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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


“When I became the sole owner of my company, I felt overwhelmed with the stress of feeling that everything depended on me. Trevor helped me focus on some key principles that have made a huge difference; concentrating on finding A-players in every key seat in the business, getting them aligned around the same goals, using some simple accountability tools, and having solid communication rhythms. Once that was accomplished, I was able to focus on what I loved doing, what I’m best at and what gives me energy - sales and relationship building. Since putting these principles in place – specifically the people issues first and foremost - the business has done better than ever before, the team is functioning really well, and I have my life back.”


Jon Brandt

Summit Brooke Construsction