Book Review: Hal Moore on Leadership- Winning when Outgunned and Out-manned

I gained an enormous amount of respect for Hal Moore after watching the movie We Were Soldiers. His character, compassion, and courage made him an exceptional leader. So, I jumped to read the book. Even though the author draws from his experience as an officer in the military, the lessons benefit people from all walks of life - first time supervisors, young adults, parents, and business leaders alike . This discussion provides a review.


This book mirrors a leadership manual. The tips serve as reminders to lead by example and continue to grow. Moore gives a narrative on each.

  • Be candid but not harsh.

  • Senior executives should hold themselves a part and aloof.

  • Praise in public - punish in private.

  • Solve problems at the lowest level.

  • Be a life learner.

  • No job is beneath you.

  • First person to discipline is yourself.

  • Discipline begins at home.

4 Principles

At the same time, Moore outlined his philosophy. You'll note that the first one goes against traditional thinking. What's more, who expects problems when everything seems okay?

  1. Three strikes you're not out.

  2. There's always one more thing you can do to influence any situation in your favor.

  3. When nothing is wrong, there's nothing wrong- except there's nothing wrong.

  4. Trust your instincts.

Guiding Hand

All in all, the following comprise his leadership creed:

  • Don't overreact.

  • Be ready so you don't have to get ready.

  • Treat people fair and square.

  • Don't complain - solutions not problems.

  • Surround yourself with people who fit your requirements then turn them loose to do their job.

  • When you identify a toxic subordinate leader remove them or reassign to a role where toxicity can be minimized.

  • Ask two things: What am I doing that I should not be doing? And, what am I not doing that I should be doing?

Crash Course on Leadership Types

This section covers everything from credit hogs to bullies. Even I forgot the many categories of leaders. Where do you fit in? Do you recall any leaders you know?

A Speech

The appendix includes a speech given by the retired officer. I encourage you to check it out.


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