August 12; Be Brief, Be Brilliant, Be Gone MANAGEMENT BY THE BOOK: 365 Daily Bible Verse & One-Minute Management Lessons For The Busy Faithful
Chapter Eight: Communication; 12 August
When words are many,
sin is not absent,
but he who holds his tongue is wise
|Be Brief, Be Brilliant, Be Gone|
Short and Sweet
My father lived because Niels Bohr was incompetent. Thank God.
My dad was a teen at the end of WWII and was likely to be a part of the invasion of Japan, codenamed Operation Downfall. The Allied strategy was to win the war first by concentrating on the defeat of Germany, then Japan. After V-E day, Victory in Europe, our attention was fully turned to the Japanese Empire.
We had a secret, terrible weapon to end the war fast. But there were scientists who did not think we should drop The Bomb.
Niels Bohr was visiting President Roosevelt in August 1944 to persuade him not to use the Atomic bomb being developed as a weapon and that the technology should be shared with the world. Bohr talked too much and said too little too late. It took him 30 minutes to get to his point of his argument.
No CEO, no President, has time for that kind of throat-clearing wind-up. Historian William Manchester writes, “Roosevelt disagreed with Bohr and bade him good day.” (Manchester 1973)
It is not likely that Bohr could have persuaded the president not to drop the bomb. But he certainly was not the best representative for that point of view.
The staffer can persuade his manager in less time when the relationship has been nurtured. The boss will more quickly adopt the recommendation of a subordinate when the staffer can communicate efficiently and effectively.
The staffer must package the information and the recommendation as a marketing exercise to conform to the buying habits of the decision maker. (William Oncken 1984) The recommender can use short-cuts where a common language has been developed over time.
But here’s how the boss really makes a decision – fast. When s/he has,
Confidence in your competence,
Rapport with your personality [connection] and
Respect for your character (William Oncken 1984)
This briefing expertise and courtesy goes in both directions.
General George Marshall, when he served at the Infantry School, insisted that student officers practice delivering short, simple orders orally – standing up. General Marshall was teaching a new generation of Army officers to think fast and reason well and speak plainly on their feet. (Ricks 2012)
General William Hood Simpson during WWII was a delight to work for – he was known for issuing orders in such a manner and early enough to allow for proper planning, what would be commonly known as a warning order. This is to give subordinate units time to begin to get ready. Not every detail is necessary to begin to move in the correct direction. The fleshed-out final orders would follow. (Ricks 2012) Page 108
And this is not just for words but also for figures, “For any presentation or talk, you’ll be wise to observe…the three R’s of numbers: Reduce, Round, and Relate. [James Humes loc 834 Speak like Churchill]
Writer Gail Godwin says, “Good teaching is one-fourth preparation and three-fourths theater.” (Godwin 2014) Niels Bohr did not prepare properly to know how to sell to the President and did not know FDR as his audience.
Roosevelt died in April 1945. Vice President Harry Truman would assume office and continue with the strategic use of the atomic weapon. He dropped the bomb on Japan on August 6 and August 9. Japan surrendered unconditionally on August 15, 1945.
Dad came home and finished high school.
When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise, Proverbs 10:19