Conversations with Major Dick Winters: Life Lessons from the Commander of the Band of Brothers.pdf
On the hellish battlefields of World War II Europe, Major Dick Winters led his Easy Companythe now-legendary Band of Brothersfrom the confusion and chaos of the D-Day invasion to the final capture of Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest.
But Winters’s story didn’t end there. It was only the beginning.
He was a quiet, reluctant hero whose modesty and strength drew the admiration of not only his men, but millions worldwide. Now comes the story of Dick Winters in his last years as witnessed and experienced by his good friend, Cole C. Kingseed.
Kingseed shares the formative experiences that made Winters such an effective leader. He addresses Winters’s experiences and leadership during the war, his intense, unbreakable devotion to his men, his search for peace both without and within after the war, and how fame forced him to make adjustments to an international audience of well-wishers and admirers, even as he attempted to leave a lasting legacy before joining his fallen comrades. Following Winters’s death on January 2, 2011, the outpouring of grief and adulation for one of this nation’s preeminent leaders of character, courage, and competence shows just how much of an impact Dick Winters left on the world.
This is a story of leadership, fame, and friendship, and the journey of one man’s struggle to find the peace that he promised himself if he survived World War II.
“Colonel Cole Kingseed has captured the essence of a great military leader as only a soldier-historian can. Dick Winters was an extraordinary combat leader, and Kingseed’s extended conversations with him tell us why. Winters possessed a unique and powerful combination of humility, integrity, courage, compassion, resilience, and determination to win.”—Major General H. R. McMaster, USA, Commanding General, Fort Benning, Georgia and author of Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies That Led to Vietnam
“Band of Brothers’s Major Dick Winters is arguably the most recognizable American hero to contemporary America in large measure because of Colonel Cole Kingseed’s scholarship. Conversations with Major Dick Winters takes the Dick Winters story to a new level and makes his legacy even more powerful, more personal, and more compelling to a whole new generation.”—Colonel (Ret.) Kevin Farrell, USA, former chief of military history, U.S. Military Academy at West Point and author of The Military and the Monarchy
“Based on a personal relationship fostered and nurtured through years of conversations and directed reflection, Conversations with Major Dick Winters should be mandatory reading not just for military leaders but by anyone who wants to improve their leadership style by learning from a ‘master’ . . . Colonel Kingseed’s unparalleled personal relationship with Winters permits the rest of us to eavesdrop as a remarkable soldier recounts his understated leadership journey through war and peace.”—Brigadier General (Ret.) Frank H. Akers Jr. USA, president and CEO, Oak Ridge Strategies Group, Inc.
“Are leaders born or made? The perceptions and the insights of Band of Brothers’s Major Dick Winters show that in a democracy, true leaders are cultivated. In the tradition of Lord Moran’s The Anatomy of Courage, this is an anatomy of leadership, of courage, of discipline, and above all, of self-knowledge.”—Dennis Showalter, author of Patton and Rommel: Men of War in the Twentieth Century and Hitler’s Panzers: The Lightning Attacks That Revolutionized Warfare
Cole C. Kingseed is a thirty-year Army veteran who served in a variety of command and staff positions. He earned his MA in national security and strategic studies from the U.S. Naval War College and his PhD in history from Ohio State. He taught at West Point, where he served as chief of military history for four years. Kingseed is the author of fifty-three articles on corporate and military leadership and such books as Eisenhower and the Suez Crisis of 1956 and Old Glory Stories: Combat Leadership in World War II. He is a founding partner of Battlefield Leadership, LLC and president of his own leadership consulting firm, The Brecourt Leadership Experience, Inc., whose clients include International Paper, Ernst & Young, USAA, and Bayer Corporation, among others.