a lifelong learner. Second, he recognized and recruited talented subordinates. Third, he encouraged and challenged those protégés to develop their strengths and overcome their weaknesses. Finally, he wasn't afraid to break the rules of the organization to do it.