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Summary: The most important victory of Revolutionary War was not achieved at Saratoga or Yorktown, but in a log hut in 1783 when George Washington put an end to a rebellion by his troops by giving a soft-spoken "Leadership Talk".
A Lasting Leadership Lesson: How One Leadership Talk By George Washington Saved The Revolution (And Our Fledgling Nation) From Catastrophe. By Brent Filson
Leadership lessons come in many guises. One unforgettable lesson comes from George Washington and his contribution to most important victory of Revolutionary War.
That victory occurred neither at Saratoga or Yorktown but in a log hut in 1783 with a few heartfelt words that literally changed world. And it's not just a history lesson, it's a leadership lesson -- for all leaders.
To realize what took place in that hut and its historical importance, we must understand what a Leadership Talk is and what was at stake at that moment in 1783 for America?
As to Leadership Talk: There's a big difference between speeches/presentations on one hand and Leadership Talks on other. Whereas a speech or a presentation communicates information, Leadership Talks do something more: It establishes a deep, human, emotional connection with audience.
The Leadership Talk is a much more effective means of leadership communication. If Washington hadn't given a Leadership Talk in log hut with this assembled officers, who were on verge of revolt, Revolution would have ended right then and there; and history of America would have been far different.
As to what was at stake at that moment in history: This occurred a year and a half after battle of Yorktown. Popular misconception has Revolutionary War ending at that battle. However, in reality, War continued to drag on; and as it did, Continental Army became increasingly rebellious. Most of troops hadn't been paid in at least two years. Their promised pensions were not forthcoming. Popular sentiment in army was gathering to overthrow Continental Congress and install a military government.
On ides of March in 1783, dozens of officers, representing every company in army, met in a log hut to vote on taking this action when George Washington suddenly and unexpectedly walked in. He gave a speech denouncing rebellious course they were on. But it wasn't speech that carried day; it was Leadership Talk at end of speech. Witnesses report that Washington's speech left many officers unconvinced, and when he was finished, there was much angry muttering among them. To bolster his case, general pulled out a letter he recently received from a member of Continental Congress. As he began reading, his usual confident air gave way to hesitancy.