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Never tell people how to do things

There was a time when the American military had no use for independent thinkers. That changed in WWII, and General George Patton played a big part in the change.  “Never tell people how to do things.  Tell them what you want done and they will surprise you with their ingenuity,” he wrote.

David Petraeus had the same philosophy in Iraq, looking for leaders who “were flexible and able to think independently.”  While he was in command, violence plummeted and he was given overall command of the Iraqi theatre.

William Coyne, Senior Vice President of research and development at the famously innovative 3M, described it this way:

“We let our people know what we want them to accomplish.  But- and it is a very big but – we do not tell them how to achieve those goals.”

Maybe it’s time to re-think your command and control structure and let your people surprise you.

Have a great week!
Trevor


“Trevor was a key component in helping to navigate us through a 60% growth year when we felt like we were going off the rails. His ability to help an organization focus, become aligned in critical areas and get excited about the future is second to none. I would highly recommend Trevor to any company who is committed to growing and making a difference in their industry and the world.”


Braden Douglas

Braden Douglas, Principal, Relevention Marketing Inc.