Consider This

Robert Stevenson’s Thoughts on the Pursuit of Excellence

The Rest is My Job

April 26, 2020

by Robert Stevenson

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.

"Your only true security in life
is your ability to perform."

About the Author

Robert Stevenson is an expert at building a high-performance business culture, improving efficiency, and accelerating growth. He is one of the most widely sought-after speakers in the world today, as well as a best-selling author. He has owned five companies, sold internationally in over 20 countries. Robert has spoken to over 2,500 companies throughout the world and his research in the area of corporate and entrepreneurial success is extensive. Over 2 million people have benefitted from his powerful, practical, and thought-provoking programs. He is a true master at blending facts, inspiration, conviction, and humor into all his programs.

Companies like FedEx, Prudential, Lockheed Martin, Anheuser-Busch, Chevron, American Express, and Berkshire Hathaway continue to rely on him for a fresh, unique perspective on businesses’ most crucial issues. To learn more about Robert and what he can do for your team visit his website at

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