Monday, August 15, 2005

My Own Truman Doctrines

Just finished reading McCullough's, Truman.

Here's what I learned:

Patience is Still a Virtue

During the aftermath of WW II, the Russians created a military blockade around Berlin. No food or medicine was allowed into the bomb-riddled city, so it had to flown in by plane -- an extremely expensive endeavor that would leave the Germans constantly on the brink of starvation. President Truman faced heavy pressure to engage the Russians and break through the blockade .

Wary of a conflict that could have easily provoked World War III, Truman patiently waited for the Russians to keep their end of postwart agreements. During the airlift his popularity suffered tremendously, yet he waited.

To make a long story short, his patience paid off and the Russians eventually eased up, allowing sufficient supplies to finally get to Berlin after over 120,000 supply drops by U.S. planes. While engaging the Russians would have solved the immediate problem, it would likely have been catastrophic in the long run.

Business Application

The ability to make a good, quick decision cannot be overvalued in the technolgy sector. Innovation is the name of the game. However, there are times when it is best to use what I call Truman's "Airlift Approach."

A while back, I was feeling quite a bit of pressure (mostly from myself) to create a department that would help increase revenues drastically. However, for various reasons, the best people for the job would not be available for a couple of months.

Rather than go out and hire a handful of good, but underqualified employees to patch up the problem and relieve some of the pressure I felt, I decided to use the Airlift Approach and get by on minimal resources until the time was right.

I'm still in "airlift mode," and it has been tough to scrape by. But when all is said and done, it will certainly have been worth it. Later this month, the personnel that I need will be available and I will be better prepared to bring them into a situation where they will be able to succeed.


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