Thursday, May 17, 2018

“It was OK to give one’s life for one’s country, but to get eaten for it was another matter.”
– Stewart Springer –

During WWII, Naval Aviators feared they’d be eaten by sharks if they ditched in the ocean… despite the fact that there had been zero recorded instances of this ever happening. This fear drove the Navy to explore developing a shark repellant, which is only one of the many interesting stories explored in Mary Roach’s 2016 book, “Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War.

Perception, not reality, often drives real world decisions. The lesson for contemporary leaders, then, is to ask the question “What reality do our people actually perceive and do I share their viewpoint?” A great deal depends upon that answer, which may surprise you.