The Leadership Principles of Ulysses S. Grant - Stories & Myths (Episode 16)


Considered one of the three greatest American leaders by Teddy Roosevelt, U.S. Grant led the union to victory as a general and the nation to peace as president. Learn the timeless leadership principles that brought Grant success on this week's Stories & Myths with Craig von Buseck.





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Forward! The Leadership Principles of Ulysses S. Grant


Victor! The Final Battle of Ulysses S. Grant


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Transcript:


meeting with Christian book

owners, bookstore owners, and

meeting with uh various

different kinds of folks uh to

talk about my different books

and hopefully to uh encourage

them uh stock their shelves

with those books and what books

are those that you'll be

promoting? The ones behind me.

Alright. Yes. So, so it should

should be an entertaining

interesting time. So, uh I'll

I'll probably do a couple of

research stops along the way.

Um I had stopped at Fort

Donelson a couple of years ago

after I had gone to the Ulysses

S Grant Presidential Library

and then I was heading up to

Pennsylvania to visit with my

parents and so I stopped at

Fort Donelson but I didn't have

enough time to get over to Fort

Henry uh which was the first

fort that grant uh defeated. it

actually wasn't grant. It was

his planning but it was the

navy that defeated Fort Henry

but then Grant and the Navy

working together defeated Fort

Donald and so I plan to stop at

Fort Henry because it's kind of

right on the way. Nice And then

uh also there may be a couple

other stops depending on how

much time I have. Uh Mark Twain

Birthplace is about an hour and

a half from where Yes. uh well,

not his birthplace but his

where he grew up. He was born

in Florida, Missouri which is a

little bit uh further west but

uh Hannibal is about an hour

and a half from where we're

going to be. So, if I find the

time I might zing up there as

well. So, It should be. It

should be an interesting time.

Awesome. Awesome that I plan to

hear or I look forward to

hearing some stories about it

next week and um at the office

and here on um on your podcast

stories and myths. That's

right. Yes. So, what do we got

on top for this evening? So,

we're actually going to be

talking about one of your grant

books. We're going to be

talking about the leadership

one. Um just got a couple of

questions about that and so um

this is the second It is called

the lord. The leadership

principles of Ulysses S Grant.

That's right, which is the

companion book to the biography

Victor, the final Battle of

Ulysses S Grant. So, and this

one came out in May of 2021,

right? And the biography Victor

came out in April. So, just a

month apart and so yeah. Um so,

I'll go ahead and jump right

into my first question. So,

Roosevelt declared in nineteen

mightiest among the mighty dead

loom. the three great figures

of Washington Lincoln, and

Grant. So, why did Grant's

reputation suffer such a

decline since that point? Well,

it's interesting II. Don't know

if there would be anyone today

who would say the same thing

now, everything shifts with

context and with time and uh

we've had an awful lot. You

know, we've had more than a

century since

Uh Teddy Roosevelt made that

quote and there have been a lot

of great American leaders since

that time but when you look

back from 1900 back to 1776 and

consider what Teddy Roosevelt

said, uh what I didn't share in

that quote was that he said in

the second tier there would be

people like Patrick or not not

Patrick Henry but Alexander

Hamilton, Tom Thomas Jefferson,

John Adams, Benjamin Franklin,

Franklin, those Teddy Roosevelt

considered those second tier

and he considered the first

tier Washington, Lincoln and

Grant basically people of that

era looked at Washington as the

father of the country and he,

you know, not only as a general

but also as a two-term

president and his important

contribution of not uh going

for a third term but retiring

and saying I'm not a king. we

don't want a king In America,

we want a president and so that

very important contribution,

Then, they looked at Lincoln in

his work in saving the union

and keeping it from being

divided and conquered and they

looked at grants in two

different ways. One was his uh

military strategy working with

Lincoln. I mean, Lincoln and

Grant had very similar strategy

but Lincoln Lincoln didn't have

the military training that

Grant had and so Lincoln needed

Grant. That's why three full

years went by where the union

lost. Most of the time, the

only place that the union was

winning was out west where

Grant was in charge because

Grant was a military genius as

far as his strategy was

concerned and as far as his

discipline was concerned and so

that's why Lincoln brought him

east so that the north's

strongest general went up

against the strongest general

in Robert E. Lee. So, it was

kind of like Rocky Balboa

against Apollo Creed and um and

Grant one and so he he not only

was hailed for winning the war

but he also uh helped the

country steer through the

dangerous waters of

reconstruction and of the rise

of Jim Crow racism in the south

uh basically, you know, the uh

the Southern aristocrats and

politicians who were in charge

before the war very quickly

became in charge again after

the war because they suppressed

uh the black vote and so it was

the same people voting for the

same people and they wanted to

continue slavery just in

different terms and that is you

know the uh Jim Crow racism and

grants fought against that for

all. 8 years of his two terms

as president and this is what

we forget. You know, I know

growing up that I was told that

Grant was one of the worst

presidents we ever had because

of the scandals that took

place. Well, that was nothing

but Southern Pro Southern

Confederate propaganda. It's

simply not true. The truth of

the matter is that Grant is one

of the most important

presidents we ever had because

he kept us together. He kept

the the country unified. He Jim

Crow. He knocked down the KKK.

He came out with the Civil

Rights Act of 1975. He came out

with the KKK laws and so he's,

you know, slogan was let us

have peace and he did that in

three ways. One, he tried to

reconcile wherever he could

with the south as long as they

obey the laws. federal, state,

and local two, he kept the

Union Army uh deployed

throughout the south to enforce

that and three, he he helped to

form the justice department and

his attorney general along with

Grant uh went after the KKK and

basically in the courts, they

wiped them out and so the KKK

was pretty much uh toothless

for the next 20 years because

of Ulysses S Grant, we forget

how important he was not only

as general but also as

president and then of course as

elder statesman in those last 2

years as he was writing his

memoirs, he not only wrote

about his experiences but he

reminded the country that the

war was not about state's

rights. The war was not about

tariffs. The only way they wer