Reading List (Update):  Basic Leadership

By | January 25, 2024

[January 25, 2024]  It’s been too long since I posted a book review, and I believe it was June of last year, far too long ago.  Well, now, it’s winter, and the roads near my house have turned to ice, so, being retired with a flexible schedule, I just don’t drive when the pavement is anything but dry.  Also, I’m spending more time indoors and walking my dog longer, or should I say longer time, not greater distances.  I take great care to avoid stepping on black ice, which takes considerable skill and keen eyesight.  For regular blog readers, you will notice that I started writing “Letters to My Granddaughter,” a series about my younger days and how those times, mostly good times, have made a difference in my adult life.  Now that I live in Southern Jersey (not southern New Jersey), by the way, a very liberal and marginally democratic state.  I’m being polite because this is one of the nation’s most morally bankrupt state governments.  Well, at least there is low crime where I live, thanks to the local population being politically different than Trenton.  But I digress.  A British military officer wrote the book I review today.  You can be envious because I got the autographed version, even if I did have to wait for the order to come from the UK by boat.

How to Climb a 12-Foot Wall: 10 Military Lessons in Leadership, Colonel G R Pearce, MBE,How to Climb a 12-Foot Wall: 10 Military Lessons in Leadership, Colonel G R Pearce, MBE, 2021 2021

How do you climb a 12-foot wall?  This question is an analogy because Colonel Pearce has implied in the title that to be successful, you have to rely on others to help you.  For those who are military veterans, you know that on obstacle courses, there will be several that require the help of others to overcome.  As leaders, we all face challenges, many small but some quite large and if you plan on getting the mission accomplished, you will have to work with others.  Colonel Pearce uses lessons from his time in the military, those that are transferable, to give us some good advice.  For example, lesson one is “Always Start With a Very Clear End-State.”  Yes!  If  you don’t know where you are going, it will be impossible to get there.

Every chapter is spot-on.  Teamwork, Trust and Reliability, Resilience, Respect, and Be Prepared are just a few of those I’ve written extensively here at  My favorite from his book is Lesson Severn, Responsibility.  Put the needs of the troops ahead of yours, and don’t blame the troops.  This chapter is about taking on the full responsibility of leadership; there are no half-measures.  This is why Colonel Pearce calls this “owning the problem.”  It’s all about you accomplishing the mission and taking care of Soldiers (your employees).  One of the spiffy parts of the book is the eye-catching illustrations and his use of vignettes.  The book is a quick and easy read.  Get your copy now.

Highly recommended.


Please read my books:

  1. “55 Rules for a Good Life,” on Amazon (link here).
  2. “Our Longest Year in Iraq,” on Amazon (link here).

Side Note: Please remember and take a look at Tom Copeland’s reading blog.  His website, which I highly recommend, can be found here:


Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I provide one article every day. My writings are influenced by great thinkers such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Jung, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Jean Piaget, Erich Neumann, and Jordan Peterson, whose insight and brilliance have gotten millions worldwide to think about improving ourselves. Thank you for reading my blog.

16 thoughts on “Reading List (Update):  Basic Leadership

  1. mainer

    Gen. Satterfield is back with his book reviews on books that he has read and recommends. I’m sure I’ll love this book too.

  2. H. M. Longstreet

    Gen. Doug Satterfield wrote in his review:
    Colonel Pearce uses lessons from his time in the military, those that are transferable, to give us some good advice. For example, lesson one is “Always Start With a Very Clear End-State.” Yes! If you don’t know where you are going, it will be impossible to get there.
    I want to note that this comment is spot on. Too many folks over look this important fact.

    1. Mother Picasso

      HM, yep, and this is one of main reasons I love coming to this site every single day and reading each article, often twice. Let’s all get in the grove of trying to improve our lives. If you want a primer on that, then read “55 Rules for a Good Life” 2022 by Gen. Satterfield.
      There isn’t a better book out there that is as condensed and easy to read. The cost is inexpensive and you deserve it. But I will say that the book is not easy to implement because the first thing you have to do is admit that the world owes you nothing.

  3. Lizzy from Utah

    Thank you, Gen. Satterfield. I’ve been missing this part of your blog. More book reviews, please.

  4. Maximilian Krämer

    Another tough winter ahead of us now, so gives me more time to spend reading. I will consider purchasing this book based on Gen. Satterfield’s review.

      1. Max Foster

        Max and Tom. Yes, i agree that the winter, which pushes us more indoors is an opportunity not to lose to read more and better books, carefully selected of course. But let us not forget that we should consciously making time for reading on a year round schedule and not just because it is convenient. Doing things that way will skew our intellectual growth over time. Just like others have said. Read, Read Great, and Read Most. Reading is a powerful tool. Too bad many, esp. many American subcultures, refuse to use this tool to their advantage.

      2. Greg NH

        I’m on board with it. I’ll order the book. No, I’ll get my wife to order it for my birthday. Yeah.

  5. Georgie B.

    Hey guys, have not seen Eddie Gilliam in a few days. Hope he is okay.

    1. Eddie Gilliam

      I am back. I was home for a few days visiting my mom in NC. She is doing well. Thanks for asking. I sent my friend Gen Douglas several new articles for his blog

  6. Willie Strumburger

    Read books. Read great books. Read this book.
    “How to Climb a 12-Foot Wall: 10 Military Lessons in Leadership,” by Colonel G R Pearce, MBE, 2021

    1. Otto Z. Zuckermann

      I’m not so sure I’ll be ordering the book because it is a bit too expensive for what you get. However, if there ever is an electronic version that costs less, I will consider it. Also, Willie, I agree with you that we all should be reading “great books.” That is one of the ways that Gen. Satterfield recommends so that we get better each day. Just like in his latest book “55 Rules for a Good Life.”

  7. rjsmithers

    Gen. Satterfield, it is good to see that you are finding some really good books to do a review on. This one looks basic but there is always a market for junior leadership style books and this looks like one of them. The advantage we have with this one is that it hits on all 10 of the most important aspects of leadership and gives us those lessons in an easy-to-read format. Thanks!

  8. Stacey Borden

    Looks like a darn good book, thank you Gen. Doug Satterfield for alerting us to this UK book. I rarely find books that are published outside the US and the prices are a bit high.

    1. The Golly Woman from EHT

      Yep, $75 on Amazon. A bit too rich for me. And there is no Kindle version.
      Unlike Gen. Satterfield’s books which have a cheaper Kindle format which can be downloaded anywhere for less money. Oh, be sure to get his books. My favorite remains “55 Rules for a Good Life” pub in 2022.
      Love this leaderhsip blog. ❤


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