top of page
  • Writer's pictureRobert Stevenson

The Rest Is My Job

Robert Stevenson Blog - 13 Million Strong

How would you like to be in the position of creating the largest army that the world has ever seen (over thirteen million soldiers) and do it mainly with people who have NEVER commanded troops in their life?

That was exactly the position General George C. Marshal found himself in during World War II. Not only did he have to assemble this incredible army, he also had to do it in the shortest amount of time as possible. He appointed over 600 people to positions of general officer or division commander with few “slackers.” So, what was his secret of being so successful in putting the right people in the right positions? Smart leaders hire people based on their strengths – what the person “can do” not what they “can’t do.”

One example General Marshal gave was about his aides being worried about him putting a certain Colonel in charge of training who was known for “NOT” getting along with his superiors and was also terribly rude. They told him, “If things go wrong and he has to testify in front of Congress, he will be a disaster for you and your reputation.”

General Marshal then asked his aides, “What is his assignment … what do we need him for?”Their response was, “To train troops – an entire division.”The General then asked, “Is he a first-rate trainer?”His aides responded, “Yes sir, General. He is the best we have.”He said, “Well give him the assignment. The rest is my job.”

THE REST IS MY JOB. What a great statement. Sometimes a good leader will have to protect and even defend some of their subordinates, who may have some rough edges when it comes to diplomatically communicating with other bosses or departments. They know they have a high achiever, a real winner when it comes to getting the job done and they will do everything they can to protect their asset.

Who would you rather have in a position? #1 - The most polite communicator who ruffles no feathers and challenges no person, policy or procedure, and who has a average performance rating … OR … #2 - a highly focused, determined, loyal, who tells it like it is (good or bad), occasionally upsetting those who hindered their progress, and is known for always getting the job done? Give me #2 – the rest is my job to keep the peace.

Leadership is not about authority. If you are taking the position because it now gives you the power, supremacy, authority over people, please do not apply. It is a servant position. You are there to help others succeed. It isn’t about you, it’s about them. Hire them for their strengths and let them at it. Go to school on the man who created the largest army in the history of the world, who understood we are graded on results … the rest was his job.


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page