While being interviewed by Charlie Rose, author and historian Stephen Ambrose compared the leadership of Dick Winters to that of Meriwether Lewis. High praise of the first order. Having researched and written about both men in Band of Brothers and Undaunted Courage, Ambrose was uniquely qualified to make such a comparison. When you think about it, the two men’s similarities are striking. Both led courageous men into the unknown, faced unforeseen challenges, grueling physical elements, enormous logistical problems and a host of other obstacles, yet both men not only succeeded, they exceeded the expectations of those on either end of their respective chains of command.
It is most likely that an overwhelming percentage of people who read this book, BEYOND BAND OF BROTHERS: THE WAR MEMOIRS OF MAJOR DICK WINTERS, are already fairly familiar with Winter’s story, having already read Band of Brothers, seen the Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg movie, or both. That being the likely case, this book is an incredible companion as it fills in gaps and actually allows the reader the benefit of having Dick Winters himself sitting in the chair next to you, relaying the events to you as they unfolded. In fact, if you are taking the time to read this review, you undoubtedly already possess a deep admiration for this great leader and the heroic Americans who made up Easy Company.
Winter’s memoirs take you beyond what you already know. You will come away with a deeper understanding of just what made the men of Easy Company so great. Though I must certainly give Ambrose credit for his outstanding book, and Hanks and Spielberg credit for their equally compelling mini-series, this book takes you more into the mind of Winter’s himself with enlightened insight as to just what makes him tick.
Remarkable for the story itself, this book hardly stops there. I believe in time, this book will earn a highly deserved place as a staple in leadership training. Leaders come in all walks of life, and there is an endless list to study from. But whether it be the likes of Jack Welch’s or Lee Iacocca’s approach to business leadership, Dr. DeBakke’s pioneering leadership in heart transplants or Bill Walsh’s ability to turn a seemingly endless list of assistant coaches into NFL head coaches, you would be hard pressed to glean more bare bones knowledge on leadership than you will take from this book. Have I gotten my point across that this is truly a masterpiece?
The Western World will forever owe a debt of gratitude to the men of the 506th PIR for what they endured and the legacy they have left in their wake. We owe these men our respect and honor. You owe it to yourself to read this book. You will accomplish much by reading this book. You will enhance your knowledge and understanding, but more importantly, you will finish this book with the desire to be a better a person.
Monty Rainey is a District Manager with over 14 years in the self storage industry currently overseeing 21 stores in the Austin & San Antonio, TX area. He is also a leadership coach and public speaker. For a free consultation, please contact Monty at 830-743-2139 or visit his website at http://www.montyrainey.com .