Stand Your Ground
Building Honorable Leaders the West Point Way
by Evan H. Offstein
March 2009, 176pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Paperback: 978-0-313-37494-4
$55, £43, 48€, A76

Reveals the principles by which West Point trains tomorrow’s military and business leaders—and demonstrates how they can be applied by any organization or individual

West Point is the ideal laboratory for studying the dynamics of character, honor, and leadership: first, it operates a comprehensive honor education and enforcement program that has been subjected to rigorous Congressional scrutiny; second, it builds all of its academic, athletic, and military programs on this bedrock of honor. As a result, West Point invests heavily in mentoring, training, and evaluation to ensure the leadership and character development of its 4,000 cadets. From Civil War General Robert E. Lee to astronaut Edwin E. Buzz Aldrin to basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, West Point has groomed leaders whose contributions far exceed the successful management of their immediate charges. By illuminating the principles by which West Point teaches leadership, Stand Your Ground not only provides a unique tour behind the scenes at this revered institution, but, more generally, imparts lessons of honor and character-building that can be adopted by any aspiring leader.

Management professor and West Point graduate Evan Offstein approached leaders at the U.S. Military Academy and the Department of the Army with two primary questions: (1) How does West Point develop its leaders?; (2) Can other individuals and organizations apply these methods effectively? Two years later, after conducting extensive on-site research at West Point and with business leaders in a variety of industries, he offers unprecedented access to the process of leadership development at West Point, and practical insights that can, indeed, be applied in any type of organization that strives to operate on the principle of integrity.


"Drawing on research he conducted at the United States Military Academy at West Point and with business leaders in a variety of industries, Offstein gives access to the process of leadership development at West Point and offers insights that can be applied in any type of organization that strives to operate on the principle of integrity."—Reference & Research Book News, November 1, 2006

"[O]ne of the most relevant and applicable responses to recent leadership breakdowns at such places as Enron, WorldCom, Adelphia, and Abu Ghraib. . . . Stand Your Ground delivers a message that began with our founding fathers, but which has been silenced in the last several years. In Stand Your Ground, Offstein provides compelling evidence that true leadership is first built on honor and that future leadership lapses well chronicled in the recent episodes occurring at Enron, WorldCom, Adelphia, and GlobalCrossing, could never again occur if West Point's model of honorable leadership development is followed. Given the almost limitless amount of leadership books that offer hollow promises and which have accomplished little to improve our current state of leadership, Offstein's Stand Your Ground stands apart as one of the choice few books capable of transforming leaders at all levels and across organizations."—PR Newswire US, September 13, 2006

"This book is an excellent description of what an honorable leader should look like and how to get there. . . . It is recommended for any one who hopes to be an honorable leader, not one who looks only at the bottom line and is filled with greed."—Catholic Library World, March 1, 2010

"Debacles like Enron and WorldCom might not have occurred if senior leadership had followed Evan Offstein's premise of honorable leadership in Stand Your Ground. Indeed, leaders of all ranks in all settings can set themselves apart by following the principles outlined in his book. Drawing heavily on his West Point experiences and insights, the author points the way to the potential to transform not only the way we lead, but the way we live."—Richard Thornburgh
Government Affairs Advisor
Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham LLP
Former U.S. Attorney General and Governor of Pennsylvania

"In today's society ethics in leadership is a daily topic. Stand Your Ground consists of real-life examples of how ethics and honor in decision-making and communication have led to leadership success. I encourage anyone in a leadership position to read this book."—Frank Beamer
Head Football Coach, Virginia Tech

"This book is plainly written and inspirational. It's full of new insights into leadership that come alive through analogies, anecdotes and metaphors--all useful to evaluating your own leadership. Making Stand Your Ground required reading at our nation's leading business schools would help eliminate Enrons from our future."—Rick Stafford
Distinguished Service Professor of Public Policy
Heinz School, Carnegie Mellon University

"This book gives new meaning to the military axiom that successful leaders must hold the high ground; it convincingly shows both the 'how' and 'why' to the thesis that honor is the key to taking and holding the high ground in every leadership challenge."—Jerrold P Allen Major General
USAF (Retired) and Commandant
Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets

"The idea of quantifying honorable leadership is a powerful concept--especially for today's business leaders. Evan Offstein does not promote the usual quick fixes, but skillfully and intellectually describes the foundation and the building blocks of exceptional leadership."—Robert J. Maricich
President and CEO, Century Furniture Industries

"Every university or college hopes its graduates will become leaders within their chosen fields and their communities and, possibly, beyond. However, leadership development is not often a systematic prescribed part of the curriculum. Stand Your Ground is a compelling case for how one of the nation's leading academies has embedded leadership development into its educational fiber. Evan Offstein has provided for our students and the rest of us a pragmatic description of the West Point formula. Here are the essential lessons for everyone who aspires to be a true, ethical, honorable leader."—Robert M. Smith
President, Slippery Rock University

"A must-read for anyone searching for the missing element in leadership today. Evan Offstein accentuates the true essence of successful leadership for any era."—Jeff Leischner
President and CEO, Thomas & Howard Company, Inc.

"Stand Your Ground is essential reading not only for every Cadet and their parents but for prospective new Cadets."—John W. Gould
President, Western Pennsylvania West Point Parents Club

"Stand Your Ground is an impressive and well-reasoned book that should be required reading for MBA students, managers, and leaders at all levels. Evan Offstein offers compelling contemporary stories and sound research to provoke every leader to ask the question, 'Am I an honorable leader?' His unique experiences as a Cadet at West Point, decorated Army officer, successful business leader, and now noted academic professor enable him to weave together a rich argument for the conduct of business in accordance with the time-honored traditions of America's premier leadership institution."—Todd A. Uterstaedt
President and CEO, Baker & Daboll, LLC
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