Some Notes/Thoughts from “The Generals”

GeneralsJust finished reading Thomas Ricks latest book “The Generals” – American Military Command from WW II to Today. I found it very interesting reading in that it explained much of our military success and failure  over the past eighty years. But as a coach interested in leadership, organizational behavior and excellence I found it rich in ideas and thoughts. Here are a few thoughts that I found particularly relevant:

“Art of strategy is foremost not about how to do something but about what to do. In other words, the first problem is to determine what the real problem is.” P.47

Do away with “mind-numbing” time based training and replace it with competence a based system. P.338

Motto of the German general staff: “be more than you appear to be.” P.357

“Not trusting people is an invitation to organizational disaster.” LT General Walter Ulmer Jr. P.360

“… commanders need to be educated less on what to think and more on how to think – and also on how to adapt. They need to learn how to learn. P.458

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