Micro-Managers Beware…

“Never allow yourself to become absorbed in the task you have assigned to a subordinate. If you assume the direction of a detachment, you lose your grasp of the proceedings as a whole.

The business of the responsible officer is to control the entire concern so that the general combination of efforts shall be concentrated upon the particular object in view. Always command the whole of your company when you can, but never take executive command of any platoon of it.

Your business is to give orders to your subordinates, but never to usurp their duties. You cannot direct the whole and at the same time command a part. By all means, being present at the critical juncture and seeing the opportunity, take care that it is seized upon; but let such things be incidents, interfering in no way with your general attitude.

Tell Mr. Blank or Sergeant Atkins what to do and be content to see that he does it.”

A.W.A. Pollock (1915) Elementary Military Training. London: William Clowes and Sons Limited.

Pollock was a Lieutenant Colonel (late Major the Prince Albert’s Somersetshire L.I. and a special correspondent of ‘The Times’ in the Boer War).


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