I’ve read three reviews of Rachel Maddow’s new book, Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power, and have the sample pages loaded into my iPad. It is on my “I want to read this book list,” which is long and ever-growing… But, sadly, I doubt that this book fits into my “I will present this somewhere” list, so it may be a while.
On The Daily Beast, Rachel Maddow’s ‘Drift’ Probes America’s Uneasy Relationship With the Military by Allison Yarrow, the article ends with this terrific quote from Maddow:
“There are many ways to envision female success. Ultimately, you don’t do anybody any favors by putting people in jobs they can’t do well in. The best way to win is to be better than everybody else,” Rachel Maddow said.
Put people in jobs that they can do well.
Be better than everybody else.
It can’t be put much more simply… what great insight!
Here’s another good article about the book – Bullet Points: Rachel Maddow proposes solutions to decades of American military bloat, by Emily Bazelon, from Slate.com.
In Brilliant Mistakes: Finding Success on the Far Side of Failure, Paul J. H. Schoemaker observes, “Our schools and organizations are designed for efficiency and order. These are fine principles but rarely encourage mistakes, either brilliant or foolish. Students are graded on how much they know, not on the degree to which they learn from helpful errors. Similarly, companies strive for error elimination, hiring advisers and relying on sophisticated management tools such as Six Sigma…For most people, [however] it is not that they make too many mistakes but too few.” And deliberate and purposeful mistakes are most important because of what they reveal and what can be learned from those revelations.
Schoemaker includes throughout his narrative several brief quotations from a variety of sources. Here are the ones that caught my eye:
1. Mistakes…are the portals of discovery.” James Joyce
2. “Success is 99% failure.” Saichiro Honda (founder of Honda Motor Company)
3. “Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.” Winston Churchill
4. “Experience is the name we give to our mistakes.” Oscar Wilde
5. “So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because that is where you will find success. On the far side of failure.” Thomas J. Watson, Sr.
6. “Never test the depth of a river with both feet.” African proverb
7. “Chance only favors the prepared mind.” Louis Pasteur
8. “Even the knowledge of my own fallibility cannot keep me from making mistakes. Only when I fall do I get up again.” Vincent van Gogh
As Schoemaker suggests, “The key question companies [and individuals] need to address is not ‘Should we make mistakes?’ but rather, ‘Which mistakes should we make in order to test our deeply held assumptions?’”
I highly recommend Brilliant Mistakes, published by Wharton Digital Press (November 2011).