Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Happy Birthday, President Eisenhower!

On October 14, 1890, President Dwight D. Eisenhower was born in Denison, Texas.

In addition to being an American hero Eisenhower was a master of preparation. As the commander of American forces in Europe during WWII he asked that reporters submit questions in writing before any news conference. The practice allowed Eisenhower to prepare answers that were short, fact-filled, and succinct. Reporters loved him and he was characterized as efficient, effective, and in total command.

Later, as president, Eisenhower’s news conferences were much like what we see today; lots of spur-of-the-moment questions shouted in a style that rewards quick thinking but allows little preparation. Almost immediately after his election Eisenhower was characterized by the same media that had covered him during the war as slow-witted, uncommunicative, and ill-suited to the Oval Office.

Eisenhower was the same person he simply did not have the same opportunity to prepare that he had as a general.

Winging it is fine in some situations, but if you want a Perfect Workday you’ve got to do your homework.

And by the way, this is also the anniversary of the breaking of the sound barrier for the first time (1947) by Chuck Yeager in the Bell X-1. Yeager named the plane, “Glamorous Glennis,” after his wife.

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