Thursday, June 6, 2019
“Our landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based upon the best information available. The troops, the air and the Navy did all that Bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone.”
– General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander Allied Expeditionary Force –
What are you willing to risk to achieve your goals?
75 years ago today, shortly after midnight, 24,000 U.S., British and Canadian airborne troops parachuted into Axis-occupied Normandy in the south of France. They were the tip of the Allied spear and faced fifty German divisions with formidable fortifications anchored by the Atlantic Wall. Victory was far from certain under the best of circumstances and General Eisenhower penned the above note in the not-unlikely event of an Allied defeat.
Success and failure occupy both sides of the risk coin and good leaders understand that anything worth doing always involves risk that can lead to failure. As we remember the 75th anniversary of D-Day, consider your goals, what you’re willing to risk to achieve them and how the specter of failure affects the risks that you do take.