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Focus on the ‘what’

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George Patton became a superb battlefield commander by focusing on what, not how.

Everything that concerned the World War II general was typed on cards and annotated with additional ideas.

But Patton viewed planning as only 5% of a leader’s job. The rest, he said, consisted of monitoring and executing the plan through your officers.

“Never tell people how to do things,” he wrote. “Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. Once, in Sicily, I told a general, who was somewhat reluctant to attack, that I had perfect confidence in him, and that, to show it, I was [leaving].”

— Adapted from “Speed-Simplicity-Boldness,” Michael Mink, Investor’s Business Daily.

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