The rules of strategy are few and simple. They may be learned in a week. They may be taught by familiar illustrations or a dozen diagrams. But such knowledge will no more teach a man to lead an army like Napoleon than a knowledge of grammar will teach him to write like Gibbon.
Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy.
The lesson here is very simple. But it is striking how often it is overlooked. We are so caught in the myths of the best and the brightest and the self-made that we think outliers spring naturally from the earth. We look at the young Bill Gates and marvel that our world allowed that thirteen-year-old to become a fabulously successful entrepreneur. But that's the wrong lesson. Our world only allowed one thirteen-year-old unlimited access to a time-sharing terminal in 1968. If a million teenagers had been given the same opportunity, how many more Microsofts would we have today? To build a better world we need to replace the patchwork of lucky breaks and arbitrary advantages that today determine success - the fortunate birth dates and the happy accidents of history for those children born in the last half of the year, it would today have twice as many adult hockey stars. Now multiply that sudden flowering of talent by every field an profession. The would could be so much richer than the world we have settled for.
Optimism is a strategy for making a better future. Because unless you believe that the future can be better, itís unlikely you will step up and take responsibility for making it so. If you assume that thereís no hope, you guarantee that there will be no hope. If you assume that there is an instinct for freedom, there are opportunities to change things, thereís a chance you may contribute to making a better world. The choice is yours.
"Change" is not a destination ... just as "hope" is not a strategy.
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