In his book Soft Skills in Hard Places, retired Army Colonel Fred Johnson makes the bold claim that soft skills, not technical abilities, were the most important factor in the success of both Union and Confederate leaders at the Battle of Perryville in 1862, the bloodiest clash in Kentucky during the Civil War. Johnson marches with the reader alongside the soldiers who fought for the Open Knob and Starkweather’s Hill and those that assaulted into the Valley of Death. The fate of Kentucky and the nation rested in the hands of Union General Don Carlos Buell and Confederate General Braxton Bragg, commanders who were technically and tactically competent, but lack the soft skills to be effective leaders. However, men like George Maney and John Starkweather, who did not have the benefit of the technical training afforded at the U.S. Military Academy, demonstrated aptitudes like thinking outside the box, initiative, and empathy. They were the leaders that provided the greatest opportunities of victory for their armies. Colonel Johnson also weaves in soft skill lessons from current wars and his own personal experience to show the enduring relevance of emotional intelligence in combat leadership. Having served with General David H. Petraeus, Johnson shows how, arguably the greatest General since WWII, expertly employed soft skills to great success. Johnson not only demonstrates the significance of soft skills on the battlefield, he provides a methodology to teach them to civilian business executives and their staffs so they can excel in the boardroom. Studies by Stanford Research Institute and the Carnegie Mellon Foundation among Fortune 500 CEOs found that 75% of long-term job success depended on people skills and only 25% on technical skills. Nonetheless, soft skills are difficult to teach and they are even more challenging to instill in people. The Perryville Battlefield Leadership Experience, as described within the book, offers corporations and anyone interested in being a better leader a solution to learning soft skills.