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Jackson’s Principles of Leadership
General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson attended four years at West Point as an army cadet before the Civil War. While at West Point, Jackson began to develop his ...

Jackson’s Principles of Leadership

General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson attended four years at West Point as an army cadet before the Civil War. While at West Point, Jackson began to develop his strong sense of Christian character as revealed in the pages of a private book that he kept for personal use. The rules, morals, manners, dress, choice of friends, and goals in life show the standards Jackson had for his own conduct and character.

1842–1846

Through life let your principal object be the discharge of duty. Disregard public opinion to be at peace with all men. Sacrifice your life rather than your word. Endeavor to do well everything which you undertake. Never speak disrespectfully of any one without a cause. Spare no effort to suppress selfishness, unless that effort would entail sorrow. Let your conduct towards men have some uniformity … Speak but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve … A man is known by the company he keeps. Be cautious in your selection. There is the danger of catching the habits of your associates … Seek those who are intelligent and virtuous; and if possible, those who are a little above you, especially in moral excellence.

Jackson’s Christian character, humility, and confidence were shaped through his fear of God and reading the Bible. His creation of maxims for himself was evidence of his daily walk with the Lord. Through the wisdom and knowledge of God, Jackson chose to live a holy life governed by the Word of God and the leadership of the Holy Spirit.

My grandfather was a farmer in southern Indiana. He used to say, “The Lord will provide the ‘taters,’ but you’ve got to dig them.” If we are to acquire the characteristics that made Jackson great, then we must be willing to work for them.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Proverbs 9:10


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