May 16; Real Growth Comes Outside A Comfort Zone;
MANAGEMENT BY THE BOOK:
365 Daily Bible Verse &
One-Minute Management Lessons For The Busy Faithful

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Chapter Five: Hiring; 16 May

They must first be tested;

and then if there is nothing against them,

let them serve as deacons.

1 Timothy 3:10

Scars Are Tattoos With Better Stories

Crucible

Tragedy reveals: It makes a bad man worse and a good man better. Your Business Professor once worked with a prosthetist, a specialist who fabricates prosthetic devices; artificial limbs.

His calling, his work was to mechanically re-build a limb and, more important, a life. He would often say that how victims decided to face that tragedy made them into the best people or the worst.

Confronting a challenge and the reaction to adversity and the decisions that follow can help in evaluating a person’s character. Limbs don’t have to be lost for a person to be temperamentally tested. Sometimes the test is to lose entire countries.

***

At the outbreak of WWII, Army Chief of Staff George Marshall was grooming the younger Eisenhower for high command. Dr. Peter Dawkins, West Point (class of ’59), Rhoads Scholar and Heisman Trophy winner, wrote,

The promotion from colonel to brigadier (or one-star) general is one of the largest psychological leaps an officer can make.

It is richly symbolic: The promoted officer removes from his or her collar the insignia of an Army branch (the crossed rifles of infantry, for example, or the tiny triple-turreted castle of engineers) and puts on a single star.

As brigadier generals, the newly promoted officers are instructed in a special course—they no longer represent a part of the Army, but now are the stewards of the entire service.

As members of the Army’s select few, they are expected to control and coordinate different branches, such as artillery, cavalry, and engineers—that is, to become generalists.

Marshalle Chief of Staff had a simple test for his new understudy, Eisenhower. Marshall asked Eisenhower for his recommendation on a course of action concerning our allies in the Philippines who were about to be overrun by the Japanese Empire. Marshall was considering,

Portrait: US Army (USA) General (GEN) George C. Marshall. (Uncovered), (Exact date shot UNKNOWN).

Portrait: US Army (USA) General (GEN) George C. Marshall. (Uncovered), (Exact date shot UNKNOWN).

Would his understudy recommend Marshall was “seeing if Ike had sufficient ice in his veins to recommend that thousands of his old friends and comrade in the Philippines be abandoned, condemning them to death or a war spent as prisoners of the Japanese.

Marshall valued character and a team spirit above all else. But sometimes part of the team would be ignored or painfully left behind.

Eisenhower was a Brigadier General, with a single star, that is the entry-level into the army’s highest commands. He would grow fast on the job. Ike responded in a written recommendation, “Don’t be sentimental. Give up the islands, and leave American and Filipino friends there to their fate, while giving them what small aid we can. Fall back and regroup.”

Character should always be hired over intellect. In General Eisenhower, Marshall got both.

Eisenhower produced the perfect answer to Marshall’s question. The strategic assessment was made that “no Army reinforcements will be sent to the Philippine Coastal Frontier.” Eisenhower would be losing friends and the Philippines to the Japanese.

***

He had been tested. General Eisenhower would later turn down the Congressional Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest recognition. Eisenhower would be promoted to five-star general and later would elected president. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1953.

They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons. 1 Timothy 3:10

Is the pain worth it? Political guru Ed Rollins says that, “… the answer comes with the swiftness of one of my youthful left hooks. Absolutely—but I wish there weren’t so much scare tissue on my soul.”

Peter Dawkins was a West Point Rhoades scholar and the Heisman Trophy winner in 1958.  In the early 1960s he wrote in Infantry magazine,

The ideal almost seems to be the man who had done so little—who has exerted such a paltry amount of initiative and imagination—that he never has done anything wrong…

The was a time when an individual wasn’t considered a very attractive candidate for promotion unless he had one or two scars on his record…

If [a man] is to pursue a bold and vigorous path rather than one of conformity and acquiescence, he will sometimes err.

###

Peter Dawkins Infantry magazine quoted in Ricks page 219, The Generals; the promotion to general. Dawkins earned a general’s star and became Vice Chairman of the Citigroup Private Bank. General Dawkins, Ph.D., had polio as a child.

“Character over intellect” Ricks , The Generals page 25.

“if Ike had sufficient ice in his veins” The Generals page 47.

“scar tissue on my soul.” Ed Rollins page 11 Bare Knuckles and Backrooms, 1996

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