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Prepare like Patton, win like Patton

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in Leaders & Managers,Workplace Communication

You probably know Gen. George S. Patton for his “blood ’n’ guts”approach to battle, but he dedicated himself to something far less obvious:  preparation. These are his own words: 

“I have studied the German all my life,” Patton wrote. “I have read the memoirs of his generals and political leaders. I have even read his philosophers and listened to his music. I have studied in detail the accounts of every one of his damn battles. I know exactly how he will react under any given set of circumstances. He hasn’t the slightest idea what I’m going to do. Therefore, when the day comes, I’m going to whip hell out of him.”

Learning provides the only path forward, and learning hurts, says Mark Bender, who studies Patton and other military leaders. If preparation were easy, everybody would prepare, he notes. His advice? Attack learning the way you attack every other goal:  methodically and with gusto.

— Adapted from Operation Excellence: Succeeding in Business and Life the U.S. Military Way, Mark Bender, Amacom.

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