Like our Civil War namesake, General Stonewall Jackson, we stand with our clients like a “stone wall” especially during difficult and challenging times.
According to historical accounts, early in the first Battle of Manassas, or Bull Run, Union forces had the Confederates on the run. Confederate units were disintegrating, racing to the rear up over Henry House Hill. Panic had set in and the possibility of a devastating defeat increased.
Jackson had positioned the 2,500 men of his First Virginia Brigade on the reverse slope of Henry House Hill. As Brigadier General Bernard Bee and his Brigade streamed over the crest of the hill, “Jackson suggested that he regroup his men behind the First Brigade. Bee quickly rode into the mass of retreating Southerners and urged them to rally behind the Virginians. “There stands Jackson like a stone wall,” he bellowed. Bee’s men eagerly rallied and other refugees assembled around Jackson’s Brigade, forever after known as the Stonewall Brigade, and somewhat haphazardly, began to recover their organization and coherence.” ¹ Jackson forever after carried the revered nickname of Stonewall.
The results: Jackson’s actions inspired a recovery. That haphazard recovery quickly ignited a reversal of fortunes. Soon, the Union forces panicked and began a retreat of their own. The retreat turned into a rout. With Stonewall’s inspirational leadership and tactical competence, the Confederates “snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.”
The lessons of Stonewall’s leadership are timeless and boundless. Many organizations occasionally face desperate situations that could turn catastrophic without timely, competent action and leadership. Often, an external assessment can be invaluable in assessing the accuracy of your intuition or the recommendations of your staff, and in devising your plan of action. When your organization encounters critical situations, will it panic and retreat or will it also “snatch victory from the jaws of defeat?”
The Stonewall Group can help. Of course, we’d rather join you early before your situation is critical and more difficult to resolve. Give us call and let’s get started.
¹ Bevan Alexander, Lost Victories: The Military Genius of Stonewall Jackson, p 25.