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Regulations Are All Very Well for the Drill – “The Guns of August 1914”, Barbara Tuchman

March 31st, 2012 · No Comments · Leadership

Though a profound student of Clausewitz, Foch did not, like Clausewitz’s German successors, believe in a foolproof schedule of battle worked out in advance. Rather he taught the necessity of perpetual adaptability and improvisation to fit circumstances.

“Regulations,” he would say, “are all very well for drill but in the hour of danger they are no more use … You have to learn to think.”

To think meant to give room for freedom of initiative, for the imponderable to win over the material, for will to demonstrate its power over circumstance.

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