What You Say If You Fail: A Speech Eisenhower Never Gave by Gene Griessman
I don’t like to give any thought to defeat. Just thinking about failure can plant the wrong kind of ideas in my subconscious.
But I know that failure happens.
”The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men/Gang aft a-gley,” the poet Robert Burns wrote in 1785, “An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain/For promis’d joy.”
So I do think about contingencies, back-up plans, savers, plan Bs,
Experienced public speakers create “savers” in case there’s a heckler, if the PowerPoint doesn’t function. or if a joke bombs.
The best negotiators think about a backup offer, a fallback position.
Actors and directors have (or should have) prepared comments for the media in case they don’t win an Emmy or Oscar.
Here’s a particularly dramatic example of this concept.
The evening prior to the Normandy invasion, General Dwight Eisenhower wrote four sentences for a message that he was prepared to deliver in case the invasion failed.
Remarks prepared by General Dwight D. Eisenhower on June 5th, 1944
Our landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops. This particular operation 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.
The sheet of notepaper on which he wrote those lines (mistakenly dated July 5) remained in Eisenhower’s wallet for a month.
Eisenhower later told an aide that similar speeches were prepared before every military operation during World War II. This is the only one he kept.
THE Lincoln Quotation Book
Don’t get embarrassed using a spurious Lincoln quote. Every quotation in this book is authentic.
“This is a book to cherish and share.”—Bill Marriott, CEO, Marriott International, Inc.
“Not only does Griessman give us Lincoln quotes, but he also weaves each one into a little jewel of an essay on that particular subject.” Wayne C. Temple, renowned Lincoln scholar, Illinois State Archives
A stirring, inspirational treasury of quotations from our greatest and most admired president, the book offers rich material for interpretation, reflection, and spiritual guidance.
You will also enjoy Lincoln Speaks To Leaders by Gene Griessman and Pat Williams.
Don’t leave yet. You’re in a goldmine. Check out the great power phrases and unusual quotations. You’re already here. Why rush off?