Revan was telling the Exile what to do though. =/ I remember a moment in the cave on korriban in a flashback of the war that even the Exile had no idea what they were doing or something to that effect. Point is Revan was an active general, he wasn't just sitting there saying "you have a job to do now figure it out".
All good generals are active however it doesn't mean they are tactical geniuses. Most good leaders are Jack of all trades they know something about everything but are masters of none. However they put the masters in position to do the most good.