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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 has been a huge help in sorting out our growth issues, especially on the people side. He has strong relationships with our management team. He’s someone that I can trust to bring an objective viewpoint to any situation.   He’s funny and can connect with anyone at any level in our business. He’s a great facilitator of our planning meetings. He’s become a great friend and mentor. I would highly recommend him to any company in growth.”


Dave Van Belle

Dave Van Belle, Van Belle Nurseries