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A delegation lesson from President ‘Ike’

by on
in Leaders & Managers,Workplace Communication

When Dwight D. Eisenhower won the election to succeed him as president, Harry S. Truman observed: “Poor Ike! When he was a general, he gave an order and it was carried out. Now, he is going to sit in that big office and give an order and not a damn thing is going to happen.”

Truman was wrong. Things happened under Ike because his background had taught him a fundamental rule of giving military orders: Don’t just give orders; make sure they’ve been carried out.

Ike trusted the people who reported to him, but he mistrusted communication.When he issued a critical order, he made sure it had reached its destination and was being applied.

— Adapted from The Effective Executive, Peter F. Drucker, Harper Books.

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