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July 01 , 2007

Grey Eminence

Fox Conner and the Art of Mentorship


To those who have heard of him, Fox Conner’s name is synonymous with mentorship. He is the “grey eminence” within the Army whose influence helped to shape the careers of George Patton, George Marshall, and, most notably, President Eisenhower. What little is known about Conner comes primarily through stories about his relationship with Eisenhower, but little is known about Fox Conner himself. After a career that spanned four decades, this master strategist ordered all of his papers and journals burned. Because of this, most of what is known about Conner is oblique, as a passing reference in the memoirs of other great men. This book combines existing scholarship with long-forgotten references and unpublished original sources to achieve a more comprehensive picture of this dedicated public servant. The portrait that emerges provides a four-step model for developing strategic leaders that still holds true today. First and foremost, Conner was a master of his craft. Secondly, he recognized and recruited talented subordinates. Then he encouraged and challenged these protégés to develop their strengths and overcome their weaknesses. Finally he wasn’t afraid to break the rules of the organization to do it. Here, for the first time ever, is the story of Major General Fox Conner.
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